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Fa la la la la!


Over the past week or two, the christmas cards have been trickling in. Over the past few years, the quantity of cards we receive has dwindled. I don’t know about you, but I still really enjoy the old fashioned act of sending and receiving cards via snail mail. I love displaying them and reading what families have been up to. I love all of it.

While I hemmed and hawed for awhile about designs (I really loved this one and this one and this one), this year, instead of stressing out about taking photos of my children (and, inevitably, the dog), I found a great holiday photo card option that allowed me to use a collage of photos we took around the world in Epcot back in June.


And for something a little (extra) different, I went with a postcard option. It helped save on postage costs, given that we send 150 cards out each year.


Do you still send out cards? Do you do photo cards? What are some of your favorite styles? Its not too late to order your holiday cards through Pear Tree Greetings. They’re offering 40% off all cards right now with a $30 order. Just enter the code 12THDAY.

Disclosure: I am a pearista, but all opinions are my own.

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I saw this on Pinterest and I thought to myself, “no. not at all.”

A few years back, I reassessed everything on my plate and I came to the conclusion that this was more my motto

So I stepped back and slowed down and became more purposeful. But somehow, this summer, I am finding myself back Queen Busy Bee. I have all these ideas I want to blog about, but I’ve barely a second to sit at a computer, much less make sense of my thoughts and words.

We started off the summer with a bang – an 8 day trip to Florida that included a gymnastics competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports and 5 days at Disney and as soon as we returned, I moved into full-speed-ahead with my part in organizing our leg of a statewide amateur and pro bike race. And taking over officially as PTA President for my son’s middle school, which included working 2 days of forms + fees and a budgeting meeting. All while being a (mostly) single parent, because my husband has been traveling every week.

So needless to say, I am looking forward to our next 5 days at our friend’s lake house in Michigan, where I will focus on relaxing. Before I come back and jump into planning the next community event and dig into all the fun PTA duties and hopefully make a big dent in our summertime list, as well.

And just hopefully, I’ll fit some time in for blogging. A girl can dream.

Thanks for getting through that blather.

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Disordered | Coffee Date Friday


If we were having coffee today, I’d want to make you aware that this is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I have been writing post after post, but have been unable to hit publish. Maybe next year. But for now, my friend Stephanie has written a series of posts, baring her soul about her battle with disordered eating.

While I may not be ready to tell the full story, I can tell you this…. recovery is not one and done. It is an every day, several times a day decision. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. To quiet that voice. To listen to that stronger, healthier voice. The voice of ED will always live in my head, but what keeps me from listening, what keeps her quiet, are my children. Especially my daughter. Knowing that its imperitive that I not make any disparaging comments about my body, or womens bodies in general. That I show her that I can be fit and strong and load my body with lots of healthy, clean, good foods, while occasionally giving myself reprieve and indulging in fun treats like movie theater popcorn, french fries, homebaked goods, and frozen yogurt.

If we were having coffee today I’d plead with you…if you or someone you care for is struggling, contact NEDA to find a doctor or therapy program. Life is too short and too beautiful to kill yourself slowly.

Linking up with Alissa for Coffee Date Friday.

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Spuds. Tubers. Taters.



Every year for thanksgiving with my family, I am given the task of making the mashed potatoes. Its not because I am particularly fond of the spuds, but rather (I’d like to think) because I have gotten pretty good over the years at perfecting the art of the mashed potato.

I realize some of you may be rolling your eyes, but hold on. Seriously – there is some science behind the old taters. Bear with me if you will, and you will be guaranteed a better batch of mashed.

Here are my tips:

While I generally prefer a waxy potato (like a Yukon Gold), they don’t make the best mashed. They tend to take on a gluey consistency. The best potatoes are a mix of a waxy potato and a starchy potato (like a Idaho or Russet), as the starchy ones give that fluffy texture and really absorb the butter (yes, potatoes require butter. if you disagree, you best leave now).

Start off with salted cold water and evenly peeled (or not peeled, if that’s your thing), diced taters. Don’t ever drop your spuds into hot water, or they won’t cook evenly. Put it all in the pot and let the water and the taters heat together. And yes, salt is necessary. The potatoes absorb it while they cook.

Simmer, don’t boil those taters. Remember, you want them to cook evenly. Not fall apart and turn to mush prematurely.

Once your taters are cooked, you’ll want to drain them and then place them back into a pot on the stove over low heat to dry them. This is a step I learned from the Pioneer Woman a few years ago. It keeps them from being soggy, watery, or mealy. Ick. While they are over the heat, you can start to mash them.

Stick with a good old fashioned hand held, elbow powered potato masher of the metal variety. They produce the best results. Some people may prefer a ricer — I don’t own one, so I have no opinion on that. Whatever you do, don’t reach for an electric mixer. The blades can break down the starches in the potatoes, resulting in a gummy pile. You want fluff, right?

Warm your whole milk (or half and half. or cream. whatever you choose) before adding it to the mashed taters. But wait! Don’t warm your butter. Add cold butter, please. You want it to melt over the potatoes and distribute those fats and milk solids evenly. If you want to go a step further, use a butter from grass-fed, pastured cows (like this one). It’s sweetness is unprecedented…it won’t disappoint.

If you make them ahead of time, I highly recommend placing them in a crockpot/slow cooker and turning them on low to keep them warm, rather than microwaving them.

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All clean and all done! Days 5-6-7


The final days were filled with green smoothies (yum), eating up our leftovers, and making some of these other goodies as well as eating more batches of kale chips and sweet potatoes and snacking on lots of pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and homemade lara bars.
cherry almond love smoothie

trees and raisins salad
scrambled eggs with sun dried tomatoes, spinach, grape tomatoes, and avocado


chickpea patties with pico de gallo and mini cucumbers –another meal that the husband dubbed as fantastic and a winner. the kids refused to try it except for the small nibble norah had and didn’t care for because of the texture (understandable. she doesn’t like hummus and its similar, but more meaty). aidan commented that the ingredients were much like falafel (so why wouldn’t he try?). we explained that they eat these things when they aren’t mushed up, but no dice.

i had a reader comment that the human body is incredibly effective at ridding itself of harmful substances on its own through normal functions and that the only things you really need to “cleanse” yourself are lots of water and dietary fiber.  you may be thinking the same thing. if you are, please read my initial post, where i explained this cleanse. actually, cleanse is almost a misleading word. because when you hear the word, i think people immediately think of juicing cleanses. this is more of a “hey- let’s try eating whole foods and eating clean for a week and see how we feel.”  novel concept.  we felt great. amazing. seriously.  sure- its more work not to eat pre-packaged, processed foods. but you feel so amazingly better when your food is real and fresh and whole. its satisfying. you feel clear. you know what? i probably ate MORE this week than i normally do. but i still lost 3lbs. because i wasn’t stuffing all those sugary carbs like crackers and whatnot into my mouth whenever i was hungry. i was making calculated choices to eat kale with my meal instead of a baguette.  my husband was choosing these amazing foods instead of an entire frozen pizza at lunch. and guess what? he felt great all afternoon….energetic. clear. never felt the need to grab a soda or a snack at 3pm.

so give that some thought.  do you think you could handle a week without your indulgences? do you find yourself afraid to eat healthier? let me know…i am curious!!

and stay tuned…i have a little treat for anyone who is interested in the rooted wellbeing cleanse!

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