Happy 4th of July! We hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating our great country with family and friends!
Life is messy. Find joy in the mess!
Are you going to a 4th of July cook-out, pool party, or evening celebration?! We have an appetizer that is sure to create fireworks of excitement with your friends and family! Messy mommy Holly shared this firework worthy hot dog recipe last Memorial Day and we are sharing it again!
Holly found this great recipe that is perfect to celebrate America! Even if you don’t get around to firing up your grill this weekend, you can still enjoy this hot dog! Everyone was shocked when Holly showed up with the chili cheese hotdog bread to a family gathering because she often stays on the healthy side when it comes to snacking. It was a huge hit and Holly definitely could have doubled the recipe!
Happy 4th of July! We hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating our great country with family and friends!
It seems just days ago we were sitting down to write our resolutions for the New Year! Eleanora and I landed on cutting meat from our diet with the idea that it would be a healthy way to begin 2019. We didn’t have specific reasons for doing this, but we did know we wanted to focus on eating more vegetables and fish. Of course there are many upsides to not eating meat. Did you know that if you stop eating meat you have a positive influence on your carbon footprint? If that is too much to consider, your skin may start to look better, and you may experience a significant drop in cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Of course there are many pros with the decision to stop eating meat, but it isn’t all good news!
While there are many nutritional elements to consider when depleting meat from your diet, one thing Eleanora and I did not consider was the fact that we would not welcome the arrival of summer with our favorite summer meal! She and I share a LOVE of barbecue ribs! As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, otherwise known as the official kick-off to summer, I am reminded of one of my favorite BBQ Rib recipes we typically enjoy over this holiday weekend.
There are few resolutions made on New Year’s day kept this late into the year, but Eleanora and I have been strong! I know we are not going to indulge in these easy to make, fall off the bone, tender BBQ Ribs this Memorial Day Weekend, but we think you should indulge in these for us! Don’t worry about your cholesterol this weekend – the arrival of summer only happens once a year! Enjoy!
Kraft, you get me! Thanks for the sweet Mother's Day Gift! A Mother's Day away with free babysitting! When I heard about the clever Kraft Mother's Day Away gift on the Today Show I had to laugh. Someone working at Kraft realizes that sometimes moms just want a break and a moment away to breath. As I've shared before, Tony and I married later in life and had kids later in life. As I close in on turning 50, my amazing, sweet twins, Sophia and Stella turned 7 in March! I joke about it often but I am constantly tired, LOL! So, Kraft I love that you get me and realize that sometimes you just want one hour away to catch your breath, or even a couple of minutes to go to the bathroom alone!
Just last night I was making Kraft Mac & Cheese for the girls for dinner while trying to also help them figure out costumes for "jobs" day at school (J day for the ABC school year countdown), pack lunches for school, find change for the baby bottle drive, and remember to wash Stella's soccer uniform for her upcoming game. Late last night I finally had a minute to scroll through Twitter and retweeted Kraft's epic Mother's Day Away gift and it made me smile. I'm hoping for a basket for my bike for Mother's Day and am hoping for a family bike ride on Sunday so I don't think I'll be able to take Kraft up on this joyful babysitting offer but it makes me smile thinking about it.
In case you can break away for a few minutes of "me" time on Mother's Day here are the details for this great Kraft Mother's Day Away gift!
Step 1: Get yourself a babysitter on Mother’s Day.
Step 2: On Mother’s Day, after you’ve enjoyed a day of 'me-time' and uninterrupted conversation, come back to the Kraft website and submit your receipt and Kraft will cover up to $100 of your babysitter bill.
A few notes from the website:
OFFER ENDS AT 11:59 PM ET ON 5/19/19 OR WHILE FUNDS REMAIN AVAILABLE, WHICHEVER IS SOONER. LIMIT ONE REQUEST PER PERSON, EMAIL, OR HOUSEHOLD ADDRESS. ONLY OPEN TO PARENTS AGED 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. MAXIMUM $100 BABYSITTING REIMBURSEMENT PER PERSON OR HOUSEHOLD. ALLOW 6 – 8 WEEKS FOR SHIPMENT FOLLOWING VERIFICATION. See full terms and conditions for complete details. Offer good in USA, its territories and military addresses. Void where taxed, restricted or prohibited. Submissions by businesses, clubs or organizations will not be honored or responded to. Kraft Heinz reserves the right to verify identification and request additional proof of service and/or payment of service. Decisions of validity of submission materials are solely at the discretion of Kraft Heinz. Fraudulent submissions could result in federal prosecution under the U.S. Mail Fraud Statutes (18 United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1342). To check the status of your submission, go online to Kraft.rebateresearch.com.
