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The Nadler Family Is in Need!

The Nadler Family Is in Need!

Whelp, I’ve never done this before, and I don’t plan on making it a habit, but I’m reaching out to our family, friends and readers to let you know we found ourselves in quite a pickle. We are in need of your help.

My husband and I have been driving around two very small cars: a Nissan Versa and a Scion TC. Both are older, but completely paid for; and while not ideal for our family, they were adequate for getting us from A to B. The Nissan was our “family car” as it had four doors, and the Scion was our “commuter car,” because it is a coupe. A week ago, my husband was in an accident while driving the Nissan Versa. He is fine, but today we learned the Versa didn’t survive. It was totaled. We are left with the Scion to fit our entire family. See pic below of the Scion barely containing my LuLaRoe inventory.

The Nadler Family Is in Need!

Forget LuLaRoe for second. The Scion TC CANNOT be our family car. Our son is still rear-facing in his car seat, and getting him into the car seat is an athletic feat. Actually, I almost find it easier to get him into the car seat from the trunk. Also, there isn’t enough room for the car seat in the back and a passenger to sit up front. Long story short, our plan is to trade in the Scion and use the money from our totaled car to go down to one family minivan.

The Nadler Family Is in Need!

One problem: after using the funds from our two cars, to purchase even the most modest of minivans, we are about $20K short. Don’t worry. I’m not setting up a Go Fund Me page or asking anyone to donate blood. Nothing like it. You see, my husband and I have this great LuLaRoe business. For those who don’t know, LuLaRoe makes modest, comfortable women’s clothing that looks great. I mean, look at these pics of me below. Adorable, right?

The Nadler Family Is in Need!

My inventory doesn’t live in a catalogue or on a website. It lives in my house and is unique to me! My husband and I have had a blast taking care of our customers, and we need to expand that customer base. You can help us do that work toward our new family car in the following ways:

1. Shop the my inventory in my LuLaRoe VIP Group! I love serving my customers and would be greatly humbled by your support of my family’s small business.

2. Host an in-home pop-up! I bring my entire inventory to your house, and you earn a free pair of leggings and one free item of your choice for every 10 sold. In-home pop-ups are an amazing opportunity to have a lot of fun and earn free clothes. And believe it or not, I am very skilled at getting my entire inventory in my coupe. I can travel anywhere in NC and southern VA. [Fill out this form to let us know your interest!]

3. Host an online pop-up! Live outside of NC? The internet can bring us together. You invite at least 50 of your friends to your online party and they shop the albums in my VIP Group. You earn a free pair of leggings and 10% of all sales to use toward a purchase. While online pop-ups aren’t typically as successful as in-home pop-ups, they are still an excellent chance to earn free clothes! [Fill out this form to let us know your interest!]

4. Tell your family and friends by sharing this blog post. If they love Lula, by shopping with us they will be helping to support a family who has been really struggling to get ahead.

5. Pray for us. It never hurts!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

Celebrate Father’s Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

Friends, I’ve been coveting wood watches for a long time. Of course, I wanted a wood watch for myself, but when JORD approached me about writing a post for Father’s Day, I knew my hubby would look even better in this watch inspired by nature! JORD watches are the perfect Father’s Day gift for the favorite father in your life, whether that’s your own dad or your child’s dad.

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

If you don’t know already, I couldn’t have picked out a better dad for my son. Matt is a stay-at-home dad. He’s endlessly patient, full of energy and has the most amazing relationship with our son. In fact, all I hear is “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.” Hearing “Mommy” is definitely a special occasion around here, but I wouldn’t change it. Daddies are so important.

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

JORD watches come in this cube-like box, that are perfect for wrapping up. Inside is another cube-shaped wooden box with a special cloth and brush for keeping the watch clean.

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

Then once you open the wooden box… SQUEAL!!! So, so pretty!

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

I chose the Navy and Walnut watch from the Reece collection. It’s slim, but still substantial, and gets a lot of compliments.

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

And how handsome is this guy?! And he’s only made more handsome with this great watch from JORD. I seriously love it. The perfect gift for the best dad our amazing son could have asked for.

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

Okay, now for the good part. Jord has asked me to do a giveaway! The winner will get a $100 gift code to the JORD site, and every single person who enters will get a $25 gift code to the JORD site. Isn’t that a great deal?

