relax

Whiskey Cinnamon Infused Cranberry Sauce

This treat for Thanksgiving will need 2 days of space in your refrigerator to infuse before serving. We prefer the jellied style for our Thanksgiving. You can use the whole berry or any recipe you prefer. I used a shallow glass dish big enough to keep the jelly whole. Using a lidded container also gave a great use of the space in my fridge as we stocked it with other treats for our Thanksgiving holiday meal. This is an adult twist on a classic so make sure you have some plain for the kids.

Ingredients

1/2 cup whisky
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cans jellied cranberry

Directions

Mix whisky and cinnamon together.  Add whole cans of jellied cranberry careful to keep intact.
Seal in glass container with lid and refrigerate for 2 days.

Slice into 1/4 slices and serve well chilled.
Save any leftover whiskey mixture to add to hot chocolate for a unique treat that reminds you of home.

Turkey

I have a short cut I’ve used for years. I worked in retail for almost 20 years. Due to health issues I can ignore Black Friday.

While having to get up for work at 1am…no that’s not a typo. Get up at 1am be at my store by 3am. While I do not miss those schedules I learned some tricks that I still use when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. The biggest one hear is how much work it takes and spending all day in the kitchen. So with that in mind here are my turkey tricks

If doing a whole turkey, even for just a few do the bigger on. The work to cook a bird big or small is about the same. 10lbs or 22lbs, you still have to defrost, clean, baste, roast, etc. So do the bigger bird and make it worth your time. Turkey’s go on great sales and leftovers and 3 or more meals is a great investment of your time and money.

Just you 2? If your staying in and still want that traditional turkey? Try a turkey breast. Bone in or a Butterball Turkey breast roast are great alternatives. We like the roasts with both white and dark meat. You can cook traditionally in the oven, but a great time saver is your crockpot. You can add broth and water to keep it moist. Put it in the night before and you’re done. You can even toss potatoes and veggies in too. We do this other times of the year too.

Set it and forget the basting, constant lifting, turning it over… On low with plenty of broth makes it almost fool proof.

Crock-pot 7 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Countdown Timer|Polished Platinum

by Crock-Pot
Crock-pot 7 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Countdown Timer|Polished Platinum

by Crock-Pot

November 12th, Fun Holiday – Happy Hour Day

November 12 is Happy Hour Day. So, on this unofficial fun holiday take advantage of happy hours at your favorite bar, cafe or restaurant.

Happy hour with friends
Happy Hour is best enjoyed with friends.

Happy hour is a term used to refer to a period of time during a day when establishments sell drinks and food at a discount. While traditionally offered by bars, restaurants today also hold happy hours and offer appetizers at reduced prices. Usually, a happy hour includes two drinks or two appetizers for the price of one.

Applebee's Gift Card

by Applebee's
Applebee’s Gift Card

by Applebee’s

Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver or service like Uber, Lyft or a taxi service now Z-trip here in Pensacola. Many countries ban happy hours in bars due to the fear that it will encourage binge drinking and alcoholism.

How to Celebrate?

Happy Happy Hour Day! Here are some ways to celebrate this fun holiday:

  • Go out for happy hour with your friends and co-workers and get two of your favorite beverages for the price of one. Remember to always drink responsibly.
  • Don’t drink? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy happy hour. Many restaurants and coffee shops have happy hour prices on appetizers and hors-d’oeuvre. Enjoy these while sipping a non-alcoholic beverage.

Did You Know…

…that the happy hour began as an event in the military? It is believed that the term comes from events organized by a club called the Happy Hour Social for the United States Navy in 1913.

Moon Phase And Planet Earth Galaxy Handmade Pendant Necklace
Moon Phase And Planet Earth Galaxy Handmade Pendant Necklace

It’s a full moon out tonight.

Hello October

Hello October. Well here we are coming to the end of another year. Aside from the Halloween preparations, I start reviewing what I need to get done when completing this year. It seems like I blinked after June and here we are.

October Birthdays

October birthdays get our unique birthstone of Opals. Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, along with pink tourmaline. It is also the stone given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage. The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone,” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.”

