Panera Bread Potato Soup

potato soup

Hey springtime! Where did you go?! It was so nice here until a few days ago when it got a little chilly, rained, and then got even colder. So much for playing outside with kiddos, right mamas? ūüėČ Well, unless we splash in puddles and have some hot tea when we get back in.

I decided to make soups this week and next since it’s supposed to rain the rest of the week and be in the low 60s next week, which means like in the 40s at night. Brr! Those cold nights chill our bones. Well, mine anyway. My hubby and daughter don’t get cold until it’s like 20 outside. Ha! (An inherited trait I suppose.)

But when it gets cold and he asks, “What’s for dinner, honey?” I reach for this recipe. Lemme tell you guys. This recipe. THIS ONE. Savory, filling, easy, inexpensive, versatile, comforting. It’s one that will have you coming back for more and more and more, which is why it makes it back into the recipe rotation every fall and winter.

Panera Bread Potato Soup

4 potatoes
1/4 – 1/2 yellow onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 package of cream cheese

1.) Wash the potatoes. Peeling them is optional.
2.) Cut up potatoes into chunks and dice the onion.
3.) Put potatoes, onion, broth, and spices into a sauce pan or pot.
4.) Cook on medium heat until boiling and potatoes are soft
5.) Mash the potatoes inside the pan or pot to release their starches, which will make the soup thick.
6.) Lower the heat and mix in the cream cheese, whisking until well combined.

I like to serve it with this bread. SO GOOD! I usually double or triple this recipe and mix cut up or frozen veggies at step 3 and cooked chicken at step 6. Probably Definitely my favorite soup recipe!

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Fun Spring Dresses

Spring is here and NOW is the time to buy spring¬†dresses you guys! Almost everywhere has spring dresses on sale. And not like 10% sale. We’re talking like 30% – 70% off! I’ve seen some dresses that are originally $100+ that are now $30 – $40. That is some CRAZY savings my friends! Here are some of my picks!


Painted stripe dress // $90

Olive utility dress // $105

Flowy pink dress // $77

Floral maxi wrap dress // $27

Dolman maxi dress // $40

Green floral slit dress // $25

Dip dyed shirt dress // $77

French stripe wrap dress // $150

Floral ruffle maxi dress // $27

Short floral dress // $49

My personal favorite is the floral ruffle maxi dress but I also like the flowy pink dress. What’s your favorite?

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If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee…


one // This¬†classic cookie recipe¬†is one of my favorites.¬†They’re sooooo good! And you can also make it into¬†bars. I’ve never made them into bars but I bet they’re just as good as the cookies. And less messy, way faster, and easier! Also less dishes. What do you think – cookies or bars?

two // I’m super excited to try this¬†natural skincare line. The reviews are AMAZING and I’m really hoping it works for me! I don’t have terrible skin but I do have big pores (Thanks Dad.) and would love to have smoother skin. Me and every other woman, right? Ha!

three // I made this cucumber salad this weekend. Twice. Yep, so good that I made it two times. Easy, delicious, and it has feta cheese! I love feta you guys. So creamy and yummy and just plain good! AND I think it’s a salad that my family will actually eat. Yes, even my toddler!!! Well maybe not the feta but yes to everything else in it. ūüėČ

four // Speaking of food, I need to make this awesome slow cooker recipe again. The sauce is mouth-watering and I think it would be good in any stir fry dish. And HELLO! It’s a slow cooker recipe and all slow cooker recipes are welcome in our house. Less dishes, less time in the kitchen, more time with family. Um yes! Yes please!

five // These DIY mugs are gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous! I really want to make some! I might give it a go this weekend. What color would you choose? I’m thinking about a purple and a green.

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If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee…



I know I usually make these serious and deep. Yeah, yeah. But today we’ll talk about some lighter things.

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? Soooo good you guys! The cast puts on an amazing performance and the music is amazing! See the trailer here. Simply amazing!

So Levi’s CEO announced that we¬†should stop washing¬†our jeans. What do you guys think? Wash them or put them in the freezer?

The famous rock ‘n roll pioneer Chuck Berry died on Saturday. His first single came out in 1955 and I have several of his songs on my playlist. Iconic, rock ‘n roll legend who will be deeply missed.

Have you seen the trailer for Despicable Me 3? My hubby is really excited.

Also today is the first day of Spring you guys!!! YAS! Spring and fall weather are my favorite!

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Favorite Baby Names


First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in painful childbirth with no sleep to follow for at least 3 years. Wait. What? That’s not how the song goes? ūüėČ

But while childbirth IS painful and having no sleep sucks (let’s pause to praise God for coffee and tea…alright, moving along), you’ll find yourself sometimes losing more sleep just staring at your tiny newborn. You might cry during this one-sided starting contest. I usually did. Little eyes, faint eyebrows, tiny nose, itty bitty¬†mouth, delicate¬†fingers. Those little features that were grown inside of a human body. It’s amazing.

Little babies are just so precious, which means picking out a name can be stressful and extremely overwhelming. They’re going to have that name the rest of their lives! No pressure or anything but don’t screw it up, parents.