To enter, click this link.

The contest ends at midnight on Father’s Day (June 18, 2017) at midnight, and I’ll announce the winner the following day.

So what do you say? Are you ready to enter? Do it now!

Celebrate Father's Day with Jord Wood Watches + GIVEAWAY!

 

Treat Your Friends – Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

eThis shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TreatingWithNutrish #CollectiveBias

treat your friends

Do you know who’s awesome? My dogs. They are older, but they are such good cuddlers. I’m missing them as we are currently on vacation and they are staying with a friend of mine. My dogs, Moses and Elijah, have been with me since before I was married. They are not as spry and playful as they used to be, but their sweet souls have grown up along with me. Being separated from them has reminded me that it’s always a good idea to treat your friends, even if they canine friends.

treat your friends

Since I’ve begun my leggings adventure, I thought now was a good time to upcycle my jeans. We also had a mysterious third foam pillow lying the around the house. Now that my dogs are older, they deserve something a little more comfortable to sleep on.

treat your friends

I added a zipper so we could wash the pillow cover (very important), and in just a couple hours my dogs had a brand new dog bed. Perfect, since we moved them into a larger crate.

treat your friends

Doesn’t Moses look so handsome on his new bed?

treat your friends

Because I do have older dogs, I’m very careful about the treats we give them. I never feed my dogs treats made with ingredients from China, and want to make sure they are made with real meat (and no poultry byproducts). Thankfully, Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats fit the bill, and a portion of the profits go toward helping rescue animals find forever homes!

I was able to find these treats on Chewy.com, where they were easy to find. Oh, and what do the dogs think?

treat your friends

Um, yeah. They are pretty much in love. Elijah even stole the bag and dragged it into his crate during our little photo shoot. It’s important to remember that Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats are not intended to be the main source of nourishment for your dog, and you should always watch your dog to ensure Nutrish treats are thoroughly chewed before swallowing. Break into small pieces for smaller dogs.

treat your friends

Do something special for man’s best friend, and let them try out these awesome treats (you can find a coupon here) that actually look like the real thing!

And since I was doing something special for my canine friends, I wanted to something nice for my human best friend (husband) too!

treat your friends

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies. Yes, that’s what I said. SALTED. PEANUT BUTTER. COOKIES. Are they as good as they sound? What do you think?!

treat your friends

Not only are they delicious, they are also gluten-free. What, what, WHAT?! Gluten-free. Yes, I said it. I went there. And no, I didn’t use any special flour. These cookies only have 4 ingredients.

treat your friends

Chewy, moist and delicious, these morsels for human consumption leave nothing to be desired. My hubby loved them, as did my son and myself. And that’s saying a lot for a woman who has a spiritual relationship with gluten.

treat your friends

So, treat your friends. Show them some love! Go out and get your dog some Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats. He deserves it. And while you’re at it, make your human friends some cookies. To save this recipe for later, pin the pic below!

treat your friends

Treat Your Friends – Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Treat Your Friends – Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  1. 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  2. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1 3/4 cups smooth peanut butter
  5. Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated; you shouldn’t be able to see any ribbons of peanut butter.
  3. Chill the dough by freezing it in its bowl for 15 minutes, stirring it once (so the edges don’t freeze first), before scooping it.
  4. Scoop or spoon the dough into balls
  5. Place on prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking.
  7. Bake smaller cookies for 14 to 15 minutes and larger for 18 to 20 minutes.
http://www.miriinthevillage.com/2017/02/treat-friends-salted-peanut-butter-cookies.html

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats are intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Please watch your dog to ensure Nutrish treats are thoroughly chewed before swallowing. Break into small pieces for smaller dogs.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

Ever think to yourself “My life is just not busy enough?” No? Well, I’m all about that hustle, to a fault. Like, I feel guilty each moment I’m not doing something to further my career, blog presence or help my family. Perhaps it’s a mom thing. Maybe I’m just a born entrepreneur? In any case, on top of my full-time job, full-time blog and full-time wife/mother gigs, I’ve become a LuLaRoe Retailer.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