Opals for October birthstone
925 Sterling Silver Blue Opal Necklace – Dainty 12mm Round Opal Gemstone Pendant, October Birthstone, Delicate Handmade Vintage Jewelry for Classy Women

Among the ancients, opal was a symbol of fidelity and assurance, and in later history it became associated with religious emotional prayer. It was believed to have a strong therapeutic value for diseases of the eye, and when worn as an amulet, it would make the wearer immune from disease as well as increase the powers of the eyes and the mind. Furthermore, many believed that to the extent the colors of red and green were seen, the wearer would also enjoy the therapeutic powers of those stones: the power to stop bleeding from the ruby or the power to cure diseases from the emerald.

October Awareness

There are many chances to bring awareness this month. All are worthy of the attention so choose one closest to your heart or show out for more than one. Let your choice shine and help as it is needed.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Fire Prevention month and week
Fire Prevention Week. October 6 – 12
National Domestic Violence month
National Domestic Violence Month
Down Syndrome Awarness month
Down syndrome Awareness month
Sudden infant death syndrome
Sudden infant Death Syndrome Awareness
Pregnancy & infant loss awareness month
http://nationalshare.org/october-awareness/
National Bullying Prevention Month
National Bullying Prevention Month
Liver Cancer Awarness month
Liver Cancer Awareness

Trick or Treat

Fun costume parties and the ever popular past times of haunted houses and of course Trick or Treat. This month is sure to be extremely busy. For lots of us the mayhem will also include the county fair.

County fairs are a popular fall enjoyment.
Trick or Treat safety tips
Trick or Treat Safety Tips

With all the activities going on in October it’s a great time for freezer meal dinners. Get these easy favorites here or on the Recipes page.

Fall into Happiness

September is here! I love fall, & not just because pumpkin-spice everything is back on menu’s. (I’m a Cinnamon dolce latte girl.) After the high temperatures of summer in Florida I look forward to cooler breezes blowing through the northwest Florida climate. While our fall runs a much shorter period of time here there are several really good reasons to look ahead.

Take a family camping trip.
Easy fast tent set up
Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup | Cabin Tent for Camping Sets Up in 60 Seconds

by Coleman

Cooler temperatures here means less likely to get a hurricane. That said I know the tropics have just started their fireworks for places along any coastline. While our hearts and minds go out to family, friends, and even strangers as we watch Dorian, we are breathing a small sigh of relief it’s not coming here. I’m a native Florida girl do I have grown up with it just like Californian’s grew up with earthquakes, and others grew up with tornados. Between you and me i’ll take my hurricanes over the others. (We at least get about a weeks warning to get out if it’s going to be really bad.)
Hurricanes – What You Need to Know

Actloe  Actloe Women Cowl Neck Plaid Long Sleeve Pullover Tops Casual Tunic Sweatshirt
Actloe Women Cowl Neck Plaid Long Sleeve Pullover Tops Casual Tunic Sweatshirt

If you never learn anything about how this works, that’s okay. Cool weather means high pressure systems. They repel hurricanes, for the most part. While there can be late season surprises we only need to be hyper vigilant through November. The cooler temps let me unpack my favorite sweaters and even wear a pair of jeans outside without melting. I get to show off my cute boots, make out my birthday wish list, and make cozy comfort food like my easy chili that everyone loves.

Jens easy chili recipe
Jen’s Easy Chili Recipe

With the holiday season not far away I’ve started thinking about the joys of the season, the gifting, I love doing and the way things seem to sparkle under the moon with frost on the ground.

With the hustle if everyday life going full speed ahead I like to remind myself of the simple things that brighten someones day. Seeing others smile pleases me. Especially when I get no credit for it. The season of Thanksgiving is coming but, I like to spread some joy when it’s not expected. A kind word, a cup of hot tea, a child’s excitement, or just the neighbor helping neighbor we see in communities impacted by foul weather. Each of us have the power to make each day a wonderful experience to remember. So jump in the pile of leaves with the kids, dress up for Halloween, volunteer, and brighten the day.

Your Labor Day

Labor Day 2019

On September 2, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrates and honors the greatest worker in the world – the American worker. Labor Day 2019 is the 125th anniversary of Labor Day being celebrated as a national holiday.

Enjoying Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Celebrate Labor Day

Labor Day is a day of rest or the last chance for many people to go on trips before the summer ends. For students, it is the last chance to organize parties before school starts again. In some neighborhoods, people organize fireworks displays, barbecues and public arts or sports events. The American football season starts on or around Labor Day and many teams play their first game of the season during Labor Day weekend.

Try our Greek Turkey burgers, No-Fail Fresca Sangria, for your celebration. Try some of our other great recipes here.

