Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dill Chicken Broccoli Braid Recipe

*Originally posted August 10, 2012, but today I'm working on this book down here, and I'm going to figure out how to make this chicken broccoli braid a quick one so it will fit in with the cool kids in the busy cookbook.

You can call me Kerrie Childs if you want. Or Kerrie Stewart. Or Kerrie Ray. Or Kerrie [fill in the blank of a famous cook, chef or cool person]. Today I'm going to share one of my favorite recipes with you. It is not light. It's kinda healthy. You can make it light. You can make it healthier.

Cube 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook them in some olive oil and garlic til they are done.

Toss 'em in a big bowl. To the bowl, add like 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 package of frozen broccoli, 1/2 cup mayo, 1 brick of cream cheese (light) and a little salt and pepper and maybe some dill. You can use asparagus or spinach instead of broccoli. Substitutes are acceptable at my house and yours.

This is what your mixture will resemble.

Bust out 2 tubes of crescent rolls and lay them side by side on a big cookie sheet.

Roll the first one out like this and pinch the seams together.

Splat on your mixture like so.

Bundle it up like a baby. Yeah, I know it's called a BRAID, but have you ever tried actually braiding one of these bad boys? It's hard, and I'm lazy and easily frustrated with food. Mine would end up across the room ... again.
Cook it for like maybe 15 minutes (?, just watch it so it does not burn!) at 300 degrees. You might want to put some foil on top so it does not burn. Otherwise you end up with a burnt top, a kindof done bottom and some doughy insides, trust me. But maybe that's just my 1960s oven?
Yeah, I still haven't finished scraping off the paint I started like 7 months ago.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Learning To Live A Fun Lifestyle

If you have decided that you could probably benefit from having a little more fun in your life, you're absolutely not alone. Most people could probably do with having more fun, and it is a shame that so many people struggle so much to make this simple thing a part of their ordinary lives. If you are hoping to be able to do this there are a few things you will probably want to focus on first and foremost, and those are what we are going to have a look at in this post. Here, we will discuss some of the really important things that you will need to think about if you are going to want to try and live a life which is considerably more full of fun. You’ll find that adopting these immediately leads to a much more fulfilling kind of lifestyle.

Affording It

First up, one of the first things that you will probably be wondering is how you are actually going to be able to afford this particular kind of lifestyle. It’s true that it is probably going to be challenging to be able to afford it, but the truth is that you will always be able to make it work if you just take a closer look at how you are currently approaching money as it is. The truth is that most of us could easily improve the way we approach money, and that could make it easier to afford any kind of lifestyle we want. But if you are still finding it difficult to imagine how to do this, bear in mind you might also be able to get paycheck advances and other kinds of borrowing in order to make ends meet while having fun.

Having Enough Energy

You need to have a lot of energy if you are to truly enjoy the fun lifestyle, and that is something that a lot of people either feel they have or do not have. Of course, that's not quite accurate, and you should find that you can develop this in yourself if you are currently lacking, but in either case you will need to make sure that you have the energetic means to keep up with the lifestyle. If you can do that, you are much more likely to make much more if it, which will certainly mean that you can enjoy your lifestyle all the more no matter what.

Making Plans - But Being Spontaneous

Finally, you will need to be able to make a few plans here and there if you are going to live an enjoyable and fun life, and that is something you can’t easily overlook. The more able you are to plan for such enjoyments, the more likely it is that you will be able to make them come true. But bear in mind as well that there is plenty to be said for the act of being spontaneous, as that is often a much better way of having fun. You need to be able to strike a balance between these two if you are to make it work out as well as possible.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

How to Live Healthy on a Budget in Las Vegas

You had a financial setback, and now you're forced to make another hole in your fiscal belt and tighten it. You can still enjoy your Las Vegas lifestyle. It only means that you'll need to be a tad frugal with your spending. You'll need to live within your means, save a lot more, maybe pay off any of your bad credit loans in Vegas and while you're at it, live healthier.  

There are many ways to live on a budget without necessarily putting yourself or your family out. Let's put it this way, you will have to do without certain luxuries for some time, but this move will pay off in the long run. For instance, you can cut down on gas if you own two or more cars by only using one, by carpooling or, better yet, catch the bus. Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use.