LuLaRoe has become pretty popular as of late, and it’s easy to see why. Those buttery soft leggings must be made of angel sneezes, because they are a spit of heaven. More than that, all the clothes – dresses, skirts and shirts are so, so comfortable, yet somehow very put together. I like to call it pretty athleisure.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

So how did I find myself here, selling the stuff? Well, let me take you back a few years. One evening in 2014 I felt a tingling in my back, and whatever the tingling was, it didn’t feel good. Suddenly a very strong and relentless pain started in my abdomen. The pain was worse than anything I have ever experienced. In all honesty, in those moments I was wishing for death. My husband was helpless, watching my writhe in pain. Then after fifteen minutes, the pain suddenly subsided, and I was fine.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

For almost two years this pain would continue. I never knew when an attack would strike, and the attacks would happen months apart or days apart. Each time I knew I had to get it checked out, but once the pain subsided I forgot. I didn’t know what was causing this pain, but I became anxious about putting anything tight around my stomach. I only wanted to wear loose-fitting clothing, but it seemed that everything I wore looked sloppy. These abdomen attacks actually continued throughout my pregnancy. Finally, two months after I had my son, I had another painful attack. This would not do, so I made an appointment with the doctor the next day. Turns out I had gallstones, and shortly thereafter, surgery to remove my gallbladder.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

Though the pain left me, the desire to wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes did not. I can’t stand wearing jeans or anything that slightly resembles discomfort. Perhaps this is also because I’m a mom, and mama don’t got time for that! I’ve had a lot of friends who have entered the mompreneur club, and it is seriously never anything I had considered. However, I began to see people on Facebook and elsewhere ask “Can anyone direct me to a LuLaRoe consultant? I need an Irma!” Yep, something about LuLaRoe just seemed different… and lucrative! As I learned more, I realized that LuLaRoe had more of a franchise model than a straight network marketing model.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

Then I tried on the clothes.

HOLY COW! What the what? How do I look so cute and feel so comfortable? I was sold. Through a serendipitous circumstance I was connected with my LuLaSponsor Ali, and have been on this journey ever since.

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

Last weekend was my official launch. I decided to do a Brunch ‘n Browse. A little waffles, some mimosas, good conversations and beautiful, beautiful clothes. We had so much fun and everyone left with something. Best of all, a dear friend gave me a hug and thanked me for doing this. She was blown away that she actually found clothes that felt good and looked good and made her feel good inside.

To see my inventory and shop my store you can join my Facebook VIP Group, but I want to do you one better. I want to give away $100 of LuLaCash! All you need to do is fill out the form below, and there are multiple ways to enter!
$100 LuLaCash Giveaway

LuLaRoe Lovers Welcome + LuLaCash GIVEAWAY!

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

When I asked if I could make a cake for my friend Heather’s baby shower, I was told that the theme was “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and the colors were white gray and gold. That was it. I could have made anything. White cake, carrot cake, gingerbread, whatever. I guess because I wasn’t given more direction, I let my imagination do the deciding. You can say I got a little carried away when I made this Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake, but I have no regrets.

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

There are all these drip cakes I’m seeing on the internet. They are usually topped to the gills with macarons or some kind of other dessert. I knew Heather liked chocolate. Oreos would make the frosting gray, I still had a sufganiyot kit I got from Judaica.com and well, meringues are just adorable. So, I decided to make all of it.

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

For the first time in two years I was able to get my Botox treatments for my Cerebral Palsy. Since the summer I have been on a mild cocktail of muscle relaxers to help with the pain. Now that I’m coming off the muscle relaxers, my capacity to get stuff done is pretty much incredible. I’ve never tried cocaine, but I imagine this is what a hit of cocaine would feel like.

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

Aaaaaand, that’s how the Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake was born. This wasn’t easy to do. Oh no. This was five straight hours of carefully timed labor. Seriously, why did I need to make donuts? Why are there meringues? I don’t know. I just know it was delicious and looked super pretty.

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

This was also my first tiered cake, and that was pretty cool too. Heather is a first time mommy, and she’s having a little girl. I’m so excited for her! She got some great gifts too. I got her Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit, so I hope it proves to be a life-saver for her as it was for me.

If you are looking for a recipe for dark chocolate cake, oreo Swiss meringue buttercream or vanilla meringues, please be sure to pin the pic below!

