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Busy, Busy long weekend!

Hello, friends! I had a busy long weekend!  Friday I spent the day making last minute jewelry and T-shirts for my first open house on Saturday!  I didn’t have the greatest turn out on Saturday, but it was still a great day.  I served turkey, black bean, sweet potato chili and white chicken chili, plus homemade hummus and guacamole with tons of fresh veggies for dipping!  The food was definitely a hit.  I wish I had taken pictures of the colorful display!

The merchandise was a hit too!  I was so excited to show the jewelry that I had been working on for months!

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Plus the adorable t-shirts.  I actually received a couple of big orders, including a bachelorette party order for THIS Friday!  Now, if my vinyl would just deliver!  Here are some of the cute shirts I had on display.

I also made cute workout tanks, some bags and wooden signs!

I have FOUR more shows coming up!!  One on small business Saturday 11/24, Two weekends in a row at the Natural Foods store 12/2 and 12/9, and a HUGE band boosters Holiday Market on 12/15.  My amazing husband will be with me at all shows to help set up and sell my goods.  How did I get so lucky??  The next few weeks will be filled with making Christmas designs!!  I have tons of supplies on order!

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November, already??

This year has seriously flown by!  I can’t believe we’re already approaching the holiday season.  Today I want to talk about Thanksgiving!  My normal tradition was with my entire family at my mom’s house.  She and I would prepare the entire meal, including desserts, and her sisters and their families would join us.  We usually have at least 15-22 people for the holiday!  Since Aaron and I married, last year we started a new tradition.  We go to BOTH families for the day.  Last year we went to his families for dinner (with 30+ of his family members!) and then back to my mom’s for dessert.  Since we live next door to my mom, we got to enjoy plenty of leftovers the week after.

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So, what do we serve?

At my mom’s we have roasted turkey (or 2), stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn, coleslaw, Hawaiian rolls and deviled eggs.  For dessert…omg…pumpkin, apple, coconut cream pies and usually a cheesecake and cookies.  It’s insanity and I love it!!!

At Aaron’s family, we have turkey, corn casserole, regular and gluten free stuffing, mashed potatoes and some other veggie dishes.

Both homes have amazingly delicious foods and I cannot wait!!  I’m pretty good about not overindulging, since we have leftovers for days.  I will allow myself a piece of coconut and pumpkin pie though, as my mom makes both in a sugar free version for me, since I can’t have sugar.

To me, it’s more about WHO is around the table, and not what’s on it.  I love seeing my aunts and cousins.  I’ve actually had asthma attacks from laughing so hard.  How does that even happen!?  I’m also loving getting to know Aaron’s cousins and family.  His cousins are really awesome and I’m so happy to have them in my life.  Our holidays may be different, but they are even better.  Not only do I have this amazing man by my side, but also his amazing family.  I’m so truly blessed.

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu?  Do you stick to traditional foods or go all out in a different direction?  I know some friends have ethnic dishes along with their traditional fare.  Tell me!  I love to hear about other traditions!!

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Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween, friends!  I made my “costume” last night, after we returned from a morning at UPenn hospital for Aaron’s checkup (more on that in a few…).  I’m pretty pleased with how cute it is!!  I’m totally feeling fab-boo-lous!

I’ll be adding a black and white polka dot scarf mid-morning, as I have a funeral to attend.  It’s for one of my dad’s closest friends, so I don’t want to be rude.

I hope everyone has fun tonight, if you’re trick or treating!  If not, please be mindful of little ghouls and goblins while driving home in the dark!  I always worry and drive extra careful on halloween night!

I haven’t been trick or treating in years, and I totally miss it!  Josh is a freshman in college, and this is the first year he dressed up since middle school.  Of course it was for a college costume party.  Hopefully he had fun, but not too much fun.  😉  He went as a character from Book of Mormon, which we saw on stage in NYC this summer and loved. Here’s my “Brother Cunningham”

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So yesterday we had Aaron’s 6 month check up from his pancreatic neuroendrocrine tumor that was removed last June.  Everything looks good and the doctor is moving him to 9 month visits.  I’d actually prefer they keep the 6 months, for piece of mind.  Since there is a chance of recurrence, I’d just prefer to keep a very close eye on everything!  Need to keep my sweetie healthy and cancer free!  I just love this man so much!  Here’s a picture that my brother sent to us from the sixers game the other night.  He spotted us on tv and took a pic.