So if enjoying a last mini vacation, football game, parade, or barbeque, remember all the hard work the American worker has put into the lives we currently enjoy. Take a moment to remember all those teachers, doctors, road crews, miners, steel and auto industry, manufacturing, blue-collar, white-collar and everything in between that have given to the American economy and our way of life. Be extra nice to those who don’t get the holidays some of us do. Medical, nurses and health care, all first responders, a lot of retail workers and any others who drill have to work today.

Home made ice cream
Hamilton Beach 68330N Automatic Ice Cream Maker, 4 quart, White

by Hamilton Beach

Relax, Recharge, Refocus

Are you ready for the week ahead? Once upon a time the work week was Monday – Friday 9-5. Now it almost 6 days a week and family life on top of it all. Lunches, laundry, errands, sports, Dr’s appointments, kids school activities, with all this going on what happened to a relaxing weekend. One for the extras to get done the second to take it easy. The crazy school week cluttered with your job, kids homework, getting dinner on the table each night.  It can seem like going from 1 disaster or challenge to another.  To make it easier to handle some simple organization can make for a lot less stress.

  • Plan out your week.

Knowing what is coming for the week ahead let’s you plan for it.  Knowing what day you have to work late or make it the same night as say soccer practice.

  • Meal prep

Using part of your weekend to meal plan or do prep will save loads of time during the week.  I try to keep breakfasts, lunches and dinners ready for the week ahead.  I plan a full month menu with some days I can easily change out.  Then I make a shopping list.  I’m a huge fan of order pickup and delivery.  Instacart, Shipt, Aldi, Publix,  Amazon Fresh, among others delivered right to your door.  The fee is nominal and saves you even more time to spend with your family, or re-charge your own batteries.  Once the shopping is done it’s time to prep.  We use family favorites and adapt as needed.  We love freezer meals that go from freezer to either crockpot or quick cook on the stove.  Breakfasts can be multiple choice with the finished product in the freezer.
Lunches can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator so it only takes minutes to pack lunches. 

Stores like Walmart deliver in some areas but not mine.  I love thier order service.  I can pick out what I need, browse, and re-order frequent purchases from the comfort of my home.  Simply log in to the app and shop the grocery store.  I can get all the groceries including produce, paper goods, household, pet supplies, even deli and bakery.  They have also added a liquor store (in some areas), stores so as long as we present ID when we pick up.  So a bottle of wine, beer, and some liquors can be added to the order.  Schedule a pick-up time, checkout, and you’re done.  They give a window to alter the order including something either forgotten or someone just remembered to tell you about for a special day at school.  Arrive at pickup time, park in special lane, and checkin from your phone.  Walmart will bring and load your groceries in the car for you.  It usually takes about 15 minutes from checkin, but can take longer if they are exceedingly busy.  Even when I have to wait it saves me the trip through the store with heavy traffic, screaming kids, and the aisle road rage you can experience in the store when you are on a mission.

Family time

We do our prep work as a fun way to spend more time together.  We joke, laugh, catch up, share stories, experiences.  Working together builds the teamwork in families.  It also adds to communication and respecting each others contributions.   2 or 3 can get alot done in a few hours.  Young children can be included to help fetch and carry ingredients as appropriate.   You will see the pride and happiness shine in thier smiles when they bring the right item.  They also feel like an important contributer to the project. Older children or adults can cut, chop, measure (little ones like this to with supervision), package, label..and so on.  I can even get my kitchen phobic husband to help with easy tasks.  Biggest piece of advise I can pass on is never assume children and even some adults know how to do certain things.  In my husband’s case you cannot take things for granted.  Anyone who cooks alot knows that a cup of something refers to a specific measurement.  I have learned I have to explain what kind of cup you need to measure an ingrediant.  Children may also not be familiar with what or how.  It’s also a great way for them to learn both math, like fractions, history, like where come spices come from, and the science-based principles of things like yeast.  Next time someone is doubling a recipe have a child help figure out the measurements needed.