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

Chocolate & the Kitchen Sink Cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake
  1. • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  2. • 2 cups granulated sugar
  3. • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  4. • 2 tsp. baking soda
  5. • 1 tsp. baking powder
  6. • 1 tsp. salt
  7. • 1 cup whole milk
  8. • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  9. • 2 eggs
  10. • 1.5 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract, or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  11. • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  12. For the Oreo Buttercream
  13. 4 large egg whites
  14. • pinch of salt
  15. • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  16. • 3 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
  17. • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  18. • 6 Oreos, ground
  19. For the Meringue Cookies
  20. 4 egg whites
  21. 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  22. 1 cup white granulated sugar
  23. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  24. For the Chocolate Drizzle
  25. 8oz semi-sweet chocolate
  26. 1/4 milk
  27. For Assembly
  28. Fresh Raspberries

Instructions

    For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour the cake pans.
  3. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the west and mix on low speed.
  5. Add the coffee to the batter, still mixing on low and scraping down the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into your 2 cake pans.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean (with some moist crumbs), and cool for 30 minutes. Once cool enough, turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Once the cakes have completely cooled, carefully slice off the rounded tops so you have flat, even surfaces on both sides.
  9. For the Oreo Buttercream
  10. Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches, or you can use a double-boiler) with a few inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.
  11. In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.
  12. Place over simmering pot and whisk for several minutes until the egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees) and the sugar has dissolved into the egg.
  13. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.
  14. Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.
  15. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until mixture is completely cooled.
  16. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time, and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. The buttercream won't come together at first and may look a little soupy, but just keep beating the buttercream until it becomes thick.
  17. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  18. Throw in the raspberries and beat until the buttercream is a good pink color and the raspberries have been thoroughly broken up.
  19. Use immediately.
  20. For the Meringue Cookies
  21. Preheat oven to 225 F.
  22. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  23. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until frothy. Add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high.
  24. Slowly add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until it is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
  25. Beat in vanilla extract.
  26. Fill a piping bag with meringue, use a star tip. Pipe cookies.
  27. Bake cookies for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check them often.
  28. Turn the oven off, open its door and let them cool inside.
  29. Store meringue cookies in an airtight container away from any heat or moisture.
  30. For the sufganiyot
  31. See the kit you can buy at judaica.com or search sufganiyot on my blog for the recipe
  32. For the Chocolate Drizzle
  33. In a double boiler, heat the chocolate until completely melted.
  34. Add in milk until smooth.
  35. Assembly
  36. Place Oreo Buttercream on top of one of the layers of cake, and top with fresh raspberries.
  37. Place the next layer of chocolate cake on top and repeat until all layers have filling.
  38. Frost the buttercream smoothly on the outside of the cake.
  39. Using skewers, place mini sufganiyot on the cake where you see fit, likewise the meringue cookies.
  40. Place the chocolate drizzle on the cake's edges so it drips down the sides.
http://www.miriinthevillage.com/2017/01/chocolate-kitchen-sink-cake.html

 

Mediterranean Cheesy Penne

Mediterranean Cheesy Penne with Barilla® Pronto®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WonderfulYourWay #CollectiveBias

Do you know how many times we’ve left our little one with a babysitter? Once. Just once! Let’s face it. Babysitters are expensive, but hiring a babysitter is so worth it when you get to spend some alone time with your hubby. I don’t know about you, but I always like to leave my babysitter with plenty of food I know my son and my babysitter will like, so they are both left with a good experience. One of my favorite dishes to prepare is a one pan Mediterranean cheesy penne with Barilla® Pronto® Penne.

Mediterranean Style Penne and Cheese

Mediterranean Style Penne and Cheese

So, what’s so special about Barilla® Pronto® Pasta? Let me tell you, this blue box is a life-saver for when you need a quick, easy, one-pan meal. Barilla® Pronto® Pasta is a product innovation that allows you to make a pasta dish, including the sauce, all in one pan. No boiling pasta, no draining pasta, no washing that extra pot you’d need to cook the pasta.  Pasta cooks in 10 minutes in the sauce, which makes it great for casseroles. The pasta comes out perfectly al dente every time.

