What Moms REALLY Want for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

Each year I watch as mom’s all around me give the loving, “Oh. You shouldn’t have!” to husbands and kids on Mother’s Day. It seems that although Dad’s and Kids love their mom, they just don’t seem to be any good at treating them thoughtfully on Mom’s day. For the mom’s who do enjoy their gifts, it’s usually the quintessential “woman-friendly” gift of flowers, candy, dinner, etc. But Mom’s work REALLY hard all year long and giving their Mother’s Day gift 30-seconds of thought just seems a little lame.

And so, as a mother I am compiling a list of thoughtful and loving gifts that mom’s would actually enjoy. Pick from this list and you’re sure to make your wife/mother the envy of Continue reading

Vegan Sunshine Linguine

SF Finished in PotThe last few days here in Pennsylvania have been cold, damp, rainy, and cloudy. It’s really putting a damper on my gardening plans and my ability to take the baby to the park. And after being stuck in the house for a few days I was starting to feel a little BLAH. So, I decided to make a fresh and colorful dinner that I hoped would cheer us all up. Well, it did!

This Vegan Sunshine Linguine recipe is not only delicious, but healthy and although it has a very “light” feeling, it’s quite filling! If you aren’t vegan/vegetarian, this would pair well with sautéed chicken or shrimp!

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Here’s what you’ll need to get started…

  • 3/4 lb. Linguine
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil (plus a few extra tsp)
  • 2 Yellow Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 Orange Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 Cup Black Olives, sliced
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced into strips
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups Yellow bite-sized Tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

And here is how you prepare this delicious dinner… Continue reading

Warm Italian Veggie Bake

DSC01969.JPGToday is primary voting day here in Pennsylvania, and after having stressed over political and social issues and deciding who to cast my ballot for, I needed a comfort meal for dinner. This Warm Italian Veggie Bake was just that meal! Packed with savory, filling veggies, and flavored with robust Italian dressing, this meal is like a comforting hug for your taste buds! What’s even better is that it’s super easy to make and it can be prepared up to a day ahead of time and baked just before mealtime.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup Italian Dressing
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 1 medium Zucchini, cubed
  • 1 small Eggplant, cubed
  • 1 medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 8 oz. White Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, drained (I use Hunts Fire-Roasted Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup (plus extra for sprinkling) Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Basil

And here are the easy-peasy instructions…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start with a very large skillet. You’ll want lots of room for all those veggies! Heat the Italian dressing on medium heat, until just warm and toss in the Continue reading

Why Your Fancy Pants Outfit P*sses Me Off

Fancy PantsI love taking my daughter to the park! She’s finally old enough to enjoy it, which makes her happy and gives me a few much needed moments of tranquil. Plus, since it’s so close to home, it’s a great impromptu outing when I just can’t live another moment in the circus that I call home. Unfortunately, there’s always that one mom who shows up at the park with her kids dressed like miniature Abercrombie models and whose own makeup and outfit look like they were assembled and applied by a team of trained professionals. It never fails, and it really p*sses me off! I am currently a stay at home mom. Let’s face it, I rarely have a reason to wear a bra, let alone high end shoes that perfectly compliment my coordinated makeup and jewelry. But, for a trip to the park I’ll break down, throw on some mascara, yoga pants, a tank top, and a bra. We all know the playground is supposed to basically be a mom’s safe zone where she can go to let her kids run wild while she kicks back on a bench and gets a few precious moments of comfort and peace. That is of course, until Miss Fancy Pants shows up. Suddenly, instead of wallowing in our comfort and ignoring the unidentifiable stains on the “clean” clothes that we threw on, we are faced with feeling fat, frumpy, and about as far from stylish as a person can get. Let’s face it ladies, we don’t dress to impress men, we dress to impress each other and if you insist on looking totally fabulous just to go to the park, you’re really playing dirty. It’s like wearing a white dress to a wedding. What the hell are you thinking? Go home. Put on your frumpy jeans, throw your hair in a ponytail and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. But until then, take your fancy-pants kids and go play at the mall.  

Vegan Spinach & White Bean Soup

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With the recent passing of pop icon Prince, I decided to pay homage to his legacy by preparing a vegan meal. For those of you who didn’t know, Prince was not only a musical genius, but a vegan. I didn’t know him personally, but I like to think that his status as a vegan is a good indication that he was also a kindhearted person who loved animals. Just guessing. Anyway, I immediately thought of this soup because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Orzo pasta, and I had some leftover Spinach from when I made my Better than Panera Quinoa Broth Bowl. This is an easy vegan dinner that can be prepared easily and quickly for a weeknight dinner, but has a flavor profile that can rival dishes at high-end restaurants. Plus, the ingredients are those that I usually have on hand for last-minute meal planning!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced (not pictured)
  • 2 Small Sweet Onions, Diced
  • 1 Can Cannelini Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Pound Orzo Pasta
  • 3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 2-3 tsp. Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Thyme

And here’s how you make this delicious meal…

Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onions and sauté’ until they become somewhat Continue reading

In Defense of Tiny Homes

Tiny HouseAlthough I am not an avid daytime television watcher, I will often turn the TV on halfway through the day just to hear something other than cats meowing, dog toenails tapping, my daughter babbling, or that strange baby-doll in the guest room laughing (that thing is sooo creepy). Usually I’ll find the news or some talk show that’s easy to tune out but still supplies me with a feeling of connectivity to the outside world. On this particular day I found that The Steve Harvey Show was on and I happened to catch him talking about the Tiny House movement. Well, as a person who has become slightly obsessed with the idea, I turned my ears to ON and hit UP on the volume button. Turns out, Steve Harvey takes issue with the Tiny House movement. He explained that at one point in his life he had been homeless, even living in a car for quite some time, which he noted was a “tiny space.” He went on to say that anyone who wants to live in a Tiny Home has simply given Continue reading

Prince

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Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am not typically a “star-struck” kind of gal (I have one or two steamy exceptions to my rule…hello Josh Holloway), but the death of Prince has really hit a chord with me. Obviously, I did not know him personally, although I have no doubt that in another life he would have been my token “cool in a weird way” friend. Having been a fan for so many years,  I always admired him for not being afraid to do his own thing, for being a vegan, and for (as far as I know) not becoming a drug and alcohol addicted maniac once becoming famous (as so many often do). He was a musical genius who somehow managed to be exceptional and stay grounded all at the same time. He truly was a rare find in this world and will surely be missed by his friends, family, and fans like me.

As I’m writing this I’m trying to decide on a favorite Prince song. Of course I love Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, and so many others (because who doesn’t), but I have to pick I Wanna Be Your Lover as my fav!

What’s your favorite??