Holiday Shopping: Staying Organized And In Budget

Holiday Shopping: Staying Organized And In Budget

Thanksgiving is over, the tree is up and twinkling with lights, your stockings are hung, and you have visions of a peaceful, relaxing holiday with your family. Singing Christmas carols, baking cookies, curling up under a warm blanket and drinking a hot cup of cocoa, maybe going on a sleigh ride or attending a party or two. But, unfortunately, the holiday season often takes on a much more frantic and stressful tone.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps: Simple, Healthy, And Delicious

Chicken Lettuce Wraps: Simple, Healthy, And Delicious

Chicken lettuce wraps are one of my favorite dishes to order when we go out for Asian inspired food. We spent so many Friday nights at a local eatery that I was inspired to recreate the lettuce wraps at home, and of course make them healthier. I love to have an arsenal of quick, healthy dinner ideas on hand for all of those busy weeknights, and this is one of my kids’ favorites. What kid doesn’t love a dish they get to assemble themselves? If your kids like spice, feel free to kick it up a notch. If not, simply omit the spicy ingredients, and enjoy. These lettuce wraps are just as delicious either way. Serve with a side of rice.
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Birth Stories: Neverending Labor Results in C-Section

Birth Stories: Neverending Labor Results in C-Section

Warning! This may be a little long, but it did take FOREVER for this little girl to grace us with her presence. And she was worth every bit of agony I went through.

My due date was November 12th, 2003. From the very beginning of my pregnancy, knowing my due date, I had hoped my first baby would share her birthday with my Dad’s birthday, November 14th. So, I never got that “itchy” feeling as I neared the end. I was so hopeful that as the 14th came, I began to feel contractions. Since this was going to be the first grandbaby in my family and everyone was very excited, I called them.

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Seared Chicken Breast With Lemon Garlic Pan Sauce

Seared Chicken Breast With Lemon Garlic Pan Sauce

I can’t even tell you how much chicken we eat in my house. It is definitely the inexpensive, go-to healthy protein for most families. So, I am always in search of ways to make it taste new and exciting. And who doesn’t love an easy, one-pan meal for those busy nights? A rich and tangy lemon garlic sauce perfectly dresses your usual boring chicken, taking it up a notch. A couple of my kiddos aren’t big on mushrooms and onions, but they love the flavor of this dish. And as most moms and dads know, you can easily scrape off the “visual evidence” and still achieve all the flavor. Besides, my husband and I like to save the mushrooms and onions for ourselves. Bonus: This recipe calls for wine which is always a good excuse for finishing the bottle with dinner.

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Thanksgiving: Focus On Gratitude

Thanksgiving: Focus On Gratitude

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and I am going to be honest with you. I’m not feeling very thankful. Things have been a little rough for me lately, and it’s not just the presidential election bumming me out. Every morning my kids head off to school, and I mindlessly go through the motions of my day. I exercise, I eat breakfast, I shower, and I sit down at my desk to work. I am trying to build a business that excites me, but I feel uninspired. I feel like I am desperately yearning to find something, anything to be passionate about, but most days I feel nothing.

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Warm & Hearty Chicken Bean Stew **

Warm & Hearty Chicken Bean Stew **

I live for soups and stews in the colder months, and this is one of my favorites! Tender chicken breast and a seemingly endless variety of beans will ensure that you leave the dinner table satisfied. There is nothing better than a crusty piece of buttered sourdough bread alongside a steaming bowl of this stew. I love to fill my home with the fragrant aromas of garlic, onions and tarragon as I makeup an extra-large batch on a Sunday afternoon. Even the kids get excited as it simmers on the stove. You can easily freeze the leftover stew for another day, or eat it for lunch throughout the week. But be sure to make a lot because you are guaranteed to love it as well.

**Don’t eat meat? Check out the vegan option at the bottom!

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Election 2016: Don’t Let Your Kids Roll In The Political Dirt

Election 2016: Don’t Let Your Kids Roll In The Political Dirt

As I am writing this, we are less than a week away from Election Day, and unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you are probably well aware of the shitastic spectacle our 2016 presidential election has become. Typically, I am not one to talk politics on social media or my blog because I don’t want to alienate anyone, and I know how quickly it can turn ugly. But as I read the headlines, scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, watch the election coverage on television, or simply listen to a conversation, I wonder how all of this will affect my children.

I know that every moment of every day they are just taking it all in. They see the things we see; they watch our reactions and our behavior. They listen to our conversations. I think about the messages my kids are receiving as they observe all of us. I question what they may be hearing at school or from their friends. And regardless of how things turn out, I want them to learn something from this historic election. I want them to leave this political season with lessons they can use for the rest of their lives. So…

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My Marvelous Meatloaf: Nothing Beats This

My Marvelous Meatloaf: Nothing Beats This

I know I shouldn’t brag, but my meatloaf is AWESOME! This is definitely a recipe which should be saved for a splurge day as it contains a lot of ooey gooey cheese. I spent several years denying myself and my husband meatloaf because I was worried the kids wouldn’t like it. Then, one evening I decided “What the Hell, let’s try it!” I’m glad I did because it is now a staple in our house. The kids ate it up and came back for seconds. I always serve my meatloaf with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and corn. Is there any other way? This recipe serves my family of six with leftovers because who doesn’t love leftover meatloaf? If you have a smaller family, split the mixture in half, and freeze the other half for another day. Tip: When you bake previously frozen meatloaf, let the mixture thaw in the refrigerator overnight first. Then shape into a loaf, and bake accordingly.

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