Mediterranean Style Penne and Cheese

My Mediterranean Cheesy Penne has everything, the creaminess of a macaroni and cheese filled with vegetables and a unique flavor your babysitter will love. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak vegetables all in one pan! This dish keeps really well, and can be made ahead of time, then reheated. Word of warning, this dish does contain onions, so if you have an onion-hater in the house, just blend it up in a food processor. Your kid will never notice! My son gobbled this up without a second thought and demanded more.

Mediterranean Style Penne and Cheese

Save this recipe for Valentine’s Day. Pin the pic below! And for more Barilla Wonderful Your Way recipe inspiration, click this link.

Mediterranean Style Penne and Cheese

Mediterranean Cheesy Penne with Barilla

Mediterranean Cheesy Penne with Barilla

Ingredients

  1. 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained well
  2. 1/3 cup chopped black olives
  3. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  4. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 8 oz Barilla® Pronto® Penne
  6. 2 Tbsp butter, plus more for baking dish
  7. 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  9. 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  10. 3 Tbsp flour
  11. 2 cups whole milk
  12. 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  13. 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  14. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or baking dish, combine drained diced tomatoes, chopped olives, 1 Tbsp fresh basil, dried oregano and Barilla® Pronto® Penne, set aside.
  2. Melt butter along with olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 3 - 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sauteing.
  3. Whisk in flour, and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  4. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in milk and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Once mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in 2 oz feta cheese and mozzarella cheese then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour tomato/pasta mixture over the sauce and toss to evenly coat.
  8. Keep the pan on low heat for 10-15 minutes until pasta is al dente.
  9. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 4 oz crumbled feta cheese.
  10. If you'd like a crispy top, put your pan under the broiler for 5 minutes until the cheese has evenly browned.
  11. If you'd like to bake the Mediterranean Cheesy Penne
  12. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  13. Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish.
  14. Complete steps 1-7
  15. Pour coated pasta mixture into prepared baking dish.
  16. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 4 oz crumbled feta cheese.
  17. Bake in preheated oven 20 - 25 minutes until edges are bubbling and top is golden brown.
  18. Serve warm garnished with fresh basil.
http://www.miriinthevillage.com/2017/01/mediterranean-cheesy-penne.html

Mediterranean Cheesy Penne

Why Younger Families Should Adopt an Older Dog

Five Reasons Why Young Families Should Adopt an Older Dog

I grew up with dogs. In fact, I can’t ever remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a pet, even if that pet lived with my parents while I was away at college. When I was twenty-three I adopted Moses from a pet store. To be fair, he was already 4 months old, and I got him below cost. He wasn’t playful or excitable like the other dogs. In fact, when I picked him up, he just fell asleep in my arms. That was the moment I knew he was the dog for me. With time came Elijah, who was pretty much the opposite of Moses, but now that he is over seven years old, and an “older dog,” he’s calmed down a great deal.

Why Younger Families Should Adopt Older Dogs

My son has only ever known life with dogs, and he LOVES his dogs. LOVES! Obsessed might be a better word for it. He’d rather watch hours of the Fido channel over cartoons any day. I heard about Saving Grace Animals for Adoption from some people at my job. They often let people foster a dog for the weekend, so their dogs can get some experience living in a home and also so they can get an idea if a dog is good with kids, cats or other dogs. My husband and I talked it over, and thought a weekend foster would be a perfect opportunity to indulge my son’s interests on a short term basis. I knew we would prefer a large, older dog with a gentle personality who would be mellow around kids. Though my son has learned how to properly pet our dogs, he’s still a toddler and could startle a small dog.

Why Younger Families Should Adopt Older Dogs

Saving Grace has a list of their adoptable dogs on their website with descriptions. I gave Saving Grace a list of five dogs who fit the mold of what we were looking for, and we picked Henry up on Friday evening.

