Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Vacation is Here

20 Nov

My favorite week of the year has arrived; Thanksgiving!!! Just the mention the word makes me want to dress in full pilgrim gear and strut around the next few days. However, that wont be happening!!!

I left this morning for my in-laws house in Manhattan Beach. This place has become home to me. If Erik and I had the means to move now, we would do it in a flash, but until then, I come up here for vacation.

After we arrived and got everything situation, the babies went down for a nap. You know what that means… Time for a run on the strand. It was the most beautiful afternoon and for any runner, a beautiful day equals… a run you don’t want to end. Ā 5 miles was NOT long enough, but I am getting up in a few hours to do it again:)

After my run, I came back and went right to the kitchen. I decided to make dinner for everyone. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN šŸ™‚ Dinner was so good, easy and clean, I had to share. Ā  So here we go!

Summer’s Speciality Salad

Ingredients

1 bag of organic Arugula

I Granny Apple peeled and diced

I cucumber peeled and diced ( I only use 1/2 , unless I am doubling the salad)

1/2 red onion diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 avocado cut in thin pieces

3/4 cup of almond & dried cranberry mix

Directions

* Wash Arugula and put in a salad bowl

*Dice the apple, cucumber, onion and tomatoes and pour over Arugula

*Toss the salad

*Top with the avocado, almonds and Ā dried cranberries

*Once served, feel free to use your favorite dressing. I personally like Trader Joe’s Vinaigrette. However, tonight we used Strawberry Vinaigrette and it was DELIC!

Clean Chicken Enchiladas

By replacing the chicken with turkey, you have a great meal for the left overs you will have in a few days!
Ingredients

8-10 Tortillas ( I don’t use flour, so I go with whole wheat or corn)

2 cups cooked diced chicken (Fresh chicken is the best)

1 can of salsa

1 block LIGHT cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)

1 green pepper diced

1/4 cup of milk

1 cup of cheese

Directions

* Stir chicken, bell pepper, creme cheese and 1/2 cup salsa in a saucepan on low heat until creme cheese is melted.

*Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-side down in lightly greased 12×8Ā baking dish.

* Stir cheese and milk in a sauce pan on low heat until smooth. Pour sauce over tortillas; cover with foil.

* Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.Ā Pour remaining salsa over tortillas.

Please note, you do not have to make the creamy cheese sauce that I did. I would prefer to top with cheese alone.

SERVE AND ENJOY!

Also, green beans are great with this

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30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 15

16 Nov

Today I am thankful for: My mom!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plansĀ I have for you,ā€ declares theĀ Lord, ā€œplans to prosperĀ you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Growing up I never realized how amazing of a woman my mom was. I thought she was pretty embarrassing and dorky. She wasn’t concerned with the latest fashion trends or what kind of car she drove, quite the opposite; she cared what kind of mom she was.

It wasn’t until I turned 16 that I began to see her a new light. After multiple affairs and always coming and going, my dad left our family for the last time. She ran a daycare out of our house so she could be home with my sister and I. She finished high school, but that was her highest form of education. My dad was the “main bread-winner,” so I worried about how her life was going to change. I was afraid that she was not going to be able to provide for herself and that she would end up going back to him because that was all she ever knew. I under estimated this woman. I had no idea that behind a humble and modest outward image, lye a fierce, bold and courteous fighter inside. She was about to show me lessons in life, I will never forget.

When we lost our home and car, we were forced to move into my Grandparents house where the three of us shared a room. She was working three jobs making minimum wage, saving money for a new car and eventually her own apartment. Ā Nothing in life seemed fair or made any sense to me, but my mom never lost hope. She would constantly pray. She would find the good in a bad situation and everyday that she woke up, she was fighting. To me, she was fighting a battle I could not understand, but she did and that was enough to get her through some very dark days.

I can’t recall exactly how long after we moved in with my grandparents that she had saved up for her own apartment, but I wont forget that day. As she turned the key and opened the door to her one-bedroom apartment, she was beaming with gratefulness. Even though the journey that led her to that front door was paved with heartache, betrayal, suffering, loss and brokenness, she remained thankful and confident in the promise that God knew the plans He had for her. She put her faith in that promise and knew that somehow and someway, He was going to give her pain purpose.

