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Road Trip Diary – 2

Remember that “no technology” rule? Yep. That’s gone. We think Carter has motion sickness becuase he ended up getting sick all over the place! The drive from Champaign to Nashville was fine. Watched a few movies and stopped to eat at Arby’s. Woah. Arby’s. Totally threw me for a loop by changing the bun on the kids sandwich. Luckily, Arby’s is amazing and has a very elaborate and up to date allergy info sheet. Chloe could enjoy her lunch. Quick stop in Paducha, KY, for Harley swag for papa Joe. Last night we checked into our Bungalow and headed over straight away to see friends John and Vicky. Their house…
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Road Trip Diary

Day 1: We left the house, after what seemed like a month of packing, and headed toward our first stop, Champaign, Illinois. This was a little over 4 hours and the longest the 4 of us have ever spent in the car together. While we have done a bit of travelling with the kids, this is our first real road trip with them. Along the way, we only stopped at McDonalds’ since I trust their bathrooms most and it’s on our “safe snacking list.” The kids did AMAZINGLY well in the car, thanks to these one-step ahead smushy trays. I was hesitant on the purchase, but well worth it to…
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Make A List to Stress Less

Have you ever had a million things running through your mind at once? Yes. We all have. Personally, I find it helpful to just write it all down. Making lists helps me de-stress, unclutter my brain, free my mind and focus on what’s really important; the needs of my family. If you follow me on Instagram, you see my week usually planned out for food, the refrigerator chalkboard doors are my go-to. On the right side is menu items and left side is usually snack ideas or “to-do” items. I also keep a paper planner to randomly jot down, “pick up Rx, get gas, Mani/pedi, send card, vacuum car” and…
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Campbell's Soup Sauce Starter

My pantry always has two or three Campbell’s Soup Sauce Starters in it. These are great for nights like tonight where nothing is thawed and I’m not in the mood to cook a big meal. At 4:30 we decided to make Chicken Marsala using the Campbell’s Soup Sauce starter and the microwave to thaw chicken. The allergy information is always clearly stated under ingredients, which I love. Thanks, Dad. Chicken Marsala  1 pound chicken Campbell’s Sauce packet Favorite vegetable Pasta, rice, or couscous Directions In a pre-heated 425* oven, add your vegetable to roast for 30-40 minutes. Tonight we did asparagus. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, baby carrots, etc. All taste amazing roasted.…
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My Passion for Writing this Blog

Today I received the phone call all nut-allergic (or any allergy/ailment/illness) parents dread. It was just as nerve wracking as I thought it would be. Rewind to this morning. I dropped Chloe off at school, like I always do on Wednesday mornings. Carter and I came home, did some yard work, had lunch and I put him down for a nap. While I was in the middle of emptying the dishwasher, I received a call from Chloe’s school saying they gave her the epi pen, she had been in contact with an allergen and 911 had been called with paramedics on the way. I’ve always imagined this phone call. But…
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Quick Rhubarb Crisp

When your lovely neighbor brings 5 pounds of rhubarb over, you definitely make a rhubarb crisp! Or pie, or sauce, or whatever floats your boat. Things are coming full circle for us this weekend. For the first time since we moved into our house 3 years ago, we opened all 4 blinds in our Master bedroom. Two of the 4 windows had blinds that were broken.  Its been pretty low on our priority list to fix them, but we finally figured out what we wanted to do. The Levelor website was great to work with and had very fast delivery! Miraculous to be able to see out all 4 windows…
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Preschool Cupcakes

Today is my daughter’s pre-k end of year party. As a parent of a nut-allergic student, I find it critical to the success of classroom events to be part of the Room Parent Committee. Unfortunately, Chloe was up all night sick, and is having a couch day with Paw Patrol. I feel so bummed for her that she is missing her party. This morning I did a quick food drop off and the other room parents took over at the party. We have a great room parent team this year, and I’m so grateful for these really helpful families. Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes 1. Bake the cupcakes as directed. I…
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Road Trip Snack Prep

