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It’s Holiday Season!

Hello!!  It’s always so hard to come back to work after an extended weekend.  I was off work for 5 glorious days, and I’m feeling it this morning!

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving??  Ours was absolutely lovely, and filled with family, food and fun!  Thursday we were able to spend time with both of our families and filled our bellies a little too much.  It was worth it!!

Friday my mom and my bestie and I headed out to the mall by 4am.  This year was a little different though, as the kids were all awake and came with us!!  Josh, Ava and my cousin Breanna joined us and split off as soon as we arrived.  We gave them some cash and said, “Pick out a few things for Christmas!”  We had breakfast around 9am and then headed home…to NAP!  It was so much fun!  Josh grabbed some Beatles socks, a record or two and a few other items he was hoping for.  I just can’t remember what they are…I’ll be surprised when I go to wrap.  🙂  Besides a few gift cards, we are DONE our shopping!  Woohoo!!!

Saturday I had my first craft show of the season.  It benefited a local church preschool program and there were so many amazing vendors there!!  I set up my jewelry and some of my wood signs and pictures.  I was pretty pleased with my sales, but I spent most of it on goods for myself.  LOL!  Lularoe, Posh, handmade banners, etc.  We have another craft market this Sunday and next at the Natural Foods store and then a big one on 12/15 at a local high school.  That one benefits a marching band, so you know I’m on that!!  I’ll always be a marching band mama!  I have a lot to work on this week to be ready for the shows!!  Here are a couple pictures from Saturday:

It was so nice to relax yesterday until it was time to take Josh back to school.  The house will be quiet (and clean!) again for the next 3 weeks until Winter break begins, but I will miss my boy so much!!!  We will see him on Saturday for his winter concert, though.

I’m starting another Arbonne 30 day cleanse from now until Christmas Eve today.  I did a lot of meal prep when I returned home from taking Josh.  Muffins, Turkey and vegetable soup, salad.  I feel so much better when I’m eating properly.  I have no regrets of the past weekend though.  I was still mindful of everything I ate.  Did I have a slice of pie?  yep, but just one.  Did I have a few sugar free Starbucks Latte’s?  Oh, yes I did and I enjoyed every sip…until the acid gave me an upset stomach.

Busy week ahead!  What’s on YOUR agenda??

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Happy Monday!

It’s Thanksgiving week and I could not be more Thankful for all of the amazing people in my life.  I’m so looking forward to Thursday and seeing both sides of our family.  Josh is home all week too!  He’s been so busy catching up with friends that I haven’t gotten much time with him at all!  We had a nice lunch together today and got to chat about everything.  I just adore him to no end!!!

Yesterday one of my dear friends came over and snapped some family pics for Christmas cards.  My guys were NOT impressed and they were on their absolute worst behavior.  Not smiling, making faces, Josh wouldn’t take his glasses off and they had turned to sunglasses from the light.  Everything was just wrong!  However, Laura still got some really great shots.  I’m actually looking forward to seeing the outtakes too.  My gorgeous niece joined us so that I could get a picture of her and Josh together.  The child does not take a bad picture!!!

I’m working only two days this week and then I’m off to help my mom prepare for Thanksgiving since she’s down with a torn tendon in her foot, and make a gluten free stuffing for my in-laws Thanksgiving.  I’ll be sure to post the recipe later this week!

Josh is hosting Friendsgiving tomorrow night with all of his friends who are home from college.  The list of friends keep growing.  I’m going to have to set another table up just to fit them all!!  I love the kids though, so it will be a fun night.  I just hope the turkey thaws in time!  It’s sitting in a sink of cold water for now.  Wish us luck!

Here are a few pictures from our shoot yesterday.  I just have to say, I love how Aaron smiles with his whole face.  I truly feel like the luckiest woman on earth to have him by my side daily.  Not just because he’s hot as hell, but kind, nurturing, attentive, etc. etc. etc.  He would do anything for me, and I for him.  He puts up with my craziness with an equal level of crazy…which is why we are always laughing.  I’m so Thankful for you, boo.

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Another Long Weekend!

Good Morning!!  We had another long weekend full of wonderful times, and a little sadness.

Saturday was the Run for the Stripes for World NET Cancer Awareness.  Aaron and I were blessed to have his siblings join us for the walk!  It was cold, but still a nice time.  We followed up our exercise with a yummy breakfast at Sabrina’s Cafe in Philadelphia.