Thanks again to Kraft for this great Mother's Day Away gift and for cheering on moms! I'm so blessed to be Sophia and Stella's mom and adore my mom! Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day!
Tim Placher rounded up amazing local singers and musicians, the Drauden Point Youth Choir, Emily Kowalski - a hoop dancer, an artist and the Rialto organist Glenn Tallar, and put on the epic All-Star Show at the Rialto in Joliet on April 22nd. I've known Tim since grade school and enjoy following his posts on Facebook. And, I loved watching his posts leading up to the show. His passion for music and creating musical opportunities for others was inspiring and showed his big heart for Joliet.
My family has been friends with the McCabe family forever and I was so excited that the amazing Chloe Briese was going to be a part of the All-Star Show. My parents, Bev and Serge Murer where going to the show to support Chloe and I met my parents at the show with my sweet seven year-old, Sophia to help cheer on Chloe.
As Tim opened the show he talked about all the different times he had been to the Rialto over the years and that this was the first time he would be performing on the Rialto stage. It was such a cool moment and I couldn't help but think that I would love to speak from that iconic stage too. Tim did an awesome kicking off the show! The artists were all fantastic! Sophia and I watched Chloe perform several songs. Chloe is so gifted and we loved watching her perform. She has a very bright musical future ahead! Check out Tim's Facebook page to see great video highlights and pictures from the spectacular night. https://www.facebook.com/tim.placher
While I wasn't able to stay for the whole show, the acts I saw were outstanding and it was clear these artists were pursuing their passions, using their gifts, and having a great time! Since my husband, Tony and I have moved back home to Joliet we have often talked about the city and other places we've lived. We've talked about what makes communities thrive and the great work underway to draw people to downtown Joliet. Tim Placher's All-Star Show matters and shows Joliet's big heart. Here's why!
1. Pursuing your passion at the iconic Rialto Theatre
While watching Tim, Chloe and the performers on stage it was clear they were pursuing their passion for music and doing what they love. It was awesome to watch and so cool that Tim and the Rialto team made made this happen. Since 1926 the Rialto has provided a stunning setting for artists and as I watched the Drauden Point Choir sing and perform backup vocals I knew this was a moment they will always remember. Right now, they might not realize how iconic the Rialto Theatre is or that every town doesn't have a venue like this. But, life will take them other places and they will remember the evening they performed on this iconic stage with incredibly talented artists. The student's passion for music and entertaining others will surely grow from this All-Star evening and that is wonderful for our community.
2. Support of City Council, the Rialto Square Theatre, and the Chicago Street Pub
To help our town thrive we need cool events to draw people out of their homes and foster community. Tim gave the City Council a shout out in his promotion of the All-Star Show and it is great that the City Council is encouraging people to try different ideas to drive the local economy and support a vibrant town. I love that the Rialto and the Chicago Street Pub partnered to create the Local Music Mondays music series. Tim's All-Star Show was the third event in the series and I hope the Local Music Mondays music series continues! Tony and I went to see the Blues Brothers at the Rialto which had a good size crowd. I wasn't sure what to expect with Tim's All-Star Show. The turnout was fantastic! Almost every seat on the main floor was filled! While the balcony was closed, if they did a repeat event they would definitely need to open it! It was great to see so many music fans out on a Monday evening in downtown Joliet. Big shout out to Chicago Street Pub for your big heart and your constant support of music and events in downtown Joliet! You help make things happen and are appreciated! We love to go to Chicago Street Pub with the McCabe/Briese crew before the Christmas parade! Huge thanks to the sponsors of the Local Music Mondays music series including Hawk Auto Joliet, The Irish American Society of County Will, The Joliet Downtown City Center Partnership, Ozmon Law and Chicago Street Pub.