Why Younger Families Should Adopt Older Dogs

Henry is a tri-pod. He lost his left leg in an injury. He’s 40 pounds, and the shelter believes he’s about 4 years old. Henry is a love muffin, snuggle bug. He loves to cuddle and give sweet kisses. He’s also what I’d describe as an omega dog. He automatically assumes he’s the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to the pack, so he doesn’t mark or overly assert himself when it comes to food or water. This was perfect, because Elijah is also an omega dog, and can easily feel threatened. Speaking of water, Henry likes to drink a lot of it. A LOT. He’s basically the Marco Rubio of dogs. That means he also pees A LOT. He’s great about letting us know when he needs to go outside, but golly, that dog can pee for a very long time. Even though he only has three legs, he enjoys going for walks, and had a BLAST playing in the snow. Henry is also very fond of playing with toys, which was just pure delight for my son to witness. And when my son took toys directly from Henry’s mouth? Henry just let go and walked away. This guy is so patient – the best for a family with young children. Seriously guys, this is a dream dog. If you live in the Triangle area, and are considering getting a dog, Henry is amazing, and I’d like nothing more than for him to find a loving forever home.

Why Younger Families Should Adopt Older Dogs

When families with young kids consider getting a dog, they often prefer an energetic puppy. I get it. Your kids like to play, and you want a companion for them who also likes to play. There’s also the idea that you can mold the puppy into being the dog you want it to be. Well, I’m here to make the case that the best dogs for young families are older dogs, and here’s why:

  1. Lower maintenance. A puppy needs almost as much attention as your kids. Many rescue shelters work very hard to crate and leash train their dogs, so they already come to you with some basic skills.
  2. Better temperament. By the time a dog is an adult, its temperament is well-established. You can even learn if the dog has a history of nipping, shows cat-aggression or is dominant in any way. Every dog will be playful at some point, so, in my opinion, it’s best to choose a calm, submissive dog.
  3. Less accidents. Puppies need some time for their bladders to develop. They aren’t really able to “hold it.” Unless you choose a dog who is prone to marking, an older dog will be more comfortable using the restroom outside.
  4. Great for kids. Once you assess that you have chosen an calm, submissive, older dog, you can trust that your children will be the benefactors of your newest family member. An older dog is less likely to chew on your kids’ toys, will be more patient around curious toddlers and will also be a source of protection against potential intruders.
  5. It’s a mitzvah! Mitzvah means “good deed” in Hebrew. Yes, puppies are cute, but they aren’t the only ones who need homes. Older dogs often have not experienced the joy of being part of a loving family. And if they are much older, you can offer them a warm, comfortable place to spend their twilight years.

Why Younger Families Should Adopt Older Dogs

I know what you’re thinking. “Miri, why aren’t you adopting Henry?” Good question! While our hearts say yes, logistics say no. We are in the middle of some major transitions in our home. All of these transitions are good, and to be honest, adding Henry to the fray wouldn’t complicate things that much, because he’s so easy-going. However, there are just too many unknowns for us to commit to a third dog right now. That said, he is welcome for however many weekends go by before he meets his forever family. Is that you? If so, please contact Saving Grace Animals for Adoption at (919) 518-1180.

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding with Honey Bunches of Oats

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpoonfulsOfGoodness #CerealAnytime #CollectiveBias

Happy New Year, everybody! I think we’re all a little relieved that 2016 is over, even if that means an end to the holiday season. Fry fest (otherwise known as Chanukah) is also done, and it’s about time to get down to business in the health department. I think possibly the biggest mistake anyone can make when trying to live a healthier lifestyle is going from one extreme to another. It’s about making better-for-you choices that are delicious and simple to make. You’ve heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s the truth. The more nutrients you can pack in the early hours, the better off you’ll be throughout the day. For months now, my husband has been making me chia pudding for breakfast, and it is a life-saver.

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

The key to a good chia pudding is what you pair it with. When my son got to the Honey Bunches of Oats section of the cereal aisle at Walmart, he couldn’t contain his excitement. Honey Bunches of Oats is his and my favorite cereal, and would add a nice crunch to our chia pudding. Also adding some tartness from fresh fruit makes a complete, quick and easy breakfast. For this recipe we chose raspberries, kiwis and blueberries.

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

If you know anything about me, you know that I’m busy. Beyond busy. Full-time mom, full-time job, full-time blog and some other things in the works. Here’s the beauty of making chia pudding in a mason jar. You let the chia seeds soak overnight, layer the chia seeds with Honey Bunches of Oats and your fruit, then cover with the mason jar lid. You can take it to work or even just take a few bites when you have a moment.