Happy Thursday! This week has surged ahead of me. Big shout out to all the Nurses who work their butts off every single day! Your work is appreciated so much. Special thanks to the Nurses that my husband works with that make his day smooth and work so hard with such a challenging patient base. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Quick update here. As I’ve made a few trips to Target, I’ve started putting together our road trip snack items. This isn’t what I consider super healthy. It also isn’t super terrible. I think it’s right in the middle of “that’s not so bad.” Rewind 15 years, and this…
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Crockpot Veggie Baked Ziti

Has the month of May been as crazy for you as it has been for me? With the school year winding down, summer gearing up, family vacations and a slu of summer events on the horizon, I feel like I’m constantly on the go. It’s hard to be in the  moment and conscious of what we’re eating when we’re thinking about something else. The mornings are hectic. Wake kids at 6:45. Dress kids. Brush their teeth. Comb hair. Open drapes. (multiply this times 3 because I’ve already repeated myself 3-5 times and I’m starting to sweat. Already 1,500 steps on fitbit). Throw some clothes. Messy bun and brush my teeth.…
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Coconut Shrimp

Did you know that the FDA classifies coconut as a tree-nut; therefore, every time we use coconut we need to check on the manufacturing facility? Thankfully, Hy-Vee has a wonderful service department always willing to answer my allergy questions, as soon as possible. This time, they called me back in 4 minutes. Outstanding. The news they gave me about the Hy-Vee brand coconut made my week. The coconut distributor that they work with to put the Hy-Vee brand name on, is only made in a facility with other coconut products, no tree-nuts. The Hy-Vee brand was THE ONLY brand at the store that was NOT MADE IN A FACILITY WITH…
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Local Flood Caused by Spring Green Soup

Sort of, not really. More like my entire counter top was covered in pea soup looking liquid. If you follow me on insta, you saw the beautifully posed food, food-porn-like photo-shoot, that I so proudly (hahaha) displayed showing the array of GREEN loveliness that would soon nourish my cleansed + detoxed soul. Are you laughing yet? I hope so. Shortly there after, it erupted. The last step of the recipe told me to put the entire soup into a 12 cup food processor. I did that. What I didn’t know was that I put too much in (batching the soup is better), it was hot, and it needed to breathe. Thus, soup was spewing…
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Spiced Lentil Soup

A phrase that is so rarely uttered in this house at meal time, I did a double take. Day 3 of CCN healthy eating challenge is going well – the dinner recipes are what I really enjoy making. The smoothies for breakfast (why we shouldn’t drink all of our calories later*) and snacks aren’t my favorite, but keeping lunches simple with salads is easy and delicious. Last night was Lentil Soup + tonight we had Crockpot Chicken Tacos. The kids and husband LOVED both. This rarely happens, and I feel as though I’ve recently won the lottery, despite this darn head cold. The meals were SO easy to make, just about 20…
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Creamy Breakfast Smoothie

  Creamy  Berry Smoothie 1/2 frozen banana (remove the peel before freezing bananas, I learned the hard way, that was rough) 1/2 c frozen berries 1 stalk celery handful of greens, spinach, kale, etc. 1 tbsp. cashew butter (I substituted this with sunbutter/soynut butter) 1 tbsp. hemp hearts (no idea what this is, didn’t use it.) 1 tbsp. maca powder (no idea, didn’t use it) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 uncooked rolled oats (couldn’t find nut-free, so used quick oats. the difference is the processing, quick oats are more processed than a whole/rolled oat) 8 oz of unsweetened coconut milk ice Mix it all up – drink it. If you follow…
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Easter Brunch Menu with Kids

Well I ended up feeling really burned out before the holiday weekend, sorry for the late post! Anyway, just wanted to share an easy make-ahead plan for Easter. Perhaps you can use it at your “make-up” Easter if you had sick kids (ah-hem, yes, every. single. holiday. I swear) or out of town guests coming over. Easter Brunch Menu for 10:  Java Bay Coffee, ground and ready in the coffee maker for 12 cups Giada De Laurentiis biscotti (Recipe below) Asparagus + Mushroom Frittata (Recipe below) Orange Juice Grandpa Joe’s chorizo + egg scramble Mimosas Fruit salad (Recipe below) ———————————————————————– Biscotti Recipe Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour (target brand) 1…
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