Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessings

After the Turkey, stuffing and pie,

I sit and reflect upon the year that's gone by.

I count all my gains, gifts and blessings,

and chose to forget my misfortunes and messings.

I think of my family, husband, children and me,

and know that we've been given more gifts than we need.

A beautiful home, cars, and things all around,

we all are so grateful for these blessings abound.

But, these blessings of things don't satisfy my heart,

and through these lines, I wish to impart,

The things that are truly a blessing to my soul,

are these intangible things that make me feel whole.

Like my children laughing and loving each other,

and having them know they can count on their mother.

For a husband who loves me in spite of my faults,

and learned, just for me, a wedding day waltz.

For a God who greater, could there never be one,

who loves me so much that He sent me his Son

And a country where I am allowed to be me,

the home of the brave and the land of the free.

These things I don't own and could never have bought,

but through their gain, great blessing I got.

After the turkey, stuffing and pie,

Will you sit and reflect on the year that's gone by?

Things are not always easy.  It has been a tough year for many that are reading this.  But, even among the hard times and darkness, there is room in  our hearts for gratitude.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NutellaDilla - Breakfast Made Easy for Busy Moms!

Quick and Easy Breakfast!
Whether our kids are 4 or 14, as moms we want them to start every day on the right foot. That can be challenging at times.  Our kids have individual personalities that are particularly apparent when they get out of bed in the morning. With older kids and teens - the way the day starts can be affected by something as simple as the way the breeze is blowing.  We do our best among the many factors that shape our children’s day. Many things we can’t control. But one of the things that we can do as moms is to provide and encourage them to eat a balanced breakfast to start the day - which in itself can be challenging.

Kids have pretty strong ideas and opinions about what do and don’t like for breakfast.  They may eat something one day and the next day decide they don’t like it anymore. We try cold breakfast, hot breakfast, gourmet, or simple. Oh what is a mom to do?

Why not make a balanced breakfast a treat with this yummy Nutella® Nutelladilla recipe?*  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and for kids on the go running out the door, it can be very portable!

Nutella® Nutelladilla

1 whole wheat tortilla
1Tbs Nutella
½ cup lowfat cottage cheese
⅓  bananna, sliced in pieces
3 strawberries, sliced in pieces

Spread the Nutella® evenly across the tortilla.  Spread the cottage cheese on one half.  Place the banana and strawberry slices on top of the cottage cheese.  Fold over and eat!

Variations: Replace whole wheat tortilla with a gluten free option.  Replace cottage cheese with ricotta or other low-fat soft cheeses or yogurts.

Make it transportable: For the older kid on the go... instead of folding, wrap like a burrito.

The MOM Hat is the most beautiful and important one we wear when it comes to the daily lives of our kids.  We do our best to wear it creatively, and lovingly.  For even the most seasoned of us, every mom can use some fresh ideas.  Check out the Nutella Breakfast Tour in Phoenix November 24-27 for live demonstrations of how you can use Nutella to bring some yumminess to your family breakfast table. For information on event in other areas, visit here.

Besides being able to include it as a yummy part of a balanced breakfast did you know these things about Nutella®?
  • No preservatives or artificial colors
  • No peanuts
  • Kosher certified
  • Gluten free

For More informaiton about Nutella, visit!/nutellausa
Click here to stay up to date with the latest Nutella news!

*This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Nutella blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stressful to Simple - Holiday Season Calm

Just about now the last of the Halloween candy is becoming scarce. The kids' pillowcases of chewy, chocolate, sour-sweet gummy treats is just about dry.  And that extra bag of candy you bought... (you know the one; the nutty-chocolatey yummy kind) .... just in case there were more trick-or-treators than you'd expected, is empty.

The sugar crash has begun - just as the "Holiday Season" is beginning.

November brings with it the onset of the season of parties, celebrations, presents, and LOTS of food. It can be a joyous festive time of year.  It's the time to spend time with family and loved ones.   Giving and receiving special gifts and trinkets brings a sweet satisfaction as we see the wide eyed looks of awe on the faces of those who received the "perfect" gift.  It is a magnificent time.

It can also be a stressful one.

In the hustle and bustle of holiday season preparation, the abundant joy just waiting to be claimed is often lost. In our busyness of trying to create the perfect memory for our families and friends, we can lose sight of gift of sharing who we are, where we are.  Buying the right gift, or cooking a 5-Star worthy meal becomes the focus - task centered instead of presence centered.  What is supposed to refresh and restore us through sharing thanks and holiday cheer, can stress us and suck the energy out of us. That is, if we let it.

Stressful to Simple

There are things we can do to reduce the stress. It can involve changing what we do and how we do it. It can also change how we chose to look at things.  (By the way, changing what we do and how we do it, can also change how we look at things - double score! )

Here are some ideas reduce stress by getting back to the simple.

Create a Count-up project that you and your family can participate in. Instead of counting down the days (that focuses on time which translates for us, fewer days to get all we need to do done) create something that adds - a blessings and thanksgiving wreath or tree that reminds us off all that we do have, not the time that we don't have; a daily pocket change jar to be donated on a designated date that coincides with the holidays; or a progressive goal to honor someone such as walking a distance and increasing it each day till a set holiday- a show gratitude for the struggle and hard work done by those around us or those that have gone before. There are any number of things that can be done to remind of the blessings that we have. It's simple. It puts the stress in perspective.   or a - ie Chanukah  jar, holiday chain, thanksgiving tail feathers....

Reduce the time in your kitchen - spend the time in kitchens feeding those less fortunate.  If we have the means and time to purchase and prepare holiday meals and goodies, but our stress over the tasks robs us of joy, then spending time in a kitchen that feeds others just may be a solution.  Serving those that may not otherwise have a holiday meal brings comfort to the others, a sense of purpose to ourselves, and good dose of perspective about the things we stress out at the holidays.  If we have the means to purchase the holiday meal ingredients, there are lots of options for purchasing the prepared family style meal, and spending the time serving others. It's simple, it reduces stress, and it does good for others. (See the giveaway page for more info about prepared meals and a chance to win a gift card!)

Make something from the heart. If it is the stress of finding and buying the perfect gift, revamp your thinking about gift giving.  Each year there are lists created of the "perfect" gift of the season.  Still there is not a guarantee that the person will like the thing.  Instead, give a gift from the heart. A handmade item or unexpected gift catches the attention.  Include a handwritten personal note of why you chose or made that particular gift and instantly, the gift has meaning.  Be sure you are sincere... truly follow your heart, and the stress is replaced with the joy of giving.  It's that simple.

At this time of year, don't focus on doing it all and being it all to everyone all of the time. As much as we'd love to create a Holiday Season straight from the pages of a magazine, realize that the value and the memory isn't in how perfect the things of the holidays are, it is in how precious and blessed each moment of them is.  Move from stressful to simple this Holiday Season!

What is the most stressful thing about the Holiday Season for you?
How do you reduce the stress and find the joy?