40 Reasons I Love Dayton, OH

I tend to gush about the Dayton, OH area. I grew up in the military and then served in the military (and am now back in the Reserves), so I have lived my fair share of places. I still stand by my assertion that you can be happy wherever you live, but the Dayton area (aka the Miami Valley) has been so amazing in so many ways that I am constantly talking about how much I love it. I’ve even begun... read more

Fitness pro, mom of 2 awarded top bikini honors in Helsinki

***I penned the following about a very dear friend of mine, Tiffany Rae. Congratulations, hot mama! You continue to inspire!*** For nearly 15 years, Tiffany Rae has been a presence on the world fitness stage. Although she’s competed in numerous federations and racked up trophies and titles, an international first place finish still eluded her. Until now. The first weekend in March, the... read more

Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I’ll be making an effort to post more gluten-free recipes. I’m dealing with some thyroid issues and one of the recommendations has been to cut dietary gluten. No worries, though! As I’ve learned since cutting dairy, eggs, and red meat–it’s not about what you can’t eat, it’s about what you can eat. And in my case, there is absolutely no sense of... read more

Product Review: Graze Subscription Boxes

My sister recently sent me a coupon to try out a new box subscription service, Graze. You may remember from my post on Birchbox that I love the “Christmas present” aspect of subscription boxes–the anticipation, excitement, and surprise that accompanies each. So I went ahead and signed up online. When you sign up using your invite code, you can review more than 90 snack... read more

Quick and Hearty Vegan Chili

Although I love the two chilis that I make most frequently–Crockpot Vegan Chili and CCK’s Sweet Potato Chili–I was on the lookout for a recipe that required way less peeling and chopping. Let’s be honest–most of the time we want FAST, easy, and healthy meals. This one came together, start to table, in less than 30 minutes. It was a nice change using white... read more

Life Without Alarm Clocks; Or, Why I’m Homeschooling

You’re warm and snuggly in your bed. Cozy. Dreaming. Beep, Beep, Beep, Beeeeeeep!!! Your peaceful reverie is interrupted by the shrill insistence of the alarm clock. If you’re lucky, the ones with the soft beep work for you. If not, you may have one of those awful ringing contraptions that causes you to levitate off the bed when it wakens you. I really, really don’t like waking to alarm... read more

Vegan Holiday Harvest Casserole

This recipe is adapted from one in an old issue of Vegetarian Times called “Three Sisters Casserole”–so named because corn, beans, and squash are the “three sisters” in some Native American cultures. This filling casserole has top and bottom crusts made of flavored polenta and a veggie-tastic filling with mild spices. We all enjoyed it immensely and agreed the... read more

Vegan Holiday Wild Rice, Cranberry, and Leek Casserole

I have no idea what I’m making for Christmas dinner this year. It very well might end up being tortilla soup or something else insanely fast and easy. But in the pursuit of finding a worthy holiday meal, I am trying out new casserole recipes tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight’s wild rice casserole was a huge hit with the hubby but received a lukewarm reception from the kids. I... read more

If You’re Happy And You Know It…

My husband and I had a discussion the other night about happiness. As it turns out, he genuinely thought I was unhappy. And as a result, he was feeling unhappy. “Why on earth would you think I’m unhappy?” I asked, stunned. “Every day, I talk about how much I love our house and our children.” “Well, in the evenings after I’m done working, you always... read more

A Few of My Favorite Things

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad…I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don’t feel…so bad.” Agreed, Maria. To that end, our MOPS group had a “Favorite Things” theme meeting for December. Everyone brought in a few of their favorite things, each $5 or less. There was a WIDE variety of items–everything from laundry... read more

Christmas Gift Ideas for Ages 3-6

So here’s the deal–it seems like everyone, and I mean everyone, is talking about scaling back this Christmas. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read about the importance of “presence vs presents.” And I get that. I’ve been making a concerted effort to purge toys that the kids haven’t played with and our playroom is the cleanest and most streamlined that... read more

My 5 Favorite Essential Oils

Essential oils are not a “new” thing. These plant extracts are in everything from cosmetics and perfumes to soaps and cleaning products. They’ve also been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. But essential oils have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in part due to home-based consultants for companies like Doterra and Young Living spreading the word. Part of... read more

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