Doug’s Anniversary Gift




There are a lot of things I’d change about this song, but it’s real…flaws & all. This is a cover of Thompson Square’s “If I Didn’t Have You,” that was recorded by my brother-in-law Nick & myself. He played the guitar for it as well. Doug LOVES it. That’s all that matters. đź’–

It’s the first time I’ve EVER recorded ANYTHING. DO NOT HATE!

Happy Anniversary Doug. I love you babe.

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History’s Impact


Ever since I was a “pre-teen” & read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” for the first time, a HUGE chunk of my heart has been captivated. It’s been captivated by her, by the horrific events that took place during WWII & The Holocaust.


I’ve read countless books, autobiographies, historical information, visited museums, watched documentaries…and I still can’t fathom any of the chaos.

I don’t understand & I very highly doubt I ever will, but I’m my father’s daughter (hands down!) & history is so important to me. I want to know as much as possible. I will continue searching & learning. Most people roll their eyes when it comes to history, but I’m like a puppy who hears a dog whistle – my ears perk up & my eyes widen.

History IS important! If we don’t know what happened previously & try our hardest to make sense of it, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.

When something tugs at your heart the way The Holocaust, WWII & Anne Frank have tugged at mine, it means you should look into it. It’s tugging for a reason. I haven’t discovered the reason my tug-of-war yet, but I won’t stop.

My family ancestry consists of  Scottish, Irish, Polish & German decent. So there is definitely some contradiction in there. I want to know about my ancestors. I started with my mom’s side, which is INCREDIBLY Polish & found that her mom lived in a tiny house in Pennsylvania with loads of relatives & spoke Polish during her childhood. The Depression was VERY hard on everyone & that was here in America. I have no idea what happened to our family back in Poland!

Who knows what else has happened within my family?

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Brick Chicken with Garlic & Thyme


Brick Chicken with Garlic & Thyme



8 small chicken thighs (2 lb total)
8 clove garlic (in their skins)
8 sprig fresh thyme
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
Steamed green beans, for serving


In a large bowl, toss the chicken, garlic, thyme, oil, red pepper & 1/2 tsp salt.

Heat a 12-in. cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Place chicken, skin side down, in the skillet & spoon the garlic & thyme mixture around it. Place a second skillet on top of the chicken & put heavy cans in the skillet to weigh it down (this will flatten the chicken so it cooks up evenly & extra-crisp). Cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the cans & top skillet, turn chicken over & stir the garlic. Return the skillet & cans & cook until the chicken is crisp & cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes more. Serve with green beans.

*Courtesy of Country Living

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Do You REALLY Love Yourself?


5 Signs You Don’t Love Yourself (Even If You Think You Do)

How do we achieve this seemingly elusive state of loving ourselves, in a world where we oftentimes feel disconnected from ourselves? Loving yourself certainly requires time, effort, and commitment, but many of us don’t even know where to start. You might think you love yourself, but in this article, we’ll discuss a few signs that may mean you need to dig a little deeper to truly fall in love with you.



With most of us starved for time and relaxation, of course it comes as no surprise that we feel disconnected and disjointed. However, if you feel this way more often than not, it might mean that you don’t really love yourself. To truly love yourself, you have to get connected with the “you” that’s been hiding under all the layers you’ve put on to protect yourself in this harsh world.

If you feel like an alien in your own body, simply getting back to nature for a bit or doing some deep breathing exercises can do wonders for your mental state. Learn to reconnect with Mother Earth and unplug from the “real world” for a little while. You’ll feel a lot more real when you get away from reality for a bit, ironically.


If you resort to food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance for comfort, then you probably don’t take very good care of yourself. Not caring for our health is a surefire sign that we don’t truly love ourselves, but in a world with constant stressors, it can be all too easy to reach for a quick fix for our problems. We live in a overstressed, overburdened society, and stress can lead to a slew of health problems that tend to get worse over time if not dealt with properly.

Remember to take care of you, because no one else will do it for you.


Sometimes, we can feel trapped inside ourselves and our bodies, and just want to get out somehow. However, running from ourselves or our problems will never work, because at the end of the day, you’re still stuck with the person looking back at you in the mirror. If you don’t truly love yourself, then it only makes sense that you’d want to run as far away as possible from your perception of yourself. But see, here’s the thing: how you perceive yourself is everything.

If you look at yourself in a positive light, and work to have a healthy self-image, you won’t feel nearly as restless and trapped inside your own self. Work on seeing the good things about yourself, rather than fixating on all the so-called “bad” things.


If you find yourself in unstable, toxic relationships time and time again, then you probably don’t really love yourself. Your relationships should enhance your life and well-being, not steal your joy and happiness. Getting tangled up in bad relationships means that you have some things you need to work on within yourself in order to attract the right people. We can only accept the love we think we deserve, so ask yourself: “Do I deserve better?” If you think you do, then you’re on the right track to developing stable, healthy relationships with others.

Loving yourself means getting rid of toxic relationships that only seek to destroy you, and welcoming positive relationships into your life.


Unfortunately, many of us feel this way on a daily basis. However, if we really loved ourselves, wouldn’t we go after the life that brought us the most happiness? Wouldn’t we work on building a life where we can truly feel alive? If you don’t feel interested and passionate about your life, then you need to look deep within and figure out why you chose the one you’re living now. We all deserve to live a life full of abundance in every single way, and you owe it to yourself to create a life worth living.

Work on learning about yourself and rediscovering what really makes you happy, so that you CAN live the life of your dreams and not have to settle for anything less.


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Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms


These are a MUST TRY!


Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms


24 mushrooms
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
mini pepperoni (or your favorite toppings)
basil for serving


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Clean mushrooms & remove stems. Using a small spoon, scoop out insides of mushrooms to allow enough room for filling. Finely chop mushroom stems. Add olive oil, garlic & chopped mushroom stem to a pan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes cool slightly. Stuff mushroom stems in mushroom caps. Top each with 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 tablespoon cheese & 3 mini pepperonis. Bake 18-20 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked & cheese is browned & bubbly. Cool slightly before serving.


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Cilantro Lime Rice



2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1-2 jalapenos, chopped, seeded & deveined (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups long grained rice, rinsed & drained
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (may sub vegetable broth)
1 14.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained (optional)
3 tablespoons mild diced green chilies (from 4 oz. can green chilies)
Freshly cracked salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoon lime juice

(Stove Top Directions)

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add red onions & jalapenos saute 3-5 minutes or until tender.

Add garlic & cumin & saute 30 more seconds (adding more oil beforehand if necessary). Add rice & saute for a few seconds. Add beans, green chilies & chicken broth & bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low (dial should be a little above lowest setting) & simmer, covered, for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring at 15 minutes.

Remove from heat & let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in butter to melt (optional) & season with salt & pepper to taste. Stir in lime juice & cilantro.


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Chicken & Rice Alfredo


Chicken & Rice Alfredo


13×9 pan
1 jar Ragu Classic Alfredo
1 can chicken broth
Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c. uncooked rice
1 – 1/2 skinless, large boneless chicken breast

Preheat oven to 400°F

Mix Alfredo, broth & rice together. Pour into pan.

Cut chicken into small cube-like pieces & place then into the pan, into the Alfredo mixture.

Cover pan with foil & place into oven. Bake for 35 minutes.

Uncover & sprinkle with desired amount of Parmesan cheese. Place pan back into oven, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes or until the desired browness of Parmesan is reached.


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