Fast forward 15 years… Today my mom is a much different version of the woman she once was. She is a living breathing example of a what can happen to a person’s life when they choose victory over defeat, thankfulness over self-pity, and God’s will over their own. She taught me one the most important lessons a parent can teach a child; when you are going through hell… keep on going.Ā 

My mom will never really know how much I admire and honor her. She is everything I want to be. She is not only strong but she is hilarious, beautiful, caring, generous, compassionate, loving, honest and enduring. She took a bad situation and allowed it to make her better. She is not one to wait for things to change… oh no, she just starts changing them. She makes the people around her, strive to be better themselves, simply by the way she lives her life.

Mom, thank you for never giving up. Thank you for being hard on me when I was chasing the ways of this world. Thank you for Every.Single.Prayer, sent up to heaven on my behalf. Thank you for seeing more in me than I was able to see in myself. Thank you for choosing to love me when there wasn’t even much to like. Thank you for loving Jesus more than anything and for showing me what a real mom looks like. You are my inspiration and I love you to the moon.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 8

10 Nov

Day 8- Today Ā I am thankful for: The important lessons I learn from my kids

I love this child of mine! This was a conversation we had the other night while she was at her dad’s house and as her mom, I can appreciate where her heart was when she wrote it.

School has never come easy to Bre. Ever since she was little, she has had to work harder than most to pass tests, ace quizzes and keep a GPA higher than a 3.0. As a mom, it is never easy to sit back and watch your child struggle. On occasion, I have cried with her as she sat at the kitchen table with her pile of homework so frustrated and ready to give up.

I am very sensitive to this issue and I have always made it a point that Bre knows that I am not AS concerned with the grade itself, as I am the effort put forth into getting the grade. See, I grew up in a house with a father who could not read or write and a sister who had severe dyslexia. I watched both of their struggles and although school and learning came very easy to me, I know that it does not for many. My parents made it very clear that if my sister and I were trying our very best, studying, paying attention in class, doing all that we could, within our ability, that was what mattered. It was a valuable lesson that I have carried into my own parenting.

So last night, we all gathered around the fireplace in our home and with dimmed lights and “Disco Inferno” playing in the background, Bre took each test and or quiz that she felt made her a “failure,” and watched it go up in flames. As we sat there I made it very clear to both my girls that grades do not define success or failure; their attitude and character does. By burning those pieces of paper, she was letting go of what she felt made her dumb and stupid and was going to start over with a new attitude and outlook. She was going to meet with her teachers and come up with ways to help her feel better about taking tests and she was going to give it ALL she’s got.

I love that this lesson is not just for an 8th grader, but for her 35-year-old mom too. So many times, I’ve put my value and worth in what I have on my resume, only to realize later, that is NOT what defines me. My heart, morals and character do.There are so many “things” I fail at, but I cannot let those failures get in the way of what I want to accomplish on this earth. I have to press forward, doing the very best that I can, knowing that mistakes are simply lessons in disguise.

“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.”

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day’s 2, 3 & 4

5 Nov

I know, I know… I am WAY behind on blogging these ones. Let me tell you that the past few days have been a bit chaotic. On Thursday evening, while talking to my mom, my I-phone decided to commit suicide. Out of nowhere, the black screen of death came on and so for 2 days, I have been without a cell phone. To my own dismay, it has been wonderful, with the exception that my phone holds all my running music, so I had to use Erik’s the past few days for my runs. No biggy. So that leads me to catching up on my “30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge.” I am going to dive right in and get caught up.

Day 2- I am thankful for… “The Apple Store”

As an I-phoneĀ  and MAC Book owner, the Apple store is like having a little bit of heaven on earth. Even though they were unable to salvage my other phone, I am the proud new owner of the I-phone 5. I have no idea how it really works, but on our drive home this evening, I plan on finding out.

Day 3- I thankful for… “Running

Running is my sanity. I know it sounds strange, but I am not sure how my life would be if I was not a runner. There is never a bad day, that is so bad, a long sweaty run, cannot make a little better. Some people do not call running a real sport, but until you have run 26.2 miles…. STRAIGHT, no stopping… you don’t understand my sport. I am thankful for the many “traits” this sport has taught me.Ā  I have learned to endure and push through pain. I have learnedĀ to be diligent and patient. I have learned self-control and not to give up. I have leaned that pain is temporary BUT quitting is forever. I have learned that I can do something I never thought possible. Running as allowed me to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. It is my sanity, antidepressant, prayer time, mom time and calorie burner…. all in one.

Day 4- Today I am thankful for… “Family Dinners”

Tonight we celebrated my brother in-laws birthday. We gathered around a large, long table and not only enjoyed delicious food, but the company of one another. We laughed as we talked about stories from the past. Smiled as we looked forward to our plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas and made new memories. There is something to be said for “family dinners” they are good for the soul. It seems that whatever avails you, is minimized when you are in the company of family, friends and food.