Living a healthy life on less income can be challenging. The reality of the matter is, going green is sometimes more expensive compared to other varieties available in the market. For example, a bag of organic detergent costs twice as much or maybe more compared to the price of your regular detergent! Here's the kicker: where there’s a will, there is a way. Only this time, you need to be realistic while approaching some of these suggestions.

How to Live Healthy on a Budget in Las Vegas:

Buy food that is versatile

You are, in a nutshell at a point in your life that you need to face your limits by knowing what's possible and practical. Having staple foods in your pantry not only increases your odds of ever going without a meal at any point but they are affordable too. They are also products that can be used as an accompaniment with other meals when you need to. Staples come in such a wide variety and loaded with essential nutrients such as protein that so many choices will spoil you.

Dried or canned beans: Cannellini, Garbanzo, Kidney, Black beans, and chickpeas are great examples of food to keep in your pantry. These are all versatile beans that you can make stews, soups and incorporate them in delicious warm or cold salads. Roast the chickpeas and you have a delicious snack. Make hummus as a spread or a dip. Chickpeas come in flour form too, to make wicked flatbread!

Enjoy restaurant-style meals at home

It’s time to stop dining out! One meal at a restaurant can afford you ingredients that you can try to recreate at home.

·        Pasta is cheap

Pasta dishes, for example, are simple to make and you know exactly what goes in it when you cook it yourself. Better yet, you can make an even healthier version of the dish. Give it a go.

·        Don't be wasteful

If you happen to go out, you can ask for your leftovers in a doggy bag. Freeze them for another day.

·        Bulk it up

Cooking in bulk is another way that you can save up. Plus, I always feel that meals taste even better when they are leftover.

Buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables

These are just as healthy and nutritious as the fresh ones, only much cheaper and the best part is that they have a longer shelf life and keep well while frozen.

Look for sales

You do not have to pay full price for all your products. Supermarkets and health food stores mark down the prices at the end of the day so that they can move certain products faster, especially if they are perishables like fruits and vegetables. Look out for the end or mid-month sales on shelve products too. Always use the coupons that you find.

Buy what you need

Impulse buying, unfortunately, is a common thing. You set out to buy a few items on a budget, but you end up blowing it all on impulse. While shopping with your friends makes for exciting conversation and company, I have found out that you both may not be on a tight budget and an outside influence to buy more is always a possibility. Take my word for it; I have done it before, only to realize that I don’t necessarily need all the extras that I ended up buying.

Ditch the soft drinks and drink more water

Water is very beneficial to a healthy lifestyle because, it has no carbs, no fats or sugars. It’s great, mainly as a weight loss tool as it acts as an appetite suppressant. Plus, you save a whole lot by not buying those carbonated drinks, coffee, and alcohol that are full of calories. When you are dehydrated, it affects your digestive system, your skin, and your energy levels. Water is also a known cleanser. So why would you spend your money on any other drink?

Get Outside and Enjoy the Vegas Weather on a Low Budget

Exercising is one of the best ways that you can live healthier, and even better yet, on less income.

1. Stop paying for a gym membership

Remember when you used to spend an insane amount of money only to be indoors and running in the same spot on a treadmill? Alternatively, you drive to the nearest spa only to sit in an enclosed room, sweating up a storm, just so your pores can breathe? You can do all that, outside.

2. Get into a regimen

Start by walking to the bus. Have a jog around your neighborhood. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Make lifting weights out of sand buckets or better yet, use your kids as weights.

3. Ride your bike

That expensive bike that's been collecting dust in your garage take it out for a spin!

Stick to This Healthy Lifestyle Guide

Remember, you will not always be living on a budget. Circumstances change, and things turn around for the best. However, you can rest easy knowing that through it all, you managed to live a healthy happy life on less income.

Friday, February 15, 2019

*FINAL* March 2019 Free Lego Monthly Mini Build Registration

I think it really says something that I've been posting about this for years and the same employees are there every single time we go. Lego is a great company!

wrote this FOREVER ago, it seems like, about the LEGO Store monthly mini build! Things have definitely changed. I used to have to wait in line for a long time with a couple of little ones but now they are older and easier!

After the crazy waiting-in-line like for a rock concert only with little kids fiasco month after month, Lego stores changed things up for at least 6 months and the employees would just hand you your mini build kit if you had gotten a card for the kit when you first got to the line.

