Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Family Dinners are Important - How to Get Involved

It's no secret that our family has gone through a lot of change over the last few months.  With travelling, living in hotels, living with friends, moving across country, unpacking and starting school, we have had our share of busy days.  The one thing that is so important to us, no matter how hectic or crazy our days have been, is sharing family meals together.

Sure, some days we aren't always at home together during meal times, but sitting down to share a meal is a part of my day that I look forward to.  Of course, leading up to actually sitting down is hectic - and I'd be lying if I said I ever got to actually sit for more than a few minutes (moms, can I get a "yes"! on this?!) but I look forward to it because it's one of the few times that the four of us can take a breather and reconnect.

Billion Family Dinners shares my feelings on the importance of this time together.  Did you know that dinners together can reduce stress and obesity?  It's true.  And "family dinner" does not have to mean a traditional family - friends that are like family can have the same effect.  Just sitting down and reconnecting with those you love brings you many health benefits - including increased happiness!

I, along with Billion Family Dinners, urge you to join the movement of having and tracking family dinners throughout September and October.  You can download an app straight to your iPhone or on Google Play.  I love the app because it gives you conversation starters as well!

Every time you have a family dinner, tag me on social media (@allthejoys on twitter and instagram) as well as @BillionDinners (instagram) or @DinnerCall (twitter) and use the hashtag #BillionDinners.  

The user that tracks the most dinners using the app will be rewarded!  Be sure to tag me so we can keep track. :)

Happy (family dinner style) Eating!

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Faves + A New Blog!

We made it through the week - and actually, this one seemed to fly by.  Maybe it was because of Labor Day?  Regardless, I'm not complaining because by now you should know that the weekend is my favorite part of the week.  But really, does anyone not like the weekend?  I didn't think so.

With my revamp of Blogger Love, I've started to realize how many of my daily routines include products and things that I love using.  Here are just a few from this week:

Symphony Bars.  I used to work at a pharmacy in high school, and this was the only chocolate they had.  I ate a lot of them, and forgot how delicious they were until recently.  On a whim I picked one up and devoured every last bite!

Yes to Grapefruit Cleansing wipes.  I keep these in my bedside table for when I forget (or am too lazy) to actually wash my face.

Peach Green Tea Lemonade from Starbucks.  So sad that they have deemed it "fall", and I cannot get this anymore.  Until next summer Starbucks!

Favorite Quote.  If this one doesn't sum up my current life, I don't know what does:

Favorite New Blog: Beauty in the Mess, written by Megan.  Megan has lived in many areas (most fascinating - Mexico!) and writes about "the little things", her adventures with her husband, and has the cutest pug!  Fun fact - it's also her birthday today!!  You can follow along here: Bloglovin' || Instagram || Twitter

Want to share your favorites this week?  Link up below and share your favorite posts, products, tips and tricks!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

Family dinners are so important to us -  it's a time for us all to sit together without any distractions and talk about our days.  Funny things that happened, things we learned, events we are excited for.  Finding a meal that everyone will like?  That's is quite a challenge in our house!

A few months ago, my sister and I were talking about how to get my kids (husband included) to eat more vegetables.  Basically, anything green is off limits according to E - which makes things a bit difficult.  She shared this recipe with me and I've already made it a few times because it's such a hit!

Sweet Potato Casserole

3/4 cup wild rice blend and chicken broth to cook it in 

1T butter
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (hint: buy a bag of diced sweet potatoes that cook in the microwave)
2 t brown sugar
4 cups spinach

2 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1T maple syrup
1 t Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper

 1. Prepare rice according to package directions using chicken broth instead of water.

2. Mix ingredients for vinaigrette, whisk to combine, set aside 

3. Melt butter in skillet (medium high). Add brown sugar and sweet potatoes, season with salt and sauté until tender and carmelized (about 10 minutes). 

4. Turn heat down, add spinach to skillet, cover and steam until wilted.

5. Add rice and vinaigrette, then toss to combine. 

And enjoy!  I usually make some chicken on the side, but this is very filling as is.  Let me know if you make it!
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Friday, September 4, 2015

This Week's Faves

Happy Friday loves!  Another week, another weekend.  I hope to finally get everything unpacked and put away this weekend.  Here's hoping!

We're back today for Blogger Love, episode 2.2.  I still need a new name for this link up - something that encompasses everything that will be shared - and it's a little more difficult than I thought it would be.  Hopefully by next week it will be sorted out and I'll have a new button.  Suggestions still welcomed!

This week, I'm loving...

These Thermos Funtainer water bottles.  Both girls need to take water with them to school, and these stay cold all day long.  Bonus?  There are a lot of colors/patterns to choose from.  Princess for E, plain pink for A!

This liquid eyeliner by NYC.  Lindsay convinced me to try liquid liner, and I finally have the hang of it.  I wish I had tried years ago - it's easier to apply, lasts all day and doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes.  Oh, and it's cheap.  Win win, win and win.

"How to Use the Wordpress Dashboard" by Wetherills Say I Do.  The transition is on, friends, and this post was perfect timing.  Fun fact - Madison is doing my redesign and transfer - watch for it soon!

In case you missed it, be sure to go meet Devra - she's great!

What are you loving this week?  Link up below and share with us!

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