We spent MONTHS going through names, searching Google like crazies. I think we went through the first 6 pages on Google looking for girl names. No joke. It was intense. I love these names. My husband…well not so much. But who needs husbands anyway? (Just kidding babe. I love you. And I literally need you to make babies because, ya know, I can’t do it by myself. Haha!)


1.) Nessa – It’s a shortened version of Vanessa and I love it. I found it here and thought it sounded so sweet rolling off the tongue. Nessa.

2.) Nora¬†– I know a sweet little girl who was born not too long ago named Nora and it’s such a pretty name. Sort of like a modern version of the old-fashioned name Eleanor. I found it here.

3.) Olivia – I’ve basically loved this name since I was a middle schooler watching¬†Law & Order: SVU. Mariska Hargitay is amazing!

4.) Elizabeth – Um…Pride & Prejudice¬†anyone?! I read the book long before watching any of the movies. Loved it!

5.) Anya/Auna – I’ve always loved this name and never knew why. Until I was babysitting some kiddos one day and rewatched¬†Anastasia. Oh, that’s why. ūüėČ

6.) Grace РSimple, elegant, and pretty. This was on our list for girl names when we were pregnant with Lilly. We might see this one again if we get pregnant in the future.

7.) Harper – At first, I didn’t like this one. I was just kind of meh about it. But I must say that it’s grown on me.

8.) Amara – I met a girl that I worked with one summer named Amara. Such a pretty name so I stowed it away for possible future use!

9.) Iris – Pretty just like the flower and would be so cute to call a daughter named Iris “my flower” as a name of endearment.

10.) Penelope – Whimsical, pretty, old-fashioned, and perfect! I hope this one becomes more popular.


1.) William – I’ve got a thing for strong boys’ names. And this one I love. Simple, old-fashioned, but still relevant.

2.) Cole – Oh! And this one but my brother-in-law’s name is Cole soooo that might get a little weird, yeah?

3.) Bruce – It has nothing to do with¬†Finding Nemo or¬†Superman. I promise. Just a strong boy’s name that I absolutely love. And, best part, it’s husband approved! ūüôā

4.) Quinn – I’ll admit: when I saw it here, this was another meh one for me. But the more I started to say it, the more it grew on me, and the more I liked it. So it made it to the list.

5.) Colm – I had never heard this name before until I saw it here and I was automatically like yep. I like it a lot. Not so much love. But definitely a strong like.

6.) Oliver РVery similar to Olivia. Basically just the boy version, right? Also Oliver and Company with Oliver the cat.

7.) Darcy – Yep, another¬†Pride & Prejudice steal. “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” My heart.

8.) Emerson – This would never be husband approved but I’m so in love with this name!

9.) Micah – Not really biblically related at all even though he was a minor prophet. I really just like the name.

10.) Asher – I love this name! It’s basically like the boy version of Ashley, am I right?

What are your favorite baby names? Have you tried this name generator? It’s hilarious!

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Conversation Starters


It has been cold and snowing here in the Midwest lately!¬†Indoor play dates, movies, popcorn, baking (bread,¬†cookies, etc.), and lots of hot beverages like this new tea that I got (It’s awesome! Plum white is perfect!). Cold, snowy, hot beverage days also means more coffee dates with friends. And my husband when he’s got some time. That man works SO hard. Proud of him. ūüôā

Anyone else like going out for coffee with a friend or the spouse? I love it. In fact, one of my favorite dates with my husband includes going for hot chocolate during the cold seasons or cold drink during the warm seasons. Without a toddler in tow. I love her and enjoy bringing her with me, buuuut it’s nice to have an uninterrupted conversation with someone every once in a while. You know what I mean mamas?

In order to have a conversation, you need some communication. Questions to ask, something to talk about. I mean dirty diapers and how many times you can make cheese quesadillas in a week (I’ve got 4 days so far!) are great to chat about. But there’s got to be something more, right? I found some of these great questions here and the rest are from my own experience, awkward pauses and all. ūüėČ

1.) If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?

2.) If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

3.) If you could invite any 3 people over for dinner (dead or alive), who would you invite and why?

4.) What’s your favorite thing about yourself and why?

5.) Are you an optimist, pessimist, or realist? Give a real life example.

6.) What are some things you splurge on and why?

7.) What are some things you save on and why?

8.) If you could only have one hobby for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

9.) Describe your current life situation in 3 adjectives.

10.) What’s your dream house look like? Big, small, modern, old?

Happy Hump Day friends! ūüėÄ What’s your favorite drink to order on coffee dates?

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Things Kids Say


Has your kid said anything funny? If you’re a parent to young kiddos, I’m sure that they have! The phrase “kids say funny things” definitely applies to toddlers and young children. I bet that’s where the phrase was coined. Though I really have no idea.

Here are a few funny things that Lilly has said that crack us up.

Lilly was “reading” one of my books. In the back were a few other books the author has written. There was one that had a rock on the cover. My toddler’s response? “It’s a rock. Maybe it’s poop.”

Something that Lilly has been doing is going up to people and poking their butts while proclaiming, “It’s poooooooop!”

“Momma tampon. Daddy need a tampon.” Oh my gosh! This one was just the best!

Have your kiddos said anything funny recently?

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