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Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy today!!

xo, Lori

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What’s on your weekly menu?

Busy weeks are always the hardest to plan dinners for.  We have a basketball game tonight (Go Sixers!) and then are in Philly during the day tomorrow for a doctor visit.  A funeral Wednesday and Friday I’ll be getting ready for my first open house for my jewelry and design business!  We planned a little last night and I roasted a whole chicken to eat for lunches, and a triple batch of chocolate protein muffins for breakfast.  Our menu this week looks like this:

Monday: Chicken, brown rice and roasted carrots (Poor Aaron has to eat in the car on the way to the game).

Tuesday: Chicken Rice bowls.  Make your own style with sweet potatoes, sauteed onions, roasted corn and broccoli to choose from.  Dress with olive oil and lime juice.

Wednesday: Steak, grilled potatoes and roasted veggies.

Thursday: Shrimp tacos on brown rice tortillas

Friday: Either something in the crockpot or take out.

Saturday: Black bean, turkey and sweet potato chili

Tell me what YOU’RE eating this week!  Inspire me to create a more creative menu next week!

xo, Lori

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Homemade Clean pasta sauce

Last night we needed a quick dinner before we headed to my sons university to see him perform with a Mastersingers choir. Usually we would hit a restaurant on the way and eat something expensive and not quite as healthy as home cooking is. I decided to make spaghetti sauce. We never have pasta! In Arbonne 30, brown rice pasta is allowed and I love the taste and texture of it. I usually stay away from the carbs and eat pasta sauce over spaghetti squash, but I wanted the warming comfort of a nice pasta dish last night.

Making clean pasta sauce is pretty easy! I started by sautéing onion, pepper and garlic in a little olive oil.

I love micro planing garlic, so we get all the flavor and no big pieces.

I added 1lb of extra lean grass fed ground beef to the veggies, some oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cooked through.

Next up was 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes. If you like your sauce thick, add a can of tomato sauce or purée, but I like mine full of yummy bites of tomato.

Isn’t that gorgeous?? I add a few drops of liquid stevia to cut the acid and let the sauce simmer for an hour or so. Let all those yummy flavors meld together.

I love Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta. The texture is perfect, and you can’t tell it’s not regular pasta. Plus it only takes 7 minutes to cook!

The final product was a hardy, comforting dinner that we all enjoyed.

Pasta on a clean eating lifestyle is totally manageable! The only thing I missed was the Parmesan cheese, but I know that dairy is mean to my body. Many people are intimidated by making their own sauce, but it’s really very easy! When I’m making a big batch, I usually leave out the meat and just make traditional sauce, but I was making dinner for 3 tonight and I know we all needed the extra protein.

Enjoy! Let me know your thoughts!

Xo, Lori

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Simple yet satisfying dinner

The end of the week is always a struggle when it comes to meal planning. I had planned on making turkey chili with black beans and sweet potatoes, but since I made white chicken chili last night we did a quick switch. We ended up having turkey burgers and roasted vegetables. I love vegetables, but roasted is definitely my favorite way to prepare them. A little olive oil and some spices and throw them in the oven. Tonight I roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and onions and then coined up some white potatoes for Aaron and sweet for me. I wish he liked sweet potatoes! I seasoned the veggies with rosemary, onion and garlic powders, oregano, salt and pepper. I like them almost burnt, and they did not disappoint! Aaron threw the turkey burgers on the grill and dinner was ready! I seasoned the extra lean ground turkey with onion, garlic, 21 season salute, salt and pepper. They were super flavorful and Aaron cooked them just right. He added cheese to his, but since I’m dairy free I topped mine with half an avocado.

