A few years (?! whoaaaa) ago, I saw a post on a blog, Bess Be Fit, for Buffalo Marinara Shredded Chicken. The blog doesn’t exist anymore but the recipe was something along the lines of chicken breasts + buffalo sauce + marinara sauce + turkey bacon, cooked in a crock pot then shredded up. I’ve made it a few times and been totally obsessed (though never with the turkey bacon because I never have it, but that would probably be even better!) I like it because you get the buffalo sauce taste but it’s not crazy intense because the marinara sauce is more mild.


A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Mal Smiles for Buffalo Ranch Chicken Stuffed Peppers. Mal said the recipe turned out great but it was a biiiiit spicy (and I’m a total wimp so I know if something is spicy I won’t be able to handle it, haha) so I got the idea… why not merge the two buffalo recipes?


So I made…



Buffalo Marinara Stuffed Peppers!

adapted from Mal Smiles + Bess Be Fit



(2-4 servings*)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 green peppers (you could use fancy colored ones but green are always cheapest :) )
  • 1 c. (total) of buffalo sauce + marinara sauce combined. You can do equal parts of each, so 1/2 c. each (which I did, but it was sliiiightly on the spicy side for my taste) or if you want it less spicy do more like 1/4 c. buffalo + 3/4 c. marinara (which is what I might try next time)
  • cheese?! (if you live in the kinda house that enjoys that ;) )


1. Cook chicken, shred, and mix with sauces.

I cooked the chicken breasts in the crock pot just to make it easy– so I put the (frozen) chicken breasts in the crock pot, covered with the buffalo sauce and marinara sauce, and cooked on low for 8 hours. You could also bake them and shred them up, or just cook them in the crock pot with water or chicken broth and then shred then mix in the buffalo + marinara sauce… whatever floats your boat.



Here’s what my post-cooking chicken looked like.



2. Cut open the two green peppers.

Remove the seeds/guts, and put them in a glass baking dish.



Pepper guts.





3. Stuff peppers.

Add the shredded chicken + buffalo/marinara mixture inside the peppers.


4. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350.

If you want the peppers super soft, maybe do a bit longer. Oh, I kept the dish uncovered, too.


5. If you’re adding cheese…

Cook for 35 minutes, then top with the cheese, and cook for an extra 5 minutes.



*We ate these with rice and peas on the side, so we each only ate half of the pepper and had the rest for lunch the next day. It was reeeeally good both right out of the oven and as leftovers :) But if you just eat them without other sides, it’s probably only 2 servings total.



Side note: the buffalo sauce + marinara + chicken is an amazing concoction on it’s own, so I would highly recommend whipping that up for dinner sometime! Same directions as above for the chicken, cook it all together in the crock pot for 8 hours on low or 3-4 on high, shred it up, and enjoy! So good.



Are you a fan of spicy foods? Oooor a wimp like me? :)

Yesterday I had a realization… I miiiiiight be slightly paranoid about some financial things. But I think I’m okay with it. And I think you should be a little paranoid, too.


Back story:


I was cashing a check Mike wrote me for utilities (at home… on my phone… dang banking is crazy efficient these days) and then I put it in the designated spot where I keep checks and receipts from returns until I’m sure they’ve posted on my account.



yes, that’s the designated spot. haha. quite fancy, I know.


And that’s when I realized… is that smart or paranoid to keep things until they’re “officially” posted on your bank statement to verify that the check was deposited or the refund issued?


I vote that it’s smart.


I think in today’s world of online everything, it’s really easy to want to ditch anything paper ASAP. I know in my case, I just kind of assume that once I’ve made a return or cashed a check, it’s automatically going to show up in my account.


…But what if it doesn’t and I don’t realize it? What if there’s some sort of mistake and they cash Mike’s check for $7.30 instead of $73? What if the $14 I got for returning shoes at Target (not these; don’t worry) doesn’t actually show up on my card and I never realize that I didn’t get my $14 back? I don’t like just trusting that everything’s going to end up right… I like to be proactive and make sure that it does end up right :)




So here’s my system: I keep checks and receipts and anything that I need to verify in a stack near my computer. Actually, not so much in a “stack” but just shoved in the front of that file holder, in front of some homework from B-School {online business school!} and my “Things I Want/Need” list. (peeps on my email list, have you printed that out and started using it yet? I LOVE IT!!)


Once a week(-ish) when I’m looking over my online accounts (for fraudulent WWE charges, you know how it is) I take out that stack of receipts + checks + etc and double check that they’ve been properly posted to my account. I then rip up the cashed checks and receipts once I’ve verified that they’ve been taken care of :)



Another thing I do with receipts, for just general purchases that I make, is put them on my desk so that I remember to log them into my Excel Money Tracker in the morning (PS- want one of those trackers? Sign up for my Mini-Coaching this month and you’ll get your very own money tracker!!). If I think I might return anything, I put that receipt into the stack to keep until later. If I know I’m not going to need the receipt again, I rip it up after logging it in my tracker.


It isn’t hard, it doesn’t take me much time, but it gives me the peace of mind that I’m taking care of my money. I like that feeling. And I think you’ll like it, too. :)




Do you keep receipts + checks to verify that they’ve been posted to your account correctly?

Or am I just uber paranoid? ;)


PSSST- May’s Saving Money Challenge is being sent out at 11am EST today!! Be sure you’re signed up on my email list so that you’ll receive it, too! It’s a good one ;)


Okay- finally recuperated from our trip to Rochester this weekend :) We had the BEST time going back to visit– not going to lie, I do miss it a little bit. Just not the weather (it was in the 30s and SNOWING on Friday?! what on earth?! Its the end of April!!!)