3. Showing Up - Milano Bakery & Elder Brewing Co.
Everyone is busy and everyone has things going on. When trying to create new events there is always a lot of hustle. You learn a lot about people and companies by who shows up. Milano Bakery always shows up and shows their big heart. From tossing tons of bread to the crowds during the Christmas Parade to sponsoring youth sports teams to now Tim's All-Star Show, Milano Bakery always shows up and supports our community. Huge thanks to the entire Milano team for believing in our town and for showing up no matter the ask. You help make things possible. I had to pick up some Milano cookies before the All-Star Show! So good! Next time you are out shopping pick up some Milano bread and bakery items to support this great company that supports our community in such a big way! Elder Brewing Co. also showed up for this special night of music and even created a special brew in honor of Tim, the Shindig at the Shandy. I, of course had to try this special brew and it was great! Thanks to Elder Brewing for your support, check out this great place in downtown Joliet! Thanks to all the local businesses that show up to help support our community. To all the people that came out for Tim's All-Star show - wow! What an awesome crowd and I'm sure it meant a ton to the performers to look out on the packed house! Next time you see some event in downtown Joliet come on out! Together we strengthen our community and opportunities build.
Awesome job Tim and all the performers for the All-Star Show! Chloe we think you are spectacular! Huge thanks to the Rialto and all the sponsors, wonderful evening! Thanks to everyone involved for showing your big heart in your passion for music and in helping Joliet thrive! Can't wait for the next show!
This recipe was given to my mom by one of her neighbors in Tennessee. We made it one Thanksgiving holiday when we went down to visit my parents and it became a favorite! Meg posted a pineapple recently on Instagram and it reminded me of this recipe! This casserole pairs perfectly served along side turkey or ham! If you are hosting Easter brunch or dinner, your family and friends will enjoy this tasty dish!
p.s. If you make this pineapple casserole, take a photo of the dish and send it to me! Who knows, your photo may be featured in my soon to be released cookbook!
Recipe card shown was made on canva.com - Eleanora shared the website with me after she learned about it in school. Love that I have my own technology assistant onsite!
We love celebrating the holidays with our family and friends and we love #PEEPS! As you gather to celebrate Easter, we have two drinks that will have you hopping with joy! And, more festive cocktail ideas to check out thanks to @alywalansky and Tara's Toddies!
Coffee with @PEEPSBrand @Indelight #PEEPS Creamer
I am in LOVE with the International Delight Limited Edition PEEPS creamer! All you PEEPS loving fans will love this creamer with your coffee. So cute for your Easter brunch! And, for everyday! Epic!
Recipe: Coffee and International Delight PEEPS creamer! You'll be hopping with excitement over this PEEPS cup of joy!
PEEPS Raspberry Lemonade Mimosas!
I love a festive holiday cocktail and we made this fun PEEPS raspberry lemonade mimosa for Easter a few years ago! Huge thanks to my niece Molly for helping me make all the PEEPS mimosas and for her cocktail expertise!
Simply Lemonade with Raspberry
La Marca Prosecco
Dampen the rim of the glass and then dip the glass in the pink sugar. Fill glass about 1/4 full with Simply Lemonade with Raspberry. Fill with La Marca Prosecco. Cut a small slit in the PEEP and place on rim of glass. Add a cute straw. Enjoy!
Wondering how people will be toasting with family and friends around the country over Easter break? What would be cool drinks to server this Easter weekend? Aly Walansky @alywalansky a NY-based lifestyles writer knows and shared some very fun cocktail ideas in Forbes. The "What's Up, Doc" is calling my name! Hop on over and read her festive article: These Easter-Themed Cocktails Are A Fun, Whimsical Way To Hop Into Spring @forbes
Check out Tara's Toddies on Facebook! Tara Rand makes great cocktails on Facebook Live and recently made cottontail margaritas! They look so good and so fun for Easter! Love the coconut around the rim. I always love watching Tara share her latest cocktail creations! She is so creative and gives funny commentary about the drinks as well as great cocktail making tips! Follow Tara today and let me know if you try the cottontail margarita!
As I shared, I love getting together with family and friends during the holidays. I hope you enjoy the festive drink ideas and may you have a few minutes to relax with your family and friends and toast your many blessings. I know I will. Happy Easter and thanks for reading. Cheers!
Kim and I loved checking out ALDI for the Grand Re-Opening in Joliet! Here are our 6 favorite things!
1. No Quarter Needed!
Kim and I went to get a cart and all the carts already had quarters in them! Such a nice touch for the ALDI Grand Re-Opening!