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Lemon Thyme Chicken

Remember how I told you I love lemon??  The other night, I wanted to make a healthy but romantic dinner for Aaron and I.  You know what I mean, a meal that takes a little more time and love to create. ;o)  I had bought a huge pack of chicken breasts on sale to use for a few meals and thought of the whole roasted chicken that I like to cook for special meals.  It’s kind of a version of Ina Garten’s engagement chicken.  Ok, it IS Ina Garten’s recipe and it DID work.  For real, I made Aaron engagement chicken one Valentine’s day and we were engaged on March 23.  That shit works!

Anyway, I subbed Thyme for Rosemary, but most of the elements were the same.

Lemon Thyme Chicken

1 lb Chicken breast

2 lemons, juiced, zested and quartered

6 cloves of garlic

3/4c chicken broth

bunch of thyme

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp oregano

Preheat oven to 400*.  Sautee onions in olive oil and add garlic for the last few minutes.  Add broth, seasonings and lemon juice and zest to saucepan and then pour into baking dish.  Top with chicken and a few extra sprigs of thyme, add the quartered lemons and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear. (I use a meat thermometer to tell me when it’s done).  Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts for a wholesome meal.  Bon Appetit!

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You probably have learned by now that my photography skills suck. This picture was taken after my husband had already served himself, and it’s not especially pretty, but it tasted damn good!

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Vacation Blues

Do you get the blues when vacation is over?  I returned to work on Monday, and that also meant the return of my headaches.  Coincidence?  I think not!  I love my job, I really do, but I love vacation more!

Our trip to Jamaica was everything I could have dreamed of and more.  The weather was good, the food was great, the staff was attentive and my time with Aaron was perfect.  Our already strong bond was strengthened even more.  It’s amazing what time away can do for your soul and your marriage!!

I don’t think I could ever stay in another resort brand again.  Secrets St. James in Montego Bay was truly amazing.  We had the greatest view from our amazing suite.

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Even before landing, you could see how clear blue the ocean was

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We were greeted by staff when we arrived to the resort and taken to our suite.  I wish I had taken actual pics, because it was gorgeous.  I loved the soaking tub and the bed was so comfortable!

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We had a nice little surprise waiting for us when we entered the room.  Aaron had told them that we were celebrating our honeymoon, which we were…a year and a half after we wed!

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We were also gifted with a romantic in suite breakfast, which was totally yummy!

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We woke early every morning, usually by 5:30-6am.  We took a walk every morning to watch the sunrise and then headed to the coffee shop.  This peacock was there to greet us every morning.  We were constantly trying to get good pictures of her!

We lazily laid by the ocean every day and floated around all afternoon.  I enjoyed my daily mimosas.

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We would check out the pool scene in the afternoon.  The pool bar bartenders were really funny and livened up the day.  This view from what we called the quiet pool was spectacular!

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The food was incredible.  I thought my favorite was the French restaurant, until I tried the Italian food.  Crazy, right?  Those Jamaicans can surely cook a mean steak, too!  Seriously perfect!  We enjoyed our dinners every night and dressing up.

It was truly a magical vacation and I’m already looking forward to our next trip away!  For now, the memories we made and the pictures we took will be at the forefront of my mind.

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xo, Lori

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Updated Studio!

At the beginning of the year, Aaron and I moved my studio/home office downstairs to the basement to make the room into a nursery.  It was a lot of work, with big heavy furniture and TONS of supplies and files, etc.  I created an adorable nursery, painted the walls a pretty gray and adored the new space.  As I said in another blog, we decided to end our foster to adoption journey a few months ago.  So this past weekend, while Aaron was working, I took apart the crib and moved all of the baby stuff downstairs to await it’s new owner.  I bought new, lighter furniture, and am absolutely LOVING my new space!  I’m working on a gallery wall and more space for displaying my jewelry.  I kept the nursery sign that I had made and the adventure rug, since my business is an adventure that I’m working on!  Plus it’s really soft, and sometimes I like to lay on the floor to create.  Aaron tried to snap a picture of that this weekend, but I threatened him.  LOL!  Tell me what you think!

 

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