• November 25, 2015

    Top 5 Thanksgiving Themed Episodes

    By now, I think it is safe to say that we are all familiar with the Friends episode (S5E8 – The One With All The Thanksgivings)where Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head, right?  Classic Thanksgiving hilarity!  But, that episode has been out for nearly 20 years now (goodness, really?  I am getting old!), they show it pretty much every year, and it’s getting a little overdone.  So, to help you mix things up a little, I’ve compiled my top five favorite Thanksgiving episodes of shows for  you to enjoy this year!

    How I Met Your Mother: S3E9 – Slapsgiving and S5E9 – Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap (Marshall torments Barney with the idea of being slapped from their ongoing slap bets)



    Gilmore Girls: S3E9 – A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving (when Rory and Lorelai try to make it to 4 Thanksgiving dinners and Lane has her first kiss)



    Scrubs: S1E9 – My Day Off (JD gets appendicitis on Thanksgiving and Elliott tries to be nicer to her patients)



    New Girl: S1E6 – Thanksgiving (Jess invites Paul, her crush, to Thanksgiving dinner with the guys, but none of them have any idea what they are doing in the kitchen)



    Will and Grace: S2E7 – Homo for the Holidays (Will and Grace discover that Jack never came out to his mom and encourage him to have that conversation, but Jack learns the truth about his father when he talks to her)



    And, if all else fails, you can always enjoy the Parade in NYC, the AKC Dog Show, or A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

  • November 18, 2015

    How to Survive Holiday Parties and Family Feasts when You have Food Allergies

    It’s not easy going through life with food allergies, sensitivities, special diets or other health based reasons for a significantly different diet that the diet others in  your life have.  Hopefully, those other people in your life are aware and understanding of the differences and are willing to help you.  I know, however, that this is often not the case.  So, I’ve put together some tips and tricks that I use, personally, to help me get through the holiday parties and family dinners with both supportive and insensitive hosts.  I hope this helps you develop your own methods and that you stay safe and healthy this holiday season!


    If you can, tell your hosts ahead of time that you have specific dietary needs. 

    If you are going to a friend or family event, it is probably not too hard for you mention any special needs or share food related concerns ahead of time.  If the event is work related or less personal, it may be more difficult to make special requests, but you can certainly try.  My husband’s office is hosting a dinner party this year, so he has talked with the party committee and they are going to ensure there are some gluten free options!


    Offer to help with food prep or bring a dish that you know is safe for you.

    When you talk to your friends and family about their holiday parties, offer to come early to prep food – this will allow you to see firsthand what goes into some of the dishes and can alleviate some of the extra work of converting things to allergy friendly foods.  If you can’t go help beforehand, see if you can bring a dish or two that are safe for your family.   


    Bring a snack for yourself.

    I never go anywhere – including parties – without a snack in my purse.  Load up your bag with trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, etc!  This way, if you get to the event and it turns out there isn’t an option available you won’t stave.


    Eat ahead of time.

    If you know there is little to no chance of safe foods at  the party, eat a meal ahead of time.  Better safe than sick, so plan ahead and a good meal before.


    Try not to focus on the food – enjoy the party for the social and human connections. 

    It’s hard, but if you do end up eating your meal ahead of time and then are watching everyone else munching away on foods you can’t have, try not to let it get to you too much.  Focus on the positives and the people you came to see rather than what foods are provided.


    At the party, ask the host what is safe and what is not.

    Don’t be afraid to ask what ingredients are in the dishes you want to try!  This goes for homemade foods and catered foods!  If there isn’t anything set out you can eat, they may be able to find something for you once they are aware you’ll be hungry.


    Bring any medication or emergency information you might need.

    If you or your family members have severe allergies and there are medications (like an Epipen) that might be needed, bring them.  Keep them on hand.  It’s just not worth it to be unprepared.


    If food allergies also effect others in your family, prepare the same for them. 

    If you have young children, be sure to talk to them ahead of time about the importance of only eating safe foods.  At the party, let them know what foods are ok for them and remind them to ask you if they aren’t sure if something is ok.


    I hope these tips and tricks will help you with your holiday plans.  I have used all of these strategies and usually don’t have any problems staying safe.  The important thing is that you don’t let the food part of the holidays interfere with or damage the other, more enjoyable parts!

  • November 11, 2015

    House Update


    Wow!  So much has happened with the house in the last month, I hardly know where to start!  I mean, we still have a ways to go… but it’s really starting to look like a home!  *grin*

    Ok, so at the last update, they were still working on the siding which is now finished:


    They also completed the roofing and outside paint!  So pretty!  Every other house on our street is brown so far, so the blue-gray really stands out and looks amazing!  The stonework is incredible with the gray too – I wish I had an up-close picture of it to show just how well it matches.

    In addition to the work outside, they have also come a long way inside.  We have all our cabinets:


    And the tile and granite is almost complete:


    And they put in the faucet and dishwasher last week:


    You guys, my kitchen is starting to look useable!  We saw the oven and microwave in the garage, so that must be coming next week.  Doesn’t it all look so beautiful together?

    Let’s see what else there is…. Oh!  They did all the tile and floors and cabinets and fixtures in the bathrooms too!   I can’t wait to soak in this tub with some fancy bubble bath!


    Another big thing they recently wrapped up is the lighting.  Look how pretty at night!  *grin*


    I’m sure I missed something else they worked on, but there is just so much!  They still have a long way to go… we need the stonework on the fireplace, carpets, lots of touch up spots and re-painting, as well as all the grass and fencing outside.  BUT STILL.  Hopefully we’ll stay on track and we’ll be able to move in the first week of December.  We better stay on track… we gave notice to the apartments yesterday so… yeah.

    Keep your fingers crossed for us and hopefully the next house update I do will be the finished product!

  • November 4, 2015

    Thai Chicken with Mushrooms and Leeks


    I was at the farmers market this weekend and came across some beautiful leeks that I just had to make something with!  This led me into some experimenting and we came up with a new favorite meal.  The best thing is that it is super easy too!  Now is a great time to find leeks since they are in season, so I hope you’ll give this little dish a try!


    Thai Chicken with Mushrooms and Leeks Recipe

    By Erin Published: November 4, 2015

    • Yield: 4 Servings

    I was at the farmers market this weekend and came across some beautiful leeks that I just had to make something with!  This led me …



    1. Gather Ingredients.
    2. Mix garlic, cilantro, tamari, and sesame oil together and let chicken marinate for 15 - 20 minutes. While the chicken marinates, prep your grill for use.
    3. Cook chicken on the grill, searing on both sides to help keep the juices in.
    4. While the chicken cooks, heat olive oil in a saucepan. When hot, sauté leeks and mushrooms together.
    5. To serve, top chicken with vegetable mixture and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Serve hot.