Strawberry Pineapple Upside Down Cake

May 31, 2017
strawberry pineapple upside down cake

There is an Amish community that’s about a 20 minute drive from our house. There are several little markets in the community, one of the markets stocks flowers and produce. It’s much cheaper for us to do most of our produce shopping there than at the local grocery story. This weekend they had some great deals.
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Strawberries were $1 per package, pineapples were two for $3, watermelons were $2.99, and heirloom tomatoes were $2.99 a lb. I stocked my fridge with lots of yummy, fresh produce. We sliced one of the the pineapples on Saturday night and we had a small amount left on Sunday morning. My husband had been begging for something sweet, so I decided to use the remnants to make a pineapple upside down cake. Most traditional pineapple upside down cakes have maraschino cherries, and I find them absolutely disgusting. I thought that I would replace maraschino cherries with strawberries, since I find them much more delicious.
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This Strawberry Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe is easy to whip up and you can substitute drained canned pineapple for the fresh pineapple that I used.
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strawberry pineapple upside down cake

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Prepping Your Pets For Vacation

May 30, 2017
Prepping Your Pets For Vacation

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurinaMysteries #CollectiveBias

One of the very few things I hate about traveling is all the packing involved; if you own pets then you have to pack or prepare them for vacation regardless of whether they’re going with you, staying at a boarding facility, or being tended to by a pet sitter. Your vacation can be equally stressful on your pet, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips for prepping your pets for vacation and a checklist of items to help you pack for your pet.

Prepping Your Pets For Vacation

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Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

May 25, 2017

This post is brought to you by Walmart and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

America has a great respect for its servicemembers, whether active or veterans.
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And rightfully so. They fought for our country and should be treated like the heroes they are. Those who are active get scra military benefits to help them get interest rate reduction on home mortgages, eviction prevention, and many other things. Veterans also get certain perks to be thanked for their service. However, not everyone makes it back which is why it’s important to celebrate Memorial Day.

Millions of American’s each year celebrate Memorial Day, and too often people forget the real reason why they get the day off. It is often confused with Veteran’s Day or some people find it difficult to think about losing a loved one during military conflict. Unfortunately, since 2001 almost 7,000 military service members have died in military service. Over 1 million servicemembers in total have died during U.S. military conflicts. Memorial Day was meant to honor all of the servicemembers who died during active military service. I’m sharing just a few of the many ways to celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who have lost their lives during military service.

Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

What are your plans for Memorial Day this year? Many people hold holiday cookouts or get-togethers. I’ll be honest; despite the fact that I’m a veteran and I come large family of veterans, often we don’t celebrate Memorial Day like we should.
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My family has been exceptionally fortunate that we haven’t lost any immediate family members during military service.

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Here are a few important facts that I would like to share about veterans:

  • Each year nearly 400,000 military servicemembers will be discharged and return to civilian life, according to the Department of Defense. Many of those individuals will have difficulty transitioning back to civilian life and utilizing services that are meant to help them find work.
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  • There were nearly 450,ooo unemployed veterans in the United States according to the Department of Labor. The majority of those individuals were between 18 and 44 years of age. Unfortunately, not all military training is relevant in the civilian world, and veterans have to return to school or seek vocational education before finding gainful employment.

Here are a few ways to celebrate Memorial Day:

  • Consider a donation to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). The TAPS organization offers assistance to families who lost a loved one on active military duty. This year Walmart is giving a $100,000 donation to the TAPS organization so that they can help surviving family members through Casework and Emergency Assistance Programs.
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  • Consider donating your time or financial assistance to another organization that supports surviving family members of military members who died in the line of duty.
  • Visit a wounded veteran, veterans hospital, or veterans nursing home (always ask any Veterans facility about their visitation or volunteer policy). I’ve taken my son to the local veterans nursing home to help pass out fresh flowers and flags. Some veterans receive very few visitors and appreciate something as simple as conversation. We’ve played checkers or other board games, and I enjoyed it as much as the veteran did. It’s important that we care for our elder veterans who may be in a vulnerable state while in a nursing home and could even be subject to neglect if their situation is not monitored by loved ones. If there does appear to be a breach of the standard of care then relatives may want to reach out to lawyers in their area to see what steps to follow in light of this. Regardless of whether they are a veteran or not, elder neglect is something that should be called out and combatted at every given opportunity.
  • Make a care package for a military service member or veteran that you know.
  • Consider donating time or financial assistance to one of the following organizations that assist military members, military families, or veterans:

One of the simplest ways to support a veteran farmer is to look for the Homegrown by Heroes label on locally grown produce. Several products from our farm carry the Homegrown by Heroes label, and veterans need to have applied to the program and have their military service verified to be part of the program.

You can help military families find resources available to them.

Here are a few programs that Walmart has to offer:

  • Walmart’s Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store or Club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by Walmart and Sam’s Club who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the United States military.
  • In 2014, Walmart doubled a $20 million commitment to support veterans and their families with assistance for programs that provide job training, transition help, and education, through 2019.
  • Walmart seeks to support veterans and showcase the value they bring to the workforce and our communities through initiatives such as Hiring our Heroes, Greenlight A Vet, and the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business.
  • Four years ago, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, which guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty, with a goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020.
  • As of now, Walmart has hired more than 170,000 veterans, and more than 22,000 have been promoted to jobs with greater responsibility.

Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

Ways To Celebrate Memorial Day

What do you have planned for Memorial Day? Does your family celebrate the same way each year? I hope that you’ve found these suggestions for ways to celebrate Memorial Day helpful and I’d love to know if you have any suggestions of your own.

Survival Tips For The First Time Sports Parent

May 22, 2017
Season Survival Tips For The First Time Sports Parent

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #SaveSnackScore #CollectiveBias

I played a wide variety of sports as a kid, but nothing really prepared me for the first season that my son played a new sport. What did I need to buy for him? I wasn’t sure what he needed to bring or wear to his first games.
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Here are a few survival tips for the first time sports parent. My son started playing soccer at three, so between fall and spring soccer we have about 8 seasons under our belt. He started Tee-ball at 5 and moved up to Coach Pitch this year, and after three seasons I still struggle with sizing equipment. Today I’m sharing some of my own experiences as a first time sports parent (and coach) and how we survive each season with as little stress as possible. Alternatively there are sites that offer locals new sporting activities to join in on, with like minded people to connect with so you’ll never have a question unanswered, so you may want to take a look here if you’re wanting your child to play sport you both didn’t even know existed!

Survival Tips For The First Time Sports Parent

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Homemade Strawberry Pie With A Pretzel Crust

May 18, 2017
homemade strawberry pie recipe with pretzel crust

Several years ago a good friend’s mother was going through chemotherapy; they were trying to give her a few more comfortable months with her family.
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She was a tiny woman before she was diagnosed with cancer, but the treatments whittled her down to about 80 pounds.
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I knew she loved strawberries and one week I decided to take her a homemade strawberry pie. My friend told me that she ate almost the entire pie, over a matter of days. As long as she was able to eat solid food, I tried to make her a pie every week. Now when I make this homemade strawberry pie recipe, I think of her. The only change that I’ve made to this recipe is the addition of a pretzel crust; she preferred a regular pie crust. You could also use a graham cracker crust too.
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homemade strawberry pie recipe with pretzel crust

This homemade strawberry pie recipe is so much better than any store-bought pie filling that you’ll ever eat. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made in a matter of minutes and easily stored in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it (or share).

homemade strawberry pie recipe with a pretzel crust

homemade strawberry pie recipe

You’ll need a few ingredients for the pretzel pie crust:

  • 2 cups finely crushed pretzels (I give mine a whirl in the blender)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of melted butter or margarine

Pretzel pie crust directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  • Press in the bottom of a pie or casserole dish
  • Bake for roughly 8 minutes

When I make this pie in a deep casserole dish as pictured above, I generally double the strawberry filling recipe.

Homemade Strawberry Pie With A Pretzel Crust
  • 3 pints of thoroughly washed and thinly sliced strawberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 3 ounce package of strawberry gelatin
  1. In a small saucepan bring water to a boil
  2. Add in sugar and cornstarch
  3. Mix until completely dissolved
  4. Allow mixture to thicken
  5. Mix in strawberry gelatin and remove from heat
  6. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over berries (this will help prevent them from cooking)

homemade strawberry pie recipe

homemade strawberry pie recipe
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homemade strawberry pie recipe

If you love strawberries as much as we do, here are a few other strawberry recipes that you might like:

Two of our favorite recipes from that list is the Strawberry Freezer Jam (we make several batches every year) and the Strawberry Shortcake. buy zyprexa online no prescription

What are your favorite strawberry recipes? I’d love to know what you’ve been cooking and what you think of the homemade strawberry pie recipe.

Pesto Mac and Cheese Recipe

May 16, 2017
Pesto Mac and Cheese Recipe

“This post is written by me on behalf of General Mills. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser.”

My son would eat mac and cheese nearly every day if I would make it for him, but he’s lucky if I make it once a week. I try to get creative with mix-ins so that we enjoy it to. Some of the quickest versions just require me to throw in some diced broccoli, spinach or tomatoes. My favorite versions of mac and cheese are baked with breadcrumbs and cheese on top. This recipe for Pesto Mac and Cheese is quick and simple. I use Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese as base, and mixed in basil pesto before baking it with a mixture of cheeses and breadcrumbs. It’s a grown-up version of mac and cheese that my son enjoys too.

Pesto Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Surprise: Sibling Gender Reveal Photoshoot

May 11, 2017
sibling gender reveal photoshoot

Did you have an elaborate gender reveal during your pregnancy? Or did you opt for a gender reveal party? When I found out the gender of my son, we just called close friends and family; we shared the news on Facebook with everyone else. I had planned on doing a gender reveal photoshoot nearly two months ago when we found out using a fetal gender test, but a host of things prevented that. I really wanted to do something that involved our son. He had asked for a sibling for a long time before I got pregnant, and he has had his own gender predictions. Here’s a glimpse of the sibling gender reveal photoshoot. Maybe it will give you a few ideas for your own gender reveal and you can find out what we’re having.

sibling gender reveal photoshoot

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