Why chia seeds? Well, they are filled with a long list of nutrients, but what I find most important for me is the fact that chia is packed with Omega-3s and fiber. On top of that, chia seeds help keep you full until lunch time, which may help with weight loss.

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

Honey Bunches of Oats not your jam? That’s okay! Post has so many other nutritious options to choose from including Shredded Wheat and Great Grains cereals. All contain high amounts of fiber, protein, antioxidants and many other nutrients. It’s a better-for-you option that isn’t just for breakfast, but can be enjoyed any time of day.

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

This chia seed pudding gets me out the door quickly and ramps me up for a busy day ahead. Better yet, my son loves it too! It’s a delicious way for the whole family to get healthy in 2017.

Want to incorporate Chia Pudding into your morning routine? Pin the pic below!

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding with Honey Bunches of Oats

Chia Pudding with Honey Bunches of Oats

Ingredients

    Chia Pudding
  1. 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  2. 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  3. 1/2 cup almond milk
  4. 1 teaspoon honey
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. Assembly
  7. Chia Pudding
  8. Honey Bunches of Oats
  9. Fresh fruit of your choice (I used raspberries, kiwi & blueberries)

Instructions

    Chia Pudding
  1. Mix chia seeds, coconut milk, almond milk, honey and vanilla extract in a mason jar.
  2. Cover mason jar with lid and let sit overnight in refrigerator (at least four hours).
  3. Assembly
  4. In another mason jar, place a third of the chia pudding in the bottom, put a thin layer of fruit, then a thin layer of Honey bunches of oats. Repeat until you have three layers of each.
  5. Enjoy, or if enjoying later, cover with a mason jar lid.
http://www.miriinthevillage.com/2017/01/chia-pudding-honey-bunches-oats.html

Get Up & Go Chia Pudding

French Cheese Puffs

French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a great one! We kept it pretty Jewish, and celebrated Chanukah and Christmas in a Chinese restaurant near my in-laws’ house. It’s always great to spend time with family, but I got sick (again!), and then the baby got sick, which is both pitiful and adorable all in one. In the meantime, we’re in the throws of Chanukah, and it’s not over until Sunday at sundown. Sure, I could throw another fried delight at you, but fried food has been a little overkill lately. Also, I still have to do a post for Food Bloggers Recipe Swap, so I chose to feature Tara’s Multicultural Table’s French Cheese Puffs.

French Cheese Puffs

Mmm, I love cheese, but you already know this. I just learned this week that Chanukah is a traditionally a dairy holiday, so what could be more perfect than these delicately light appetizers? French Cheese Puffs are great for both Chanukah and New Year’s Eve!

French Cheese Puffs

You may notice my pictures look a tad bit different in both good ways and bad. I got a brand new camera (woot!) and a new lighting kit (double woot!) for a new business venture. I thought it would be perfect during these dark winter months for my food posts also! Well, I forgot to change my image format to RAW, and absolutely nothing can replace natural light. I’m still learning the ropes, but I’m sure pics will surpass my normal standard very soon.

French Cheese Puffs

So French Cheese Puffs – these delicious light cheese morsels? Yeah, that’s where it’s at. They remind me of Brazilian Cheese Biscuits, and can be eaten hot or cold. They are also super quick to put together, and I already had all the ingredients in my house! Please check out Tara’s Multi-Cultural Table. She has so many great recipes, it was really hard to choose just one!

Keep this recipe around, and pin this pic!

French Cheese Puffs

French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup water
  2. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. Pinch salt
  4. Pepper
  5. 1 cup all purpose flour
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 1 cup grated cheese - something on the hard and flavorful side, like Gruyère, reserve a couple of tablespoons for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the flour.
  4. Allow to cool to lukewarm.
  5. Transfer mixture to a standing mixer with a paddle attachment.
  6. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then the shredded cheese, reserving some for the topping.
  7. Using wet hands, break off a golf-ball sized ball of dough and roll between your hands to make smooth.
  8. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing them 1 1/2 inches apart.
  9. Top with remaining shredded cheese.
  10. Bake in preheated oven until puffed and golden, 25-30 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or cool.
http://www.miriinthevillage.com/2016/12/french-cheese-puffs-gougeres.html

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve

Champagne Donuts for New Year’s Eve

Maybe it’s just too early in the game, but I thought I’d ask you just the same. What are you doing New Year’s… New Year’s Eve? Please tell me you sang that in your head to the voice of Ella Fitzgerald. Anyway, I know that it may feel a bit early to write about New Year’s Eve, but the fact is New Year’s Eve is a little more than a week away. Also, people are kind of losing their minds over Christmukkah like they did for Thanksgivukkah a few years ago, but did you realize the last night of Chanukah is New Year’s Eve? I think I’ll call it Jew Year’s Eve. And yes, I made more donuts, and these are appropriately champagne donuts.

