Teaching our Children to Give Thanks

I’m a lead by example kind of girl. Mainly because I’m not good at keeping things straight … just easier to be ME.
My daughter is 5 (and a 1/2 according to her) and I want to make sure she’s learning about the true meaning of this season. SO on Thanksgiving day this is what we did …

How do you teach your kids about giving?

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Mompreneur Monday: Meet Pat Zahn; Photo Solutions Superhero

We are starting something new here on the blog … A day dedicated to Mompreneurs and their stories. An uplifting, supportive post to inspire all of us trying to juggle the business journey that we are on with the family journey that has created this opportunity for us.

For our 1st Mompreneur Monday I’m excited to introduce you to Pat Zahn; Someone that I met via Facebook and my SNCC circles and one who has become a shining light and creator of laughter in my social media space.

What is Your Name: Pat Zahn

What is Your Business: Photo Solutions Superhero – I connect people to their stories with photos and words – helping them to make sense of and enjoy the piles of pictures and pixels.

When did you make the decision to stay home with your child (ren) : 3 months after she was born (I think the decision was forming as soon as I saw her…)

How/Why did you decide to become a Mompreneur/work from home: I had consulted in my former line of work (Electronics Engineer) and found that there wasn’t enough flexibility and I couldn’t separate my work/life. I stopped and concentrated on being a Mom for a while. Then, we bought a new house and I started to worry that my tradition/hobby would no longer be affordable. So, I took the plunge and became an Independent Consultant for Creative Memories (the products I had been using for about 7 years.) I have now been a Consultant for 14 years.

What is your favorite part of being a mompreneur? I like the control over my schedule allowing me to be present for my daughter’s activities (you still need to be available when they are in high school…)

Would you like to share anything about your family with us? If you get me started here, I might turn this into several blog posts, so I’ll just give you the facts: I have a tremendously loving and supportive husband and a beautiful, talented and caring daughter (yep, those are facts, not opinions.) No pets at present and I don’t intend to change that any time soon (I love animals, but I don’t love cleaning up after or worrying about what to do with them when I travel.)

How can people connect with you? Pat Zahn – Photo Solutions Superhero  Facebook Profile  Facebook Biz Page  Twitter

What part of Pat’s story resonates most with you?

Small Business Saturday Specials

I’m so thankful for all your support and business this year. Buying from small business owners mean you are directly impacting the local families. And because I’m feeling thankful … YOU GET A SPECIAL!!!!!

14 Wildtree products + 17 recipes = a winter of full and happy bellies for only $56!!! (+tax & shipping)

But that doesn’t help my Gluten Free Friends. So we’ve got a special for you too;)

Buy the Gluten Free Bundle at 20% OFF of retail pricing! That’s 5 GF mixes; 1 each Bread, Muffin, Pizza dough, Brownie and Yellow cake mixes for only $53 (+tax & shipping)

In order to receive these specials you MUST email or call in your order no later than 6pm Sunday, November 27th, 2011. Monthly customer specials are available in addition to either of the above specials. Culinary Club member discounts are NOT applicable with any of these specials.

Contact me at wildforwildtree AT gmail DOT com or 310-850-6443 to place your order.

And now your mind can be at ease that for these 17+ meals your family is FREE from HFCS, MSG, food dyes and preservatives! Now that is something to be thankful for!

Did this keep you from hitting the Mall for post-Thanksgiving shopping specials?

Thanksgiving & Turkey Leftover Meals

When hubby and I first started dating he called me the casserole queen. I LOVE casseroles! I was raised on them, I like them, they are quick to make, usually there is only 1 or 2 dirty dishes and they are great for re-purposing leftovers! What is NOT to like about casseroles????

Well once I figured out that I was having reactions to MSG I stopped my casserole making since I used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom (I used to buy it by the case from Costco!). I didn;t know how to make them without Campbell’s and so I just stopped. But as much as hubby made fun of my casserole queen status he admitted that he missed them! So I found this Wildtree Cream of Mushroom soup base that is full of flavor and now that we’ve been going gluten free I’ve also found this great Gluten-Free cream of mushroom option.

Regardless what Cream of Mushroom soup you use … you will need it on hand for my Turkey leftover options this year;) Enjoy!

Turkey Tater Tot casserole

This photo is from http://clharding.blogspot.com/2011/09/tater-tot-casserole.html and is most people’s traditional idea of a tater tot casserole using ground beef (you can go to her site for that recipe as well). My family always used leftover chicken, canned chicken or leftover Turkey.

1 -2 cups leftover turkey, diced

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 large bag tater tots, cooked to package directions

Seasoning to taste

1 soup can of milk, plus more to taste

Pre-heat over to 350. In a casserole dish, place a layer of cooked tater tots. sprinkle turkey on top and season. Repeat with another layer leaving enough tater tots to use for the top layer. In a bowl combine Cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of milk and mix until mostly combined. Pour into casserole over layers. Add more milk so that liquid covers all layers. Top with remaining tater tots. Cook for 30 minutes or until liquid is bubbling. Serve with vegetable side or side salad.

Turkey Shepard’s Pie

I love this option when I have lots of Holiday Meal leftovers, not just turkey left over.

1-2 cups cooked turkey, diced

1-2 cups leftover vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas, mushrooms all work well. you can add frozen veggies if needed as well)

1 cup leftover gravy

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1 – 2 cups mashed potatoes

1/2 cup shredded cheese

seasoning to taste

Pre-heat over to 350. Place diced turkey and veggies in bottom of casserole dish. (sometimes I saute 1 onion diced if I have them on hand and add to the mixture as well) Combine gravy, cream of mushroom and milk in bowl. Pour over turkey and veggies. Spread mashed potatoes evenly on top of ingredients to form a top. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook 30 minutes until liquid begins to bubble at edges and cheese is melted.

If you are still looking for other ideas check out my left over turkey recipe post from last year.

Do you typically re-purpose your meal leftovers into new meals? Or is this a special process saved just for Holiday season?

BBQ Meatloaf and Roasted Veggies; a perfectly easy home-cooked Sunday dinner!

I’m not typically a fan of tomato-saucey meatloafs. I grew up with my dad’s meatloaf: 1 lb. ground beef + 1lb. pork sausage + 1 onion chopped + 1 egg. It is a heavenly, protein packed entree and comfort food for me. It is also very far from the traditional tomatoey meatloafs all my friend’s had in their house. Hubby was not happy the 1st time I said I was making meatloaf in fact since he loathes the tomato/ketchup smothered meat dish as well but he was pleasantly surprised when he saw and dug into daddy’s loaf recipe! (he even asked for seconds!)

So you’ll be as surprised as me that I saw this recipe and thought, hey this looks good! But I made it tonight and ya know what? … BBQ sauce meatloaf is WAY better than tomato sauce meatloafs! I paired it with some roasted veggies and it hit the spot!

Barbecue Meat Loaf via www.mywildtree.com/yvonneh

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

* 1 package Wildtree Just Like Mom’s Meatloaf

* 1 yellow onion, diced

* 1 egg, slightly beaten

* 1 1/2 teaspoon Wildtree Rancher Steak Rub

* 2(8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

* 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

* 3 tablespoons brown sugar

* 2 tablespoons worcesterhire sauce

* 1/2 cup water, to thin sauce if necessary

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Mix together the ground beef, Just Like Mom’s Meatloaf Mix, onion, egg and Rancher Steak rub. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Form the mixture into a loaf and place it in a shallow pan. Stir together the remaining tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, mustard, worcestershire and the water if the sauce is too thick. Pour this sauce over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices. Meatloaf is done when center is no longer pink.

Roasted Veggies:

Cut seasonal veggies in 1 – 1 1/2″ cubes. Drizzle with 2 TBSP Wildtree Butter grapeseed oil. Add 1-2 TBSP Wildree Rancher Steak Rub. Stir to coat. Put in baking/roasting in single layer. Roast @375 for about 1 hour or until veggies are soft/cooked thru.

I love using Sundays for my home-cooked meals. Do you have home-cooked meal Sundays? What is your family’s favorite?

Somethings are bigger than my to do list

There are so many things on my to do list tonight. I need to plan and promote my upcoming meal prep party. Need to send an email to my sister thank her for our card/presents. And if you know me AT ALL you know there is plenty of house work to be done!

But tonight my friend needed me to help out. And so I of course did help. You see my friend was diagnosed a little over a week ago with Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma and she found out today her treatment path will be chemo. But she is yet to see the oncologist to find out the treatment schedule or the intensity of treatment. Still so many unknowns.

Ironically (really is it ironic or is it what I’m being called to do right now?) I sent an email to an old friend last night. A friend who survived 2 boughts of Cancer before I’d even met her. She had mentioned a website to me that helped coordinate help for those going through ‘this’ type of situation. And upon my request she gave me the name of the site.

And  since I was armed with the site name now, Lotsa Helping Hands, I placed a call to my friend to say I was thinking of her and that I was sending her a link later to a website that could help coordinate meals and child pickups drop offs, etc. Everyday life hings she’ll need help with while she is focusing on her fight and recovery.And ya know what her reaction was? She immediately said “you’re Hired! I trust you to set-up and coordinate this” ~ seeming not so ironic now is it. So tonight I created, Gloria’s Helping Hands, where we can build her support community and follow her instructions on how we can help with her every day things.

So I’ve set up the site and am hoping I can figure things out to coordinate help for her before chemo begins.

You can follow her Cancer story at http://gloria-keepingitreal.blogspot.com/

I’m hoping to look more into Canary Voice as well and set-up a way for friends and family to record some greetings, words of encouragement for her.

Here’s to her health (and yours!)

OMG Swag Bag Heaven in Hollywood

I was so busy soaking up content (and the amazing room and decor) at the Tagylan Center that I forgot my usual excitement about …..

THE SWAG BAG

I mean this was THE reason to upgrade to the VIP ride at BLPConnect! 2011 … well the bag AND the awesome connections I made on that Limo drive!
SO here it is a detailed list of my Swag Bag Contents:
1st let’s start with how awesome The Pump Station is!!!
They were obviously the Swag bag sponsors since it was their cute bag I was holding onto all day. But they didn’t just stop at the BAG like many would! They gave us a $10 off coupon code, an SPF lip balm AND a 32 page booklet with all the must know things (like mommy and me classes, tips to select the best nursing bra developmental play tips) as well as the hottest new mommy trends! Love that Pump Station!

The fabulous Erin Condron gave us all beautiful notepads to use for important notes to jot down .. and again $10 OFF coupon code. (I also won a $50 gift card in the raffle WOOHOO!)

Julia Breitman of JMB Wellness gave us an Arbonne Lip Polish (mine was brown sugar) AND a full sample set of the Re9 facial care system. Which is the one I use so that will be great on our next overnight trip!

KTO even put a full size Radiant face lotion in the bag! (Silky Skin Score!)

There was of course something to bring home to the kids:  an Ella’s kitchen smoothie and a ONE Kids juice box. (Yes both items went into a lunch box as soon as I got home Sunday night!) And I’m not sure WHO Laura Filipowicz knows there but the signature Circle of Friends products were in there too: a Banana detangler and a mini conditioner. They smell so yummy!!!

And of course the plethora of discounts from: Steaz, Styles by Brenda, MeShe Beauty and Cosmetics, Courtyard Mariott Los Angeles Westside, Mommy Jewelry, Aquarium of the Pacific and the Starbucks store on W Pico near Westwood!

Now don’t get me wrong the conference it self, the content I gained, was fantasmic as well … but I have to let all of that process a bit more before I can share;) Ya know how conference overload works right?

Sifting through the bag of goodies always helps me process the info and sort things out in my subconsious as well I think … or maybe it is just my love of getting a bargain that excites me so! How about you … do you get excited the moment you see the SWAG bag or could you care less about the freebies and discounts?

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