• Family,  Parenting

    Christmas 2020

    And this is AFTER many HOURS of breaking down Barbie Doll boxes, digging through bags to make sure we aren’t throwing away instruction manuals, picking up every little twisty tie, wading through a sea of chocolate wrappers and broken candy canes. 🤣🎄 I tried this year. While we were opening gifts, we would pause between “rounds” to throw all the boxes and wrapping paper into a massive pile by the kitchen trash can. We would take the allotted 12+ minutes to cut the toy out of the, what I’m assuming is, military grade plastic using my sewing scissors and husband using his pocket knife. (Dad Mode❤️) After hours of work,…

  • Family,  Travel/Vacation

    Albanese Candy Factory

    We recently visited the Albanese Confectionery in Merrillville IN. 🍭🏭 Address: 1910 W 81st AveMerrillville, IN 46410United States It was my own fault for imagining it would be like taking a magical tour of Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory, but I was surprised by how chill and low key the place was. I should say, the ATMOSPHERE was chill and low key, NOT my experience… We made this one of our “stretch your legs” pitstops about 3 hours in to our 6 Hour Rd. trip that day. So the kids were feeling WILD and restless, and I handed them each $10 and let them buy whatever they wanted 😳 That was…

  • Family,  Travel/Vacation

    Self Confidence is Key

    I recently realized one of my “fatal character flaws” and it actually helps me understand myself better. This is a photo of me, hubby, my 2 oldest kids, aunt, uncle and a couple of cousins about 6 years ago while we were vacationing in the San Francisco area. Look at me, on the left, wearing the red “Indiana” hoodie. Do you see me? Look closely at my posture and body language. I ALWAYS do this in group photos. I recently started to wonder “why” and mentally walk through it. When a group photo begins to form, a few questions go through my mind: 1. Am I supposed to BE in…

  • Family,  Travel/Vacation

    Switchyard Park in Bloomington IN

    Coolest. Park. Ever 😎👍 We visited Switchyard Park in Bloomington today. It’s brand new which totally adds to the charm. It wasn’t “packed,” but it was definitely busy, and we went around 10am on a Thursday. They have a nice and cool covered picnic area, so definitely plan ahead for that. Thankfully I brought a gloriously cold and delicious iced tea from Starbucks or we all would’ve had a heat stroke 😅🥵 The playground area is pretty much all fenced in aside from a couple places where it opens up to walking/hiking paths. Definitely watch out for that if you have wildlings like I do. There was a moment when…

  • Uncategorized

    I Miss My Brother

    I miss my brother. When we were kids, he wanted to prank me on April Fools day. I think he saw some “clever ideas” during a commercial break on Nickelodeon. We don’t know exactly how it happened, but somewhere he got the idea to put bread on the toilet seat. He said he had something to show me, so I came into the bathroom and saw maybe 6-7 slices of bread lined on the toilet seat. I stood there for a second, confused. I looked at him with his thick glasses and huge smile beaming at me. He was SO proud of his joke. I looked back at the bread,…

  • Travel/Vacation

    Campbell’s Highland Grille

    GUID EFTERNUIN! (or Good Afternoon, if you please) I have been watching Outlander lately. A LOT of Outlander. An obsessive-not-totally-healthy-need-a-support-group amount of Outlander. *That’s a real thing* Anywho, I found myself temporarily detained in Greenwood IN, while my eldest bairn (She’s 11) attends an all day music training. I meandered out to find a restaurant that “speaks to me” and when I saw the words “Campbell’s Highland Grille” I could NOT whip my car into a parking spot fast enough! The atmosphere feels like a hybrid between a charming Scottish pub and an American sports bar. The decor is very Scottish but with a buzz of sports on all the…

  • Family,  Health and Wellness,  Recipes

    Chicky Chicky Parm Parm

    Guys! I’m a genius now. (Call Mensa!) I wanted chicken Parmesan last week, but couldn’t find a good recipe that would be either low-carb, keto, or THM/S… so I started thinking 🤔 And Eureka! I realized that I could make a totally solid chicken Parmesan breading out of pork rinds, almond meal, Italian seasoning, and of course, Parmesan! So, here’s what you need to do! Supply list: Food Processor Meat Hammer 3 oz Pork Rinds 1/4 cup Almond meal 1 cup Parmesan Cheese Italian Seasoning Salt and pepper (to your preference) 2 eggs 1.5-2 lbs Chicken Breast (thinly sliced) Coconut oil for frying Here’s what you need to do: Put…

  • Family,  Health and Wellness,  Parenting

    Brown Bag November Challenge

    For the last few years I have been on a journey toward minimalism. Probably not the “over-the-top-only-own-one-chair-and-a-lamp” type, but I want to keep my earthly possessions to a minimum for sure. I always say “all this stuff could burn up in a fire tomorrow and we would carry on with our lives and be fine.” So, last November I started thinking about how much unnecessary stuff we had accumulated over the year and how Christmas was coming and we were going to get more stuff than we could imagine. 🎄I could feel the walls closing in on me. I don’t want to deprive my children of having nice Christmas memories…