Our Favorite Way to Travel…
It’s much easier than you might think!
Our family of four has gone to Europe for ten days during cold weather…to Texas for ten days over Spring Break…and we’ve done multiple weekend trips…ALL as carry-on only!!
You can do this too!!
Busyness & Gratitude
I ran into a friend at the grocery store today and she asked me how I was doing. “Busy” I said, because it is my standard reply.
And it’s true, I am very busy.
But…busy in a good way. I like staying busy. But that hasn’t always been the case.
I started thinking about the concept of busyness this week after reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers on Facebook- Tales of an Educated Debutante. Adrian talked about how we all complain about being busy, busy, busy and how it can often weigh you down. She thought that maybe if we try to be more intentional about the things we do then we might find a little more joy in life!
So, let me be clear: I am very busy. But those things I am so very busy with bring me joy. I like running my kids to their activities after school…because those activities bring them joy. Attending class programs, parties, and events because my kids enjoy me being present brings me joy. I like making cupcakes for a friend’s birthday because I enjoy baking- it brings me joy. Those things that I do each day that cause my “busyness” all bring me joy.
The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort: An Honest Review
Our family of four recently stayed three nights at the JW Marriott resort in San Antonio, Texas. First let me say that we are pretty loyal Marriott Rewards members for almost twenty years. When we’re traveling we often look for a Marriott property first and then compare to other options. We’ve stayed the gamut of their properties, from the resorts to the Fairfield Inn…and nine times out of ten we’re satisfied customers! We also love their rewards program- we’ve earned lots of free travel through Marriott Rewards! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the JW Marriott in San Antonio and the property is amazing. By the way…this isn’t an ad…just my opinion!! So, let’s get to my JW Marriott San Antonio review!
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe (or Banana Bread)
We stopped at a coffee shop on our recent day trip to Raleigh and I got a banana nut muffin (and a latte:)…which of course reminded me how much I love these muffins!! See me running home the next day to whip up a batch??
I’ve been making this banana bread recipe for more than ten years. It’s old hat to me and almost comfort food in a way. Originally it was from Paula Dean, but as usual I tweaked it by adding the applesauce and chocolate chips. The applesauce makes it super moist and delicious!! It’s a family favorite!
You can easily make this recipe in a loaf pan to make banana bread or go the muffin route like we do. I choose to make muffins because my son has a severe nut allergy. By making muffins, I can make some with nuts and some without. Just fill the muffin tins without nuts first, then add the nuts to your batter and scoop the rest. Super easy and makes everyone happy! If you choose to make the banana bread in a loaf pan, just cook on 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
It’s been a stressful week. My daughter broke her arm (again), my to-do list is still a mile long, we have family coming to visit, and my kids won’t stop bickering. I mean why do they insist on arguing over EVERYTHING?? The arguing is the one thing that gets to me more than anything. And it can often bring me down.
But, I have so much to be grateful for…
- My daughter only has to wear a brace…no hard cast or splint! Woot!
- My family is coming to visit! Yay!
- My husband and I have been able to go on a walk every night this week. The weather this time of year is so wonderful!!
- I made the bomb chicken enchiladas…it makes my day when everybody actually truthfully loves a meal I have made! Check out the recipe HERE.
- I was able to spend an entire day with my sweet mother in law shopping and genuinely enjoyed our girls day.
Usually I try to combat stress by focusing on the positive and taking a few minutes to myself. I tell me kids all the time that they have “to choose to be happy”. They aren’t going to have a good day if they don’t have a good attitude. And this week I found that I needed to take my own advice!
Some ways I typically try to de-stress:
- Go outside- Even if just for a few minutes…take a deep breath and try to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
- Call or text a friend- helps me to get my mind off of me!
- Read a book- escape for a little while.
- Meditate- this is a new one for me- but I kinda enjoy it. I just got a free app on my phone and when I’m feeling the stress, I take a few minutes to complete an exercise.
- Take a bath- I don’t have a luxurious bath tub yet this still one of my favorite ways to “come down” off the anxiety roller coaster.
- Focus on the positive! Find the silver lining. There’s always something to be grateful for.
What are you thankful for this week? What are your best ways to de-stress? Happy Friday friends…let me know what y’all think!
The Most Amazing Chicken Enchiladas!
I know y’all know by now how much I love Mexican food.
And Cinco de Mayo is just the perfect opportunity to make my favorite chicken enchiladas!
I was totally inspired on our recent trip to San Antonio by all the amazing Tex-mex food…so I absolutely had to come home and throw some together for dinner!
These enchiladas are so flavorful. My entire family raved about them! Homemade enchilada sauce paired with tender chicken and lots of cheese make for a winning combo. If you’ve never made homemade enchilada sauce before, please I beg you to try! It is so freaking good…I can’t even explain how yummy it is! Again, I cook my chicken in the crockpot with just some salt and pepper which allows me to shred it so easily! Then, I add white sharp cheddar cheese and cream cheese to fill my enchiladas. Top them with the sauce and more cheese and you have the most amazing chicken enchiladas! I like to serve with chips, homemade salsa, guacamole, fresh corn, and refried beans. Oh! And a margarita-it’s a fiesta!!
Super Simple Guacamole Recipe!
Holy Moly I love Guacamole!
No, seriously…I might have a problem. I can eat this stuff as a meal by itself.
I love getting it at restaurants…but A. you never know if it’s fresh and B. it’s expensive!! Truth be told…I ate a lot of this stuff on our recent trip to San Antonio. So, as soon as I got home, I decided to share this super simple recipe to make at home…you should give it a whirl! (Read about all the amazing food we ate in San Antonio HERE.)
Fresh ingredients…just avocados, onion, lime, and some spices…and you are good to go! One important thing to remember is that it does not keep long…I usually make it in the morning and it’s gone by the next day. But you can totally make as much as you want depending on how many people you’re trying to feed. This recipe is usually good for two people. If it’s just me, then I cut the recipe in half- simple! Some people don’t mind room temperature guacamole, but I prefer to chill mine if the refrigerator for a couple hours. I think the flavor is better, but that’s just my opinion!