Spiced Chocolate Truffle Muffin: Entertaining Guests

November 1, 2017
spiced chocolate truffle muffins

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

When I was growing up, I spent nearly every Sunday either at my grandparents’ or great grandparents’ houses. I played with my cousins and we ate dinner together. Sadly, I feel like families don’t visit each other like they use to, or at least my family doesn’t. We seem to only visit during holidays, birthdays (if it’s a big one), weddings, and, unfortunately, funerals. When was the last time you had dinner or visited with your extended family? We spent some time with my husband’s family last week; his grandmother unexpectedly passed away. While everyone certainly grieved her passing, it was nice to catch up with many of them again. My husband got to spend time with his beloved great uncle and he got to meet our daughter for the first time. When everything was over and everyone went home, I just wanted to sit with my husband and relax. There are only a few things that I find more soothing than a nice cup of coffee and a bite of chocolate. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite coffee and chocolate pairings, Starbucks® Holiday Blend Coffee and Lindt Lindor Chocolate Truffles. This Spiced Chocolate Truffle Muffin recipe is lightly sweet with a burst of chocolate in the center. spiced chocolate truffle muffins Continue reading Spiced Chocolate Truffle Muffin: Entertaining Guests

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.

Everyday Essentials & Holiday Surprises

December 10, 2015

Acorn Disclosure

Every holiday season is filled with joy, surprises, and yes, also stress. I spend all year looking forward to baking holiday treats, decorating inside and out, and going out in search of that perfect gift. Some of the best surprises are unexpected visits from friends and family who are dropping off cards, sharing holiday recipes, or just stopping to take a look at our decorations. These unexpected visits are a wonderful part of the holiday season, except for the unexpected part. I always stress just a little more about making sure the house is neat and clean around the holidays in anticipation of that unanticipated ring of the doorbell. I never know when family or friends will stop by. My mom came by just last weekend to visit, but I managed to recruit her to help me clean. Thankfully a run to Sam’s Club allowed me to build a stockpile of paper towels, detergent, and other cleaning supplies to help get my cleaning done and my house ready for guests.

Continue reading Everyday Essentials & Holiday Surprises

Holiday Entertaining Made Easier

December 1, 2015

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

I really enjoy throwing holiday parties; currently I’m in the midst of planning a Make and Take party for my son’s kindergarten class. Many people find throwing holiday parties stressful, but I generally follow a simple plan to make cooking, set up, and clean up as easy as possible. I want to maximize my time with guests, and not spend the entire party dreading cleanup. Here’s my collection of easy holiday entertaining tips, and my favorite recipe for a seasonal sweet and spicy chili.

Continue reading Holiday Entertaining Made Easier

A New Baby & Sam’s Club Baby Days

September 9, 2015

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Acorn Influencers and Procter and Gamble, however all opinions are entirely my own. 

Babies are soft, sweet, and they usually smell pretty good; having a baby is an amazing experience, but it can also be an expensive one. I breast fed by own son so I didn’t have to buy formula, but between the clothes they’re constantly outgrowing or ruining, diapers, wipes, toys, and feeding utensils the costs quickly add up. If your baby goes to daycare, your first year expenses will likely triple. A recent survey of new moms estimated that new parents will spend between $6,000 and $10,000 on baby essentials and childcare during their first year of life. I’m an avid Sam’s Club shopper; that helped to stretch our dollars a little further during my son’s first few years of life, and made shopping with a baby a little more convenient. I could get brands that I trusted like Pampers and Dreft in affordable club packs/sizes which meant fewer trips to the store for me. My guy has been out of diapers for a few years now, but my family has a new baby. I still regularly shop at Sam’s Club, and he gave me a whole new reason to peruse the baby aisles during Sam’s Club Baby Days.

sam's club baby days


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Crab Cake Tacos With Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

March 9, 2015

These Crab Cake Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce have been inspired and compensated by Collective Bias, Inc.

and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubSeafood #CollectiveBias

Nothing will make you appreciate the taste of seafood quite like living in a land-locked state. It can be a little more expensive here because of transport costs, and it’s often treated as a delicacy. I was the oldest of four children, and my parents would occasionally splurge on seafood for our entire family. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Sam’s Club has sustainable and affordable seafood options, so that I can serve it to my family more than occasionally. These Daily Chef™ Handmade Crab Cakes made a quick, budget friendly, and guiltless dinner. I used them in Crab Cake Tacos with Cream Cilantro Lime Sauce. They were a definite crowd pleaser. 



Continue reading Crab Cake Tacos With Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce