Happy Holidays!

I’m on day four of what I am calling my 12 Days of Christmas: 12 days off from work over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Yipeee! I’m incredibly thankful to K-Bear’s daycare mom for taking a well-deserved break and gifting me this first-ever, extended holiday staycation.

Our first three days were spent baking and delivering goodies to the neighbors, gathering with friends for our annual Zoo Lights excursion, wrapping gifts and snuggling with K-Bear. There is something about the peace and beauty of these days leading to Christmas that make me forever happy and grateful for all we have.

I’ll be busy this week with a painting project in the house, and a snowshoe or two thanks to a winter storm coming our way just in time for a white Christmas. I’ll see you back on January 1 with a surprise!

Until then, from my family to yours, I wish you a holiday week filled with peace and love, fresh air adventures and a multitude of smiles and surprises that only a fat man in a red suit can deliver. 😉

Daly Family

xoxo

 

 

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

Lasagna 7Hands down, lasagna reminds me of Sunday dinners at my grandparent’s home. Our extended family gathered around the dining room table once a week to share a meal, always Italian, with love and gratitude. I swear, Nana Pearson’s well-worn pan – layered with noodles, fresh marinara and mozzarella – never weighed less than five pounds.

These roll-ups are as worthy of any Sunday dinner as a layered lasagna, but way more fun. They also are flexible with various size baking pans, and require no messy cutting of the finished noodles. They make a fast and delicious dish to bring to those in need of a meal; I doubled this recipe and shared with friends who had a new baby. If you have family coming in for the holidays, no one will be disappointed when this dish appears, and it will feed the whole crew! Continue reading

Holiday Preperations and Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving week! How is your 30 Days of Giving Thanks going? I have found it to be such a powerful practice, and one that has helped me be more mindful of a daily moment of gratitude.

I’m putting the finishing touches on our holiday menu and gearing up for the family to fly in from Connecticut. After having hosted Thanksgiving for so many years now, SoulDaddy and I are a well-oiled machine, but I’m still thrilled to be off work for the remainder of the week – and utilizing daycare for two of those days I might add!

Yes, SoulMomma gets to enjoy a few days for herself. I’m sure that half of that time will be spent cooking and cleaning, but I’m still thankful for the change of pace and time with family. Continue reading

30 Days of Giving Thanks

Wow, can you believe it’s November already? As if being knee deep in pumpkins, fallen leaves and homemade bunny costumes isn’t fun enough, I’m getting excited for the family to arrive in town for another crazy fabulous Thanksgiving weekend.

Because Thanksgiving means pumpkin cheesecake. You see, I have so much to be thankful for in my life, but pumpkin cheesecake definitely tops the list.

You think I’m kidding. Never. Continue reading

Falling Gracefully into Autumn

Happy Monday! As a Leo, I am always amazed that I re-charge by being at home and quiet. For someone who thrives on adventure, I definitely balance that with being a homebody at heart.

Friday brought our first snowflakes of the season, a cold snap that continued on Saturday with drizzle and overcast skies. I can’t tell you what a blessing that is here in Colorado where we have 350 days of sunshine a year.

Seriously, sometimes you just crave those cold, dreary fall days as an excuse to be inside with the warmth of flickering candles, wearing pajamas until 4 p.m, cooking, baking, and coloring paper pumpkins with K-bear. These sorts of days relax my mind and fill my heart with gratitude. Continue reading

How to Avoid Arsenic in Rice

Sadly, two new reports from Consumer Reports and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show worrisome levels of arsenic in rice and rice product including breakfast cereals, rice flour, rice pasta, rice cakes and crackers.

Yes, this is the same arsenic people have used for centuries to commit murder. Continue reading

Don’t Miss Free Museum Day Across the U.S.: September 29

Thanks to Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!, you can visit a number of fantastic museums for FREE on September 29. Unfortunately for those of Colorado, it also happens to fall on the day of Hike and Seek, but if the weather is a wash, you can bet we’ll trade in the trails for the brand new History Colorado Center!

To receive your free Museum Day Live! Ticket for two people, head over here and fill in your information. They’ll immediately send you an email to print a ticket for the museum of your choice. Continue reading

Applelooza!

I’m not sure what it is about this summer – the hot dry temps maybe? – but the two apple trees in my neighbor’s yard are absolutely brimming with fruit!

Traci is already one of the best neighbors ever, accompanying me on walks and to yoga class, watching out for our dogs, offering energy work, and even digging through my recycling bin one morning this week when I had a panic attack on my way to work thinking my missing keys accidentally found their way there. Seriously. I’m that nuts and she’s that awesome. 🙂

And Traci happens to be the owner of said apple trees which she says have produced more fruit this year than in the eight previous years she’s lived there. Lucky for me, she graciously opened them up for picking. I can’t ever turn down an opportunity for free, beautiful, organic fruit! Continue reading

Hike and Seek!

According to National Wildlife Federation, today 25% of kids play outside daily—as opposed to 75% a generation ago. Wow! Hopefully, you all are already helping to change that, but if not here’s your chance.

Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, Hike and Seek is a 1-2 mile nature hike and scavenger hunt for children of all ages, but is especially suited for toddlers to age 10. In addition to exploring what nature has to offer, this fundraising event helps families discover the health benefits of an active, outdoor childhood experience.

But you already knew that right?

You and your kids will enjoy the fun activity stