• Coronavirus homeschool rescources
    Midwest Living

    Coronavirus School Cancellation Resources for Parents

    They made the official Coronavirus school cancellation call here last night. As of 3:40pm on March 13th, we are officially in e-learning/homeschool mode for at least a month. While we are lucky I work from home, school cancellations add a whole new level of responsibility for parents as far as not only educating kids but all entertaining them. As a former librarian, I know how important it is to keep little minds busy during scary times. And as a mom, I know I can’t be the only one panicking about being locked up with all of my kids for over a month. I’ve compiled a list of resources to help…

  • mini schnauzer
    Animals,  Updates

    My Dog is Dying

    When the calendar reminder pops up letting me know it’s time to call and schedule our dogs’ annual checkup, my anxiety starts to tick up, increasing as the day draws nearer. Not only is Sadie a barker but Scout is protective to a fault. So much so that she tries to eat the vet if I’m in eye shot. Every single appointment requires a continual string of apologizes spilling out of me from the moment we walk in the door to the moment I get dragged back to the car. Strangely, this time my litany of I’m sorrys was met with one from the vet because, well, my dog is…

  • Midwest Spring Flowers
    Midwest Living

    Signs of Spring

    “The spiders are back.” I’m standing on our neighbor’s porch, mug of coffee in hand, swiveling back and forth to check my own front door for any sign of trouble at home.  It’s a bit after three o’clock and the breeze is picking up like it does every day around this time but even with the wind it’s still warm for February. The spider scurries away and she moves to crush it but I stop her. “Don’t. They eat the mosquitoes. ” She laughs, giving me a look, a reminder that I am a square peg making no attempt to fit through a round hole. She lets it live, because…

  • san diego beaches kids
    Adventures,  California,  West Coast

    Home for Christmas

    Southern California people like to complain about the weather. When it rains, we act like the world’s been plunged into an enteral winter, the sun’s been blotted out for a lifetime. We are, what I like to call,  sunshine spoiled. We got our first snow on Halloween Day and the early freeze out had us fearing a long, wet winter. As October slid into November, I couldn’t listen to Judy  Garland’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” without feeling like I’d rather just lean into the sound of pure chaos that is my house 90% of the time and leave the holiday music for my bi-weekly grocery shopping…

  • Food goals for kids
    Meal Planning

    Food Goals for a New Year

    Guy and I work opposite shifts. I’m the sun and he’s the moon. During the day, I play with our kids. I change diapers and sing the ABCS, teach myself common core so I can help my 4th grader with her math. Rewash each load of laundry several times before I get a chance to throw it in the dryer.  At night when he’s here doing bath time and bedtime, loading the dishwasher and shooshing a teething baby, I’m trying to be a writer. It means that our meals are sometimes rushed, with one parent scrambling to keep everyone seated and happy while the other sneaks off with their plate…

  • sausage sweet potato soup
    Recipes,  Soup

    Sausage, Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup

    When my mom was here she made Indy chicken noodle soup and with that we commenced soup season in our house. She will make During the summer, we each pretty much zero pots of soup or stew because it’s the kind of food that warms you from the inside but in the Midwest everything is already too hot and too humid and too much, so we skip it until the northern prevailing winter winds settle in for the season. While it’s something we only eat in the colder months, it’s usually a meal everyone can get behind, especially this sausage sweet potato soup. This blog contains affiliate links. If you…

  • easy orange cookies
    Cookies,  Dessert,  Recipes

    Orange Creamsicle Cookies

    All the food we tend to gravitate towards during the holiday is sort of heavy. Stews, roasts, and hams, rolls fresh from the oven and mashed potatoes heaped on the good china topped with melting pats of butter. That often extends to the desserts as well, decadent cheesecakes and chocolate cakes. Inspired by Mexican wedding cookies, these orange sugar cookies are an attempt at lightening up the final course without losing the texture that makes this type of cookies unique. With this recipe, I was hoping to add a bright citrus note without losing the sweetest that pulls us to desserts to begin with.  They look like little snowballs and…

  • cranberry pistachio cookies
    Cookies,  Dessert,  Recipes

    Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

    Last year around this time Harper’s Girl Scout troop had a cookie swap. I had never heard of it but basically, each of the girls baked a batch of cookies. Then they went around grabbing one off each platter along with a recipe for each of the cookies. What they ended up with was a bunch of new desserts to try along with recipes in case they wanted to make them. She loved it and through the year we’ve tried a few of them, even adding a couple to our baking rotation. Apparently, this is a common practice and I kind of love it so all week we’re sharing some…

  • alcona county Michigan
    Adventures,  Michigan,  Midwest

    Up North Autumn

    Every time my mom comes to visit, she convinces me we need to take a Michigan road trip.  Despite the fact one visit put us right in the middle of a full on snowstorm. And I’ll skip the details on the trip that left us with two weeks of the stomach flu and started less than five minutes after we started our six hour drive home. We all pile in the car and drive for double the hours it should take us to get there. We pull over for every gas station, McDonald’s drive thru, and rest stop between here in there and always make at least one side of…

  • dairy free french toast recipe
    Breakfast,  Dairy Free From Scratch,  Recipes

    Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie French Toast

    After our snowy Halloween the weather has stayed pretty cold and we even got a few inches of beautiful fluffy white snow for the kids to play in. We’re still enjoying the autumn flavors even though we kind of skipped it here in Central Indiana.  French toast has always been a staple in our house but right now it’s Dairy free French toast. It’s quick I always keep my fridge and my pantry stocked with everything we need to make it, everyone eats it and the leftovers make for great freezer breakfasts we can heat up quickly on hectic mornings. This version adds in some fall spirit in the form…

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