HALLELUIA! The first time they did that I almost cried. We got our kit, grabbed ice cream and went home to build the kits, saving an hour (at least) of our lives!

The last year or so, however, they have changed it again. They don't do this to be a pain in your butt. They do it to try new things to make as many customers happy as possible because they are Lego and they rock like that. You are basically RESERVING your mini build.

So you have to mark your calendar or you'll forget to register like I do. For instance, today is January 15 and I need to register for the February mini build. You can now pick Tuesday times or Wednesday times.

Lego, like essay writing, is a fun and tricky art of making puzzles and developing yourself at the same time. It adds such a new dimension to your daily activities.

Sign up HERE for the current mini build.

Sample calendar like they hand out at the build:

One August I was able to take my own kids plus my friend's kids for a total of 7 kids building :-)

You can only sign up 4 kids per session per VIP account email. You can sign up for a VIP account here (worth it ... VIP points add up and you get free Legos!). I am not messing with getting two VIP cards and we only need 4 kits anyway. Callie is not thrilled about building Legos and instead uses them as decorations (Heartlake Grand Hotel, anyone?). BUT ... the sweeties at Lego usually offer her one anyway. And we take it because they are cool!

TIP: Make sure when you do the final page of registering to CONFIRM that the top of your page does not say that you are confirming to be on the WAIT LIST or you do not have a spot! Go back in your web browser and get another spot FAST!

FINE PRINT: In order to participate, guests must be between the ages of 6-14. All guests will be expected to complete the build in the store. Registration on a first come first serve basis. Stores will no longer accept walk-ups on the night of the event.

Monday, February 11, 2019

How To Cope With Meeting the Needs of Aging Loved Ones

One of the guarantees of life is that it’s always changing, and change can be tough. Watching a parent or close family member go from being your support system to being dependent on you can be overwhelming for many adults. If you’re moving into this new chapter in your life, here are some tips to help make the adjustment less stressful.

Make a Plan for Long-Term Care
Start looking now for an in home caregiver or retirement community. Research what’s available in your area and compare options based on your budget, desires and needs. It can be a relief to know that this decision has already been made before the situation becomes urgent.

Find New Activities to Enjoy Together
As loved ones age, their physical and mental capabilities may change. Many of the traditions that were once enjoyable may become more difficult for them over time, and this can be disheartening. Instead of struggling to do the same things and feeling disappointment, find different ways to enjoy your time together. You might discover a way to make new memories that are even sweeter than the old ones.

Seek Support From Friends and Professionals
While caring for an older relative is a natural phase of life, it can still take a toll on you mentally, physically and emotionally. Reach out to friends with similar experiences who can offer encouragement and advice. Ask close companions if they’d be willing to help one day (or just one hour) to give you a break. It may be beneficial to find a professional counselor to help you through the process.

As you walk through this phase of life, prepare yourself for what’s ahead of you. Continue to research ideas and options as you make important decisions for your loved one. Remember, taking care of yourself can help you take better care of those you love.


Building Your Dream Home

Deciding to build a new home is such an exciting part of anyone's life. There is the thrill of a new chapter in life and the fun of sifting through countless blueprints to find the perfect house to call home. Once you decide on the perfect location and the perfect plan, it is time to find a building team that can make your dream a reality. For new home builders Jacksonville FL, there are many things to consider before starting on a new construction.

Location, location, location

Perhaps the most important step when you decide to build a home is to decide where you are actually going to build the house. So many decisions come into play when trying decide where you want to live, but it is always wise to do some basic research before settling on a particular location. Find out if the area you plan to build is in a flood or tornado zone, and make sure that the community is a safe one for you and your family. There is also the decision to live in a rural area with more space or a location closer to a town or city with convenient access to work and shopping.

Size of the Home

When deciding what size home to build, take into consideration your family size. If you are a single person, you may not need all the space that a family of five would require. If you are a young couple that is thinking about expanding the family in the future, make sure there is room to grow in the house you design. Another point to consider is how easily the blueprint you choose could be added on to in the future if you ever decide to add a new addition to part of your home.