Package prepared foods

Singles work great for a lot of things like a breakfast or snack.  Dinner, at least at our house is a family affair.  We try to sit down together and eat as a family.  This gives us further chance to stay close.  We take a break from the electronics in our lives and connect with each other.  We keep things family appropriate with very few taboo subjects.  Open discussion is encouraged and every one right, wrong or different can weigh in.  Whether sharing a personal experience or just a preference, or opinion, it helps all understand the world as it was, is, and possibly will be.  Exposure to multiple points of view opens the world and helps all decide which way to handle almost everything life throws at you. 
With all the prep done it makes it easier to get everyone where they need to be.  Grab breakfast, lunches, and dinner for later.  Place dinner in the crockpot, microwave breakfast as needed, and quickly pack lunches so all is ready to go.  This reduces the morning rush of trying to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door.  The big plus is of course dinner is ready when you get home that evening.

Crockpot easy dinner
Crock-Pot Cook & Carry 6-Quart Oval Portable Manual Slow Cooker | Stainless Steel (SCCPVL600S)

by Crock-Pot
4.4 out of 5 stars    3,839 customer reviews
| 401 answered questions

Amazon’sChoicefor “crockpot”
  • Re-charge


While we recharge our phones, tablets, and any other items we need, we often forget to recharge our own batteries.  Imagine all the love we give those special to us in a pitcher labeled you.  Evertime you hug, kiss, talk, listen, care, it pours from that pitcher.  What do you do when it’s empty?  If this was just water we would simply refill the pitcher from the tap, right?  Well when the pitcher is filled with love the sink just doesn’t have a re-supply.  We regain the energy we give by doing things like going to church, relaxation, personal time, a hobby or other things that bring enjoyment.  Having a full picther allows us to juggle all the things thrown at us.
While we recharge our phones, tablets, and any other items we need, we often forget to recharge our own batteries.  Imagine all the love we give those special to us in a pitcher labeled you.  Evertime you hug, kiss, talk, listen, care, it pours from that pitcher.  What do you do when it’s empty?  If this was just water we would simply refill the pitcher from the tap, right?  Well when the pitcher is filled with love the sink just doesn’t have a re-supply.  We regain the energy we give by doing things like going to church, relaxation, personal time, a hobby or other things that bring enjoyment.  Having a full picther allows us to juggle all the things thrown at us. While we recharge our phones, tablets, and any other items we need, we often forget to recharge our own batteries.  Imagine all the love we give those special to us in a pitcher labeled you.  Evertime you hug, kiss, talk, listen, care, it pours from that pitcher.  What do you do when it’s empty?  If this was just water we would simply refill the pitcher from the tap, right?  Well when the pitcher is filled with love the sink just doesn’t have a re-supply.  We regain the energy we give by doing things like going to church, relaxation, personal time, a hobby or other things that bring enjoyment.  Having a full picther allows us to juggle all the things thrown at us.

 Refresh  

After all the chores are done take, some “me time”.  Read a favorite book, watch a movie or simply spend quality time with your children and or significant other.  Make sure you go to bed early enough to get plenty of rest.  Try not to rush through the tasks you’re doing.  We have enough hustle and bustle.  Making these things fun for all nor only makes them a lot less if a chore, it makes them enjoyable too.  As you look around savor that special feeling that comes when we do for those we love.

Re-focus

To get the most out of your time focus on what you have to do, need to do and want to do. Get the have to and need to done first. This will let you be more relaxed and concentrate on the things you really enjoy. I hear the expression there’s an app for that and I can say for myself at least it’s partly true. We use things like Google Calendar, Prism bill pay, Keep,and several others to tract our world. The notifications help keep us on track. Google Calendar let’s us track everything from my husband’s work to Dr appointments. I pay all our bills in about 15 hassle free minutes each week with Prism. It keeps track of what’s due when and I can schedule payments ahead of due dates to avoid things like missed payments or late fees. Keep helps us track everything from grocery lists to tasks like cleaning medical equipment, Pet medicines, simple to do lists, and I keep a running list of blog ideas and scheduling here. At the end of my day I can easily cross off what I got done and know what I still need to complete and when.

Me time

As we move into the future technology helps us run our world’s. While there is no shame in making things in your life easier, never forget that things like love, family, patience, kindness, understanding, and others still need the old fashioned low tech approach. I use my technology to speed up the have to’s so I can spend more time with those I love and the wants in my life. Between, Spouce, siblings, children, friends and neighbors I keep a busy schedule and get the best out of life by being available to those I love. To me the love I shower on my pets (our children), family incuding my neices and nephews, extended family, friends, and neighbors fulfills my life. Take the time to nuture these connections. You never know how precious that is until the prospect of tomorrow never coming makes an entrance in your life.

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