So, until tomorrow… Find something you have to be thankful for TODAY!

Many Blessings ~ Summer

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 1

2 Nov

This is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love everything about this season. The cooler weather, warmer clothes and shorter days. I love sipping wine by a fire with the smell of pumpkin filling my house. I also love that the month of November holds my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving. (I swear, if I believed in other lives, I would think that I was a pilgrim.) A few years ago, I started a little tradition where each day, starting November 1, I would write one thing I was thankful for. It is usually in the form of a Facebook status or a card to a certain person, but this year I am also going to post it on my blog! Lucky you šŸ™‚ So, here we go:

Day 1: Today Ā I am thankful for… MY SISTER

Growing up, we could not have been more opposite. She was four years younger than me and quite frankly, I didn’t like her much. She was always dirty and I hated anything dirty. She loved animals, I didn’t. She was very athletic while I was chubby and happy sitting on the couch eating chips and guacamole. We didn’t have much in common and most of the time she was just in the way.

I am not sure at what age or stage of life my feelings toward her changed, but as we got older, I found her less annoying and more fun to be around. She had the ability to make me laugh and I found myself needing her. I somehow went from not liking her… to loving everything about her.

As I sit here and write this, I ponder where my life might be if not for my sister. She has been my rock, my therapist, my comedy relief and the one who has been the source of light when everything around me was black. She has shown me that there is no such thing as Impossible. She has inspired me to push through the pain when I wanted to give up and has loved me when there has not been much to love.

There are not many people who I hold in such high regard, but she has earned that spot. She has earned it by the way she lives her life. I believe that she is a living example of what Christ is like. She has a heart that knows no boundaries. She finds the best in the worst people and goes out of her way to make the people around her feel important and valued. She has not one selfish bone in body and is forgiving to a fault.

I know that I will never be able to show my sister just how much I love and admire her, but I pray that how I live my life and who I am becoming, makes her proud. Proud to call me her sister… because I can say with all that I am, it is an absolute honor to call her mine.

Many Blessings~ Summer

Whats your favorite holiday?

5 Sep

I love this question because A.) It reminds me that we are approaching the holiday season and B.) I simply love talking holidays. So, to answer the “plinky prompt” of the day, my answer is: THANKSGIVING.

Just last week, while strolling alone, through the aisles at Costco (yes, as a mom with 9 month olds, going to Costco alone is the highlight of my day so that is why “alone” is emphasized here) I spotted something that caught my eye and made my heart happy… an oversized “fall-like” wreath. It was orange, brown and red, with ribbons and decorations of pumpkins and acorns draping from it. It was screaming “Thanksgiving.” I wanted to buy it right then and there, but remembered I already had one sitting in my garage. I felt like dancing down the aisle while singing “Oh Happy Day,” but didn’t want to blow my cover and be asked to leave the store, because then I knew “my alone time” would come to an end, so I controlled the impulse and kept walking.

There is something about that time of year that brings great joy to me. When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite holiday, but that was because I wasn’t “Santa.” As an adult, Christmas becomes more of a burden each year. In fact, I am glad when it is over, but not Thanksgiving. Oh no, I love it and wish it lasted more than a day. Is there a “Jewish version” of Thanksgiving… one that lasts 8 days? If so, please let me know so I can sign up.

In all seriousness though here is what I love about Thanksgiving and the fall season in general:

  • Running in the cool evening breeze.
  • Watching the trees change color.
  • The smell of pumpkin spice lattes filling every Starbucks I go to.
  • Sipping wine while sitting by a fire.
  • Little reminders to be “thankful” where ever I go.
  • Writing my annual “thanksgiving” letters to my family.
  • My Grandma’s apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream.
  • Being able to wear sweaters and UGG boots… at the same time.
  • Running the annual “Turkey Trot” as a means to make myself feel better about how much I am going to eat later in the day.
  • Watching my Grandpa carefully carve the turkey. That is his special job and he is amazing at it šŸ˜‰
  • Watching football and the Macy’s Day parade.
  • Getting ready for “Black Friday.

I could go and on, but what I love most about Thanksgiving, are the memories I make every year with my family. Memories that are built around a table eating, laughing and simply enjoying the moment.Writing all this is making me wish it was November and about 25 degrees cooler outside, but until then, I will mentally prepare for my favorite time of year and look forward to new memories and traditions that will soon be made.

So, What is your favorite holiday and why?

Blessings ~ Summer

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