First– I spent a good chunk of our drive time attempting to re-lace my shoes. I didn’t like how they originally came, and then I redid them, but still didn’t like it, so tried to figure out how to do it properly. Side note: I cannot remember the last time I had to re-lace shoes but I feel like I was always doing it as a child?? Hm. Anyway, here’s my final product for laces and also my favorite road trip stop ever– Sheetz :)




Somewhere in New York, I believe. The clouds looked cool. Also, it was hour ~5 of the drive and I was bored.




Friday morning. IT WAS SNOWING. Unacceptable, Rochester.




Mike and I spent Friday walking around our old neighborhood :) I miss it!!!




And hit up our favorite restaurant (Dogtown!) for garbage plates, mmmm. Mine (front) is baked beans, macaroni salad, a veggie hot dog, and vegetarian chili with mustard on top. Yeah. Amazing.




Then we went to a new brewery that opened JUST after we moved– Swiftwater Brewing! The beer was very good and the brewery was really nice inside. I was a fan.




Saturday was a bit sunnier & warmer so we went on a walk around this super cute lake (I call it a lake but Mike calls it a pond, I guess up there ‘lake’ is used with things like the Great Lakes, not small neighborhood bodies of water like this, haha)


We spent the rest of Saturday with Mike’s family + went to a play that Mike’s brother was in!! (Spring Awakening– anyone seen it??)


And Sunday was the (looooong) drive home. I forgot how long 6.5 hours in a car is… blah.


Now we’re home and finally recovered… but I might not be unpacked yet. Oops. :)



In other news, I’m pretty crazy pumped about something new I created for the Live Your Life {+ still save money!} coaching programs– a PRINTABLE money tracker!!


I realize that everyone is a total Excel addict like I am. But up until now, the only money trackers I had were Excel-based. NOT ANYMORE!! You now have the option to use the Excel version or the printable! Woo woo!!


PSSSST– if you’re interested in the Live Your Life {+ still save money!} coaching programs, signups are open until THIS FRIDAY, May 1 :)


Live Your Life {+still save money!} coaching programs:

Mini-Coaching {1-month kick start for your finances}

Budget Coaching {3-month total overhaul of your financial life!}

Is it spring where you are yet?

(or, for my Australian/southern hemisphere peeps, is it fall yet? :) )

Hope you had an awesome weekend! I’m still recovering from our weekend of travel and will share pics + a recap on Wednesday!! :) :)


Last week I was browsing Facebook, killing time, procrastinating cleaning the kitchen or something like that, and I came across a FB friend’s status announcing that she was taking a big (international) trip at the end of this year.



Not the trip she’s taking, but a picture of the beach trip we took with friends last year! Thought it was fitting for this post.


Among all the normal “omg, so cool!” comments, there was one interaction that caught my attention. I screenshotted it (I am an insane level of creepy, it’s fine, I already know) to show you:


dont be jealous

If you can’t tell, the blue one is the girl who’s going on the trip.


I was just so impressed at that answer that I knew immediately I wanted to write a post about it :)


Here’s the thing: that’s my EXACT belief when it comes to money! You’ve heard me say this a million times before, but you MUST have financial priorities!! That’s exactly what the girl responded with, basically– she’s prioritized spending money on travel by cutting some of her spending and taking extra shifts at work.


I kind of hate that saying, the “I’m so jealous of you” thing. (side note: I know I say it to people too and I don’t really mean it in a bad way), but when people say it to me it makes me feel weird. It makes me feel like I’m super special and am doing something that other people couldn’t possibly do.


I remember that feeling when I announced that I was quitting my job to start my own business. There were a few “I’m so jealous!” comments that I got and it kind of made me uncomfortable and I wanted to say the same thing that girl above said! I worked my ass off to save up enough money so that I could do it– and YOU can totally do that too if you want it bad enough!


I truly believe that if you prioritize your spending and decide what’s truly important to you, whether that’s a huge trip across the world or quitting your office job to start your own business, you CAN do it! It might take a lot of hard work and it might take a long time, but it is possible!


So how about this. Let’s stop being jealous of other people, and let’s go after what we want in life! If you see someone doing something that you want to do… prioritze that in your life and go after it! You CAN take that trip. You CAN quit your job and start your own business.


After all… you CAN do anything you want– but maybe not everything ;)



What are you prioritizing in your life right now?

Me? Keeping my spending low so I can continue working for myself :)


WOOOOOOO we are back in Rochester for the weekend! First trip back since we moved in mid-January– crazy!!!


Mike and I drove up yesterday afternoon so that we could spend all day today exploring our old neighborhood and eating all the delicious food (cough, garbage plates) that we have been missing!


I’m excited to see if spring has really come to Rochester yet– I went through my pictures from last year around this time and really hope we get to see all of it again! Here are some of my favorites from last year:



rochester-neighborhood-rutgersThis was at the end of our street- it was my favorite sight! The colors don’t really come through that well in this picture, but everything was SO vibrant and I just loved that little leaning tree :) I think it fell/got knocked down though… :(




There were so many tulips last year!




Like… everyyyywhere. I loved it :)




Those colors!!




I got to walk by these pretty trees when I went to Starbucks :)




How amazing is that sky?! So blue!! One of the few sunny Rochester days ;)



I hope it looks just as pretty as it did in these pictures!!! Ahhh can’t wait! :)



What are you up to this weekend?