From there, we headed straight to West Chester to cheer on Josh in his first Fencing tournament.  It was really fun to watch and we learned a lot of new fencing terms!  My kid had a smile on his face all day!  College looks good on him.

Sunday I planned to work in my studio all day.  Making t-shirts, signs, etc for my upcoming shows.  I woke up to a text from my bestie that her mom was in the hospital.  Aaron and I offered to take the girls for the day to help out.  We picked them up, went to breakfast and then home to do some crafting.  Each girl designed her own shirt and then we cuddled up to watch “Gnome Alone.”  I love spending time with my sweet girls!!!

Yesterday, Aaron and I were both off to recognize Veteran’s Day.  We made breakfast together at home and then headed to the mall.  My iPhone x had another display issue, so they replaced the display for me.  Aaron and I walked around the mall for the hour and a half that they had it and did a little shopping.  Next was our weekly trip to the grocery store.  We had a nice day spent together.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all who have served and who are serving, including our grandfathers and my cousins.

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Until next time!

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Bachelorette Party Shirts

One of the guests at my Open House on Saturday asked me to do her bachelorette party tshirts….for this weekend!  She had originally placed the order on Etsy last month, but the seller never got back to her and credited her account on Saturday morning.  You can imagine that left her in a tight spot!  I had to rush order the shirts, and then scramble to find the right vinyl for the bridal shirt, since my amazon order will be here tomorrow, but they came out great!  I have a very happy bride, who’s leaving for her bachelorette weekend tomorrow (even though she has NO idea where they are going).  Have fun, Ashley and Co!

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World NET Cancer Awareness Day

November 10th is World NET Cancer Awareness Day.  What is NET? Here are some facts about Neuroendocrine Tumors:

5-7 out of every 100,000 are diagnosed with #netcancer each year

50% of #netcancer patients have secondary growths at diagnosis

60-80% of patients are diagnosed with #netcancer at advanced stage showing the need for symptom awareness

Misdiagnosing is common. On average #netcancer patients see 6 healthcare professionals over 12 visits before a correct diagnosi

Symptoms of #netcancer are often similar to more common conditions: IBS, asthma, diabetes

#netcancer can arise throughout the body in organs that contain #neuroendocrine cells such as the stomach, bowel, lungs, and pancrea

Nearly all #netcancer are considered to be malignant as they grow uncontrollably and spread

More than 80% of #netcancer patients stopped working as a result of their cancer

Patients treated in a #netcancer specialist center feel more empowered and knowledgeable about their treatment and care

The incidence of #NETs is low, but #netcancer patients are everywhere. Thankfully, many live long & happy lives #netcancerday

Over 1000 events held throughout the world on November 10th to promote awareness of #netcancerday

#netcancer if you don’t suspect it you can’t detect it #netcancerday

I had never heard of NET until my husband was diagnosed with a Pancreatic NET.  I can tell you, it was one of the scariest days of my life so far.  Aaron and I were newly engaged when his doctor found the tumor on a scan looking for something else!  It was a true miracle that they found it as early as they did.  We moved our wedding for April 2018 to May 2017, a mere 3 weeks after diagnoses.  The thoughts that went through my head were horrifying.  I finally found my soul mate at 39 years old, and now there is a chance that I could lose him?  We didn’t want to wait another minute to marry each other.  We married outside on my mom’s lawn on May 21, 2017 in what was the most beautiful day, and then spent our honeymoon the following week in Johns Hopkins Hospital while Aaron had half of his pancreas, gallbladder and spleen removed.  The surgery was a complete success and my honey was cancer free and on his way to recovery.  There are still many doctors appointments to scan and test for recurrence.  His new specialist, one of the BEST in the world, did explain that recurrence was a possibility  but that we will keep very close eyes on it and catch it early if it does.  I’m sure Aaron will always live in fear of this.  I know I will.  I will do anything I can to keep my love healthy!

This Saturday, on World NET awareness day, Aaron and I are doing the Run for the Stripes at the Philadelphia Zoo.  I’ve created a team, Team Aaron (I’m so original) and can’t wait to walk for this cause.  If you’re in the area, Join Us!!!!  Help spread awareness and raise funds for research for this cancer.  2018 Run for the Stripes.

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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