Monday, July 24, 2017

Home Plate {Italian Zucchini Boats}

There is nothing better than eating from the garden in the summer.  Unfortunately, my garden is not doing so well this year, but I do have a few excellent farms near me that make up for my lack of crops.  My sister shared this idea with me and I altered it so that all of the ingredients come from Aldi!

Italian Zucchini Boats
Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
1 white onion
fresh mushrooms
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Fresh zucchini, sliced into two and hollowed out
Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese

Slice the mushrooms and remove the casings from the sausage.

Finely chop the onion.  I love my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor for this step.

Add the onion, sausage and mushrooms in a pan.  Cook until sausage is browned.  Cover with the jar of spaghetti sauce.

Hollow out the zucchini making "boats".  Fill with the sausage mixture.

Top with cheese of your choice and cook at 350 for 45 minutes.

I love to make an appetizer plate to keep my family happy while I am finishing dinner.  All of these items are also from Aldi.

Super simple summer dinner perfect for dining outside!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites!

I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

This week, I have only one favorite to share.  This guy...

Today is our 5 year anniversary.

Our love story is my favorite.  It is proof that God delivers on his promises and is capable of bringing beauty out of ashes.

My husband is my best friend, biggest fan and co-coordinator of this chaotic life we have created together.  I. Love. Him.  Perfect?  No.  Perfect for me?  Yes.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites~Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition!

Happy Friday of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!
Cardholders got early access yesterday and I found several items I knew you would love too.
I am linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites...Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition!  Click on the name of the item or the picture to be taken directly to the site.  If you are a cardholder, you can buy now.  If not, add it to your cart until the sale begins next week.


They are advertising this cardigan as a robe (pretty sure I've never walked around in my robe like this), but these cardigans look amazing with leggings and a tee.  And, they are so soft!!


I have wanted a romper for awhile now, but I've had difficulty finding one that is not too short.  I love the Halogen brand and this one looks like the perfect length.


The jeans are often one of the best parts of the Nordstrom Sale.  Especially when you can get them for under $40!  I love the release hem look.


You need to click the link and see the back of this sweatshirt to completely understand why I love it so much.  Such a cute casual look with the jeans above.


Is my love of soft cardigans evident yet?  I joked last winter that I only wore blankets that were posing as clothes.  It seems this winter will be the same! :)


There is nothing better than a blazer to have as a wardrobe basic.  It looks great at work and also with jeans.  This one comes in both black and white and is under $50!


I bought this shirt in a straight neckline version last year and I wore it all. the. time.  These shirts are so incredibly soft and comfy.  It's the perfect fall shirt!


I love the cold shoulder look, but haven't bought anything in this style yet.  This dress is so cute and stylish and under $50!


I'm always on the hunt for the perfect black pant.  I love the fit of these and how they combine the words skinny and stretch... :)


I bought a pair of grey booties last year and wore them to death.  Grey goes with everything and these would be so cute with jeans.

There are so many other deals on purses, makeup and jewelry.  To shop the entire sale, click below:

Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for Brand-New Fall Arrivals for everyone - it's our most popular sale of the year! Ends August 6. Prices go up August 7. FREE Shipping. FREE Returns.

  I love shopping at Nordstrom because of their free shipping and free returns policy.  I love anything that makes life easier!

Happy weekending and happy shopping!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Favorites!

Would you believe that I forgot that today was Friday?!  Yea, summer!  Better late than never, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.


Loft sale!!

Loft is having a 40% off regular priced items and 50% of sale!  I bought three new things and could have done even more damage.  So cute!  You can shop the sale HERE Extra 50% Off All Sale Styles from 7/7 at 12am - 7/9 at 5pm EST.


I blogged about how these oils are part of my summer self-care HERE, and I love learning about new ways to use them!  My absolute best resource is HERE.  Let me know your favorite ways to incorporate oils into your life.


I mentioned this company before when I blogged about meal planning HERE, but I am also loving my newest planning sheet!


Family time and 4th of July...

Sparklers are serious business!

 We celebrated by going to a minor league baseball game...very American!  One kiddo had to work, so we brought some cousins along. ;) . Loving my shirt from The Southern Rose.


I have a new favorite latte and it's NOT from Starbucks...gasp!  Rosemary Lavender did I not know about this wonderful creation?!  I was too excited to save it for a Books and Beans post. ;)  I may mention it again, though!