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve

By the way, you want to know what I’ll be doing Jew Year’s Eve? I have a 1.5 year old. We’ll be home by 7:30 and probably watch The Office on Netflix for the 5th time. I live such an exciting life! We’ll also take Netflix recommendations if you have any. My husband and I just finished up the Israeli series, Fauda. SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD! Watch it. Now we’re watching the Turkish drama Magnificent Century, which is like a really cheesy soap opera set during the Ottoman Empire. It’s ironically great in it’s own One Night with the King sort of way. Both these series have subtitles though, so you can’t watch them passively or while wearing old contacts.

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve

Right, so champagne donuts. I basically adapted my Guinness donuts recipe to make these festive morsels. I decided to switch it up from the other sufganiyot posts I’ve been writing, and make a more traditional donut and donut holes. After all, do champagne donuts really need filling? No, I didn’t think so.

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve

What’s nice about using champagne or any liquor with a donut is the bitterness tempers the sweet flavors quite nicely. That’s also why I added gold sugar crystals on top and spray painted them with pearl gold edible spray paint. Okay, maybe I just did that for the pictures. Still a good idea though.

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve

I actually made these for a work Christmas cookie exchange. Yes, it would have been much easier to make cookies, but my fryer was already out, so… there you go.

Save this recipe to say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2016. Pin this pic!

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve

Champagne Donuts for New Year’s Eve

Champagne Donuts for New Year’s Eve

Ingredients

    For the Donuts
  1. • 2 ½ cups all-purose flour
  2. • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  3. • 1 packet rapid rise yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
  4. • ¾ cup dry champagne
  5. • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. • 3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
  7. • ¼ cup heavy cream (room temperature, I used coconut cream)
  8. • 1 tsp salt
  9. • 4 tbs butter, softened (or margarine for a parve donut)
  10. • oil for frying (canola or Crisco is best)
  11. For the Glaze:
  12. • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  13. • 1/4 cup dry champagne
  14. For Decoration
  15. • Gold Sugar Crystals
  16. • Edible Pearl Spray Paint

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough book add the flour, sugar and yeast.
  2. Add the champagne to a microwave safe bowl, microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperate and repeat until beer reaches between 120 and 130 degrees F.
  3. Add the beer to the stand mixer, mix until most of the flour has been moistened.
  4. Add the vanilla then the yolks, one at a time. Add the cream, salt and softened butter.
  5. Building up speed, beat on high until the dough comes together and gathers around the blade and becomes elastic.
  6. The dough will be very soft.
  7. Add dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubles in size.
  8. Punch down the dough and knead lightly to remove any air bubbles. Place dough in the fridge and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  9. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1 inch thickness. Cut doughnuts out with a 3 ½ inch biscuit cutter with 1 inch circle holes.
  10. Place doughnuts on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Loosely cover with a towel.
  11. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  12. Heat your deep fryer with canola oil to 360 degrees. If you do not have a deep fryer, fill a large heavy bottomed saucepan with canola oil until about 4 inches deep. Add a deep fry thermometer and bring oil to about 360 degrees, adjusting heat to maintain temperature.
  13. Working in batches, fry the doughnuts on each side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from oil and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  14. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and the champagne until well combined. One at a time dip the doughnuts in the glaze.
  15. If decorating, while the glaze is still wet, dip into a bowl filled with the sugar crystals until well-covered.
  16. Allow glaze to set before serving. If using edible spray paint, lightly spray until the donuts give a metallic sheen.
http://www.miriinthevillage.com/2016/12/champagne-donuts-new-years-eve.html

Champagne Donuts for New Year's Eve