2. We love the avocados and fresh produce!
In Kim's blog post about ALDI she talked about how she loves buying avocados at ALDI! The avocados are so good and the price is great! We love the fresh produce at ALDI's and the great prices. Our friends saw our ALDI Facebook and Twitter videos and were texting us about our ALDI adventures. Amy shared that she had not been to ALDI in about 16 years. We told her she needs to check out ALDI again and see the great deals on fresh produce! Eating healthy can be expensive and ALDI helps us try to be healthier without breaking the bank!
3. We love the ALDI weekly special aisle!
We love the ALDI weekly special aisle! You never know what you will find and so many great treasures to buy at a great price. In her blog post Kim talked about buying a weed wacker and the gardening supplies were out on this trip too! Watch our video as we talk about this fun aisle and the ALDI Grand Re-Opening. On a side note, people thought we were a bit funny filming videos in ALDI! We were highly entertained with our own antics.
4. We love the alcohol section!
Kim and I were hunting for the pineapple presecco but they were sold out so we picked up a bottle of bellinis. Kim talked about the great deals on alcohol in her blog post so we had to do some pictures in this section! As we were taking some pictures a lady shared that this beer is her son's favorite! So try this beer! We're going to try the Wild Range IPA!
5. Join the ALDI Nerd Community Facebook Group!
So Kim found and joined the ALDI Nerd Community Facebook Group and it is so fun! I joined too! These ALDI super fans talk about products to try, share ALDI shopping tips and recipes, and seem to know all the best deals! We love this group! Kim said that the ALDI group said that the TOP THE TATER is amazing so we picked it up! You should too! The TOP THE TATER looks amazing and we are so excited to try it! Check out the TOP THE TATER Facebook group for recipe ideas!
6. Fun with Friends
Grocery shopping, budgets, meal planning, etc. can wear you down but when you're with your friends it can be so much fun. As Kim and I have talked about grocery shopping, it has been way more fun trading tips together. Going to the ALDI Grand Re-Opening was a great energizer in the middle of a hectic week. We loved the free carts, the huge free re-useable ALDI shopping bags, and checking out all the deals. Most of all we loved having fun together. We were cracking up as we did Facebook Live, Twitter Live, took pictures and made videos. We had fun chatting with other customers and the local ALDI team was so nice. It was fun bantering about what we should buy or not buy. We know life is messy and so super busy. When you are feeling weary from the long list of "to dos" grab your girlfriend and head over to ALDI. You'll shop "differentli", will find some healthy deals, lots of treasures, great alcohol, and some laughs in the aisles. Look for Kim and me - we'll be by the avocados or alcohol!
In the comments below tell us about your favorite items at ALDI! Thanks for reading!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think the Grand Re-Opening of ALDI could give me something to look forward too! But, here I am patiently waiting for my favorite ALDI store to re-open on April 11th in Joliet, IL. I have spent so many Saturday mornings at the ALDI at 3080 Hennepin Drive through the years that these last few weekends I have been off kilter! I drive by and see the construction in progress and am excited to see the remodeled store. But, I want to go shopping at ALDI now!
When I walk down the aisles of ALDI, I reminisce to the days of a toddler in the seat of the cart and one in the basket in her baby carrier, and yet another toddler running ahead of me. My shopping trips have changed from diapers, fruit snacks, and juice boxes to avocados, Almond Milk and wine!
To say an ALDI store brings me peace may sound crazy, but it is true. My husband waits patiently to see what goodies I am going to bring home from ALDI. He likes to tell the story of when I ran over to ALDI to get the staple items of bread, milk, and eggs. When I made my way into the house with those items and a grin on my face, he knew there was more. He was speechless when I opened the trunk to reveal a weed whacker, towels and new top for me! I love the ALDI weekly specials section of the store!
With all three of the above mentioned girls now away at college, my trips have changed. My Saturday mornings start a little later, and they are a lot quieter (which I hate)! I no longer am stocking up on fruit snacks, granola bars, and cereal. It saddens me but I guess it is the circle of life!
My shopping now consists of looking at labels and buying “healthy snacks” that I have to talk myself into eating! ALDI knows that big changes start small. I'm starting small one snack at a time! Avocados are always good at ALDI and I definitely stock up on those. I have also converted to Almond Milk and I promise no one else sells it for less and it is GOOD! ALDI is helping me shop "differentli" and I love it!