Have a most fantastic weekend, friends!  If you like reading the blog, follow along by clicking "Follow" on the right side of the blog, like "From Here to Zehr" on Facebook or find me on Instagram at deannazehr.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How Does She Do It? {Self Care}

I am so incredibly grateful that my career as a School Counselor allows me eight weeks every summer to be a full-time mom and recharge my batteries.  I truly believe we can care for others better the better we care for ourselves.  However, this is an area I struggle with.  I know other women can relate, but I have to be intentional about putting myself first and summer is the perfect time for me to practice my self-care.

(Image from

Early Mornings

One of the biggest changes I've made in the last year is getting up early in the morning.  Typically, that means I'm up by 5:30 or 6:00 during the summer.  This usually gives me about an hour before anyone else is awake to drink my coffee and have some "me" time.  Having time to center myself before the day begins sets the tone for the rest of the day.  If I could get myself to go to bed earlier, this would probably be even more enjoyable. :) . I blogged all about what my early mornings look like HERE.


(Image from

Summer is the perfect time for me to catch up on beauty maintenance.  On my list this summer is massage, mainicure, eyebrow shaping and a dermaplaning facial.  When I got my massage this summer, I made an appointment for another massage after the first week of school.  Little proactive moves like making appointments in advance help me stay on track with things that I know are beneficial to my well being.


When I was younger, exercise was a part of my daily life.  Even though I know that exercise makes me feel like a better version of myself physically and mentally, I have struggled with being consistent.  This summer, I joined a gym with my family in order to try to find an activity we all enjoy and get some exercise in the process.  I am attempting to make exercise a non-negotiable part of my life.  After two call backs from doctor appointments this year, I am committed to do everything I can to be healthy.  Everything turned out fine, but it was just the wake up call I needed to get back on track with regards to my health.

Eating Well

I tend to be a healthy eater, but summer is a great time to eat even cleaner.  We plant a small garden every year and I love attending farmer's markets for what we do not grow ourselves.  I had a series of allergy tests last month and received my results last week.  I highly recommend everyone do this.  While I knew that some foods bother me, my results were very surprising and I will need to make several changes to my diet.  Even if you are not symptomatic, eating foods that you are allergic to or intolerant to can cause inflammation and annoying symptoms that we often attribute to something else.  I blogged about my two favorite summer salads HERE.


I love anything that encourages being proactive with my health.  I recently ordered a starter kit from doTerra Essential Oils and I am loving learning about all of the health benefits oils have!  The consultant I work with is so knowledgable and helpful.  You can find her on Instagram @bella_luna_3. If you are interested in learning about oils with me, send me a message and I can connect you with her.  Or reach out to her on Instagram and tell her I sent you!


I love being creative and having time to let my mind wander.  This blog is just that for me; a creative outlet where I get to connect with so many interesting people and share the things I love.  Having a creative outlet other than work makes me better in all areas of my life.


I love to read and get lost in a good book.  People often ask how I read so much.  I literally carry a book with me everywhere I go.  That way, when I find myself waiting for one of my kids to get out of practice or sitting in a doctors office, I have my book with me to get a little reading in.  I think it is important to have hobbies that you can get lost in and reading is one that does that for me. You can see all of the books I read in 2016 here:


and 2017 so far here:


Those are the top ways I am caring for myself this summer.  What self-care routines do you follow?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Home Plate {Summer Salads}

I love having go-to salad recipes to make in the summer.  I find myself making them as a side for dinner and then eating the leftovers for lunch.  My two favorites are Caprese Salad and Strawberry Poppyseed Spinach Salad.  Both of these salads can be made with ingredients from Aldi except for the poppyseed dressing.


I could literally eat this every day.  I especially love when I can get the tomatoes and basil straight from my garden.  This salad just tastes like summer and couldn't be easier to make!

Tomatoes, sliced
Mozzarella Cheese (Buy as a ball and slice.  Yes, you can get this at Aldi! )
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt

Slice the tomatoes and cheese and stagger on a plate.  Tuck basil between layers.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

I've also made this as an appetizer with grape tomatoes, mozzarella and basil layered on toothpicks:


The combination of flavors in this salad is so good!  I created this several years ago and it has traveled with me to many a cookout.

Spinach Leaves, washed and dried (I like the baby leaves)
1/2 red onion, diced
2 English Cucumbers, diced
1 Quart strawberries, sliced
Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing (found at Wal-Mart, Kroger or HyVee)

Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Top with poppyseed dressing and toss just before serving.  Add chicken to make this salad a meal!

Do you have a favorite summer salad recipe?  I'm always looking for new ones to try!