Even though our official homeschool schedule has been spotty for a few weeks, only yesterday did it feel like Christmas break officially began. It could have been because it was Kaitlyn’s last preschool day of the year or the fact that I put both both kids in the bath at 12:30 PM and we spent the rest of the afternoon pajama-clad in the kitchen with Christmas music playing.
Well they spent some of the afternoon in the kitchen, some playing with the princesses on the train, and some watching the Trolls Holiday Special while I knocked out some serious Christmas prep. Below is the make-ahead breakfast casserole, mom’s sweet potato souffle, spinach and artichoke dip, and buffalo chicken dip that I linked to in my three day Christmas menu. I also prepped two loaves of sourdough that I’ll bake this morning and make two more loaves to bake Saturday morning.
After some Instagram feedback, majority ruled that you can freeze buffalo chicken dip. Just freeze before baking, then bring to room temperature before baking it to eat. I’ll report back!
Though my house and food is coming together, my brain remains quite scatterbrained, so I’d love to share with you a few things that have been on my mind.
ONE: There is a six week challenge coming up at Burn Boot Camp that you need to know about. For only $99 you get 6 weeks of unlimited membership access to all Burn Boot Camp locations (including the free child care!) and more! Check out all the details here. If you’ve been curious about Burn, now is the time because this is the best deal available. The challenge begins on January 2, and if you’re a Lake Norman local, come workout with me (and Daniel and Jake) at the Mooresville location! I love Burn because it’s never the same workout twice, the awesome trainers adjust the workout to fit all fitness levels and injuries, and it’s the only fitness regimen the I’ve stuck with long term because I get results. Do it!
TWO: Are you a podcast listener? I listen to them occasionally but am always looking for suggestions on good ones. A few I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed include The Best of Both Worlds, which is a podcast by two working moms tackling topics specific to their daily struggled and triumphs. Also, Sarah just welcomed her third child- a sweet baby girl! I also listen to The Way I Heard it by Mike Rowe, Planet Money, Smart Passive Income, TED Health Talks, How I Built This, and Food Blogger Pro. I recently listened to my friend, Katy’s, episode on Food Blogger Pro about How to Maximize Your Blog’s Potential, and it was fantastic! Truly, Katy is such a wealth of information! Her knowledge base plus her giving heart and incredible work ethic enables her to offer so much value to her clients. I’m so grateful to know her and if you are a blogger, definitely check out her episode!
THREE: While I’m winding down 2017, I’m also starting to gear up for 2018. David and I are having our annual “State of the Family” meeting in early January (we’re such romantics) and I’m also trying to do a bit more planning of content here on the blog so I can write about the topics you guys care about. I’d really love your help! I created a sweet and simple reader survey and your input would be so valuable to me, so please click over and fill it out. I’d really be SO grateful!
FOUR: I’ve been all about the soups lately. Warm, comforting- right up my alley. There is a new local restaurant, Ramen Soul, that served incredibly flavorful bowls of ramen. Wanting to recreate that a home, David recently make the Damn Delicious Easy Ramen recipe. It was surprisingly easy and it was tasty, but I think next time we will be more comfortable playing with it a bit more- more vegetables for me, pork belly for David, and more spice for both of us!
I also made a batch of vegetable lentil soup for dinner recently and confirmed it’s a good one for kids- full of vegetables and palatable for young taste buds. For me, I like to add some cayenne or a splash of hot sauce, but if you are looking for a healthy, family friendly soup that is budget friendly, it’s a good one! Also, like any good soup, it’s even better the next day!
FIVE: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, your love has been invaluable to me during this time. My family’s hope and strength is growing daily. But this bullet point is not about us, it is about an incredible woman who reached out to me when I first mentioned (vaguely) our struggle. We’ve written back and forth several times via email and Instagram and with her permission, I want to share a piece of her story. Emily is 32 years old, married, and has an adorable two year old little boy. Through some tests over the past 5 weeks she has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She has started to write about her journey and I encourage you to follow along with her honesty and insight here. I have found strength in her words and have cried tears over her candor regarding her struggles. Click over to read her story and why she says there is a strange magic in cancer.
SIX: My mom shared this on Facebook the other day and I immediately took a screen shot. I shared it on Instagram and considered having it tattooed on my forehead because the words just resonate so deeply with me. If you look for the good, you’ll find it.
I hope you are all having a wonderful week during this busy time of year. Again, I’d really love you to take a few minutes to fill out my survey as I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring in this space!
Podcasts- do you listen to them? Which ones are your favorite?
Have you tried any soups lately that you love?
I’m making a list of ones to try in the coming weeks as I see our temperatures start to dip lower!