But, if I am going to be honest my life changed a few years back when ALDI started carrying alcohol!! I just might be that middle age woman in the checkout next to you with a few bottles of wine. I see you younger moms with screaming kids and a cart full of snacks and diapers looking at me with envy. What you don’t realize is I envy you, enjoy your time with those little munchkins, they will be grown before you know it!
I have to make a confession…. fruit snacks are still in my cart every time I check out. Fruit snacks pair perfectly with a nice bottle of chardonnay and bring me back to the years of being overscheduled and stressed. It also reminds me to enjoy every moment because life is always evolving!
ALDI is evolving too and is inspiring us all to live "differentli." So, join me and come on out to the Grand Re-Opening of the ALDI at 3080 Hennepin Drive in Joliet on April 11th! I'll meet you by the avocados or the wine!
Spring is here and I'm working on my "to do" list! The girls will be out of school before I know it and I need to get things done! I had put off an eye check up for far too long and recently went to see Dr. Chad Kuhar. Watch my video and see 5 reasons why you should visit Dr. Kuhar and his amazing team at Kuhar Vision. Huge thanks to Claudette Kuhar for helping me pick out such stylish glasses! I've know Dr. Kuhar and his wife Claudette since we were in grade school and they are amazing people with strong values. Dr. Kuhar is fantastic with patients of all ages, he was so patient and wonderful with the twins! Watch now to hear more about the exceptional service at Kuhar Vision, how they are providing jobs, and how they give back to the community! Schedule your visit today!
Kuhar Vision Care
4970 West Theodore
Plainfield, IL 60586
(Located on the southwest side of Route 59 and Theodore)
Phone (815) 577-0020
Fax (815) 577-3884
Over the past week the International Women's Day hashtag has been all over social media and there have been powerful commercials on TV. This inspired me to think about who has impacted me and who has helped me be a better leader, teammate, and friend.
I immediately thought of June Holmes and she is my #internationalwomensday2019 hero! June is the Chief Operation Officer for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, formerly PCI. I had the opportunity to work for June and she has been a mentor to me for more than 10 years! Following are 3 key lessons I learned from June.
1. People First
June demonstrated that people always come first. She instilled in me the importance of putting people at the center of your work. As a membership trade association, June built meaningful relationships with the executives of the member companies that have spanned her career. Her strong relationships helped the association be in tune with what mattered most to the members, to have insights on what kept them up at night, and knowledge of what resources the companies needed to succeed. June invested in cultivating relationships which made members feel valued. She genuinely cares about the members, their companies and also their personal lives. It is inspiring to see June in action with the members and the solid friendships inspire me to make time to build strong relationships with others.
June also showed me the importance of keeping employees front and center in our daily work. June constantly thought through how initiatives, projects, and changes would impact employees. She had the short view, as well as the long view on how any company actions could play out and impact employees. She taught me the importance of viewing impact on employees from so many different angles. When I worked at PCI, June's insights were critical for strong employee relations and engagement.
2. Power in the Details
With multiple board meetings, many conferences, and countless political engagement events, the days flew by at the trade association. The amount of content generated could feel like an avalanche. June is a master of creating plans and execution to ensure outstanding products and services are delivered to incredibly busy executives. June taught me so much about keeping the trains running while also creating valuable content. Her ability to organize strategic plans and activate the team to produce results inspired me and taught me valuable skills. She also taught me the importance of working the details, staying focused, and remaining calm despite any fire drill.
3. Pursue Your Passions Everywhere
June encouraged me to pursue my passions at work such as encouraging insurance companies to embrace social media and working on talent challenges with the Insurance Careers Movement. When I had my sweet twin girls, Sophia and Stella, June taught me so much about pursuing your passions with your family while having a demanding career. As a working mom, June taught me about the importance of weaving in time to go to things like a music class with the girls or popping home for lunch with the twins. I learned from June on how to juggle work and home and how to have a meaningful impact in both places. June is an amazing role model on how to pursue your passions and make in impact in every aspect of your life.
As I celebrate #IWD2019 and think about Stella and Sophia's future, I hope to inspire them like June Holmes inspires me. I'm grateful for the tremendous impact June has had on my life, both professionally and personally. June is my International Women's Day hero!
Order today for Christmas!
We have your perfect Christmas present! Order Messy Mommy Holly's new cookbook, Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table for your family and friends! Order today at https://www.blurb.com/b/9645370-together
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