Deciding to build a home is a great adventure full of decisions, but in the end, having your own place to call home is like no other feeling. With your dream house plan in hand, now is the time to search for the perfect team to create your perfect home.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Happy 14th Birthday to Callie! + Leah Darrow + Callie's 12th and 13th Birthday Parties

So today is my daughter's 14th birthday! She is my third child and my first girl. I'm just now posting her 12th and 13th birthday party pictures! Today is ice with a coat of snow in the Midwest so I'm not sure what we're going to do to make today special for her (she wants chocolate chip waffles, which I can do!), but we'll think of something!

Her party is tomorrow night and she's still having girls-only parties. It's going to be a huge sleepover and she's very excited! Recently she and her sister split up their single bedroom into two so she has her own space to decorate. Callie has always been fashion-conscious and knows how to decorate, so she is loving customizing her space! She is a woman of virtue!


We went to the thrift store up the road from our old house and got a necklace for each guest for her 12th birthday party.

I snuck out to the bakery for macarons (NOT macaroons), something she has always been fascinated by.

I got a bunch of different fancy flavors and a swan … is that like an ├ęclair? My girl has always wanted to go to Paris.

Here are some of her friends plus her sister Eva.

Also in February 2017 the kids went to see Leah Darrow speak, former America's Top Model contestant and amazing Catholic woman!
Happy 13th birthday to Callie in our new house with her dad!

Callie's 13th birthday party friends!

How To Choose The Best Childcare Option For Your Little One

There are different options parents can choose from for childcare such as family day care, in-home care and a child care center. No matter which choice you decide upon, as a parent you are tasked with finding a provider you can trust. If you are looking for reputable child care centers near me Tampa FL, consider letting your child attend the center found at Below are some tips for finding a good center to allow your children to attend.

Visit Centers

If you plan to put your child in a daycare center such as toddler newmarket, it is important to plan a visit beforehand. Take note of how the children are interacted with. Ideally, good caregivers are participating with the kids they are watching. Also, be sure there is a good caregiver-to-kid ratio. Some states have specific laws regarding how many kids a single caregiver can watch.

Ask For Commitment

A baby will need consistent, predictable care. According to the experts, this is how a baby or smaller child will be able to get a secure attachment to those who are taking care of them. If you are considering a center, find out how long each of the current caregivers has been working there or if they have a high turnover rate.

Perform Policy Check

Before you commit to a caregiver or daycare center, be sure their philosophies on certain topics are the same as yours. Discipline is one of the more important topics that you and your child's caregiver should be on the same page about. If you don't believe in spanking your child, you won't want to leave your child with a caregiver who gives them out for bad behavior.

Solve Problems Quickly

Conflict at some point is inevitable with you and your child's caregiver. It is crucial to address any problems as soon as possible. Ignoring any issues can leave them to grow until it may not be something that is fixable any longer.

These are just some of the things that need to be looked into when searching for a daycare option for your child. Your child is the most important person in your life. They need and deserve adequate care when you are not with them.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Putting Together Festivities and Celebrations for Everyone

When you are in charge of planning a party, you may need some help with everything you have to do.  You may face tasks like finding a venue at which to hold the celebration, hiring a caterer, and even choosing a DJ to play songs and provide entertainment.  Everything may seem like it is too much for you to handle at one time.

Rather than skimp on the details, you could get help to plan the perfect night of festivities by hiring a company to assist you with some of the larger tasks.  By outsourcing some or all of the jobs to a professional assistant, secretary at your business, or party planning companies ny hosts like you could pull off a night to remember without all of the worry and hassle. 

Choosing the Venue

Perhaps the most pressing issue you need to deal with is finding a venue that is large enough to accommodate the number of guests you expect to attend the party.  Depending on the number of people invited, you may need to reserve a place like a banquet hall or large reception room.  You may even want to hold it outside if the weather is expected to be nice.

However, party venues tend to book up quickly.  You also may only know of a few places where you can hold the party in your area.  Rather than despair about not getting a place, you could have the company locate the venue for you. 

The staff with these companies tend to know of more places where parties can be held.  They may be able to get you one for the budget you have in mind.

Other Details

The company can also assist with smaller details like finding a DJ to play songs or possibly even hiring a band.  The staff members can also recommend caterers and give insight on what kinds of decorations to use during the party.  You avoid having to figure out all of these details on your own and get professional help putting together a night that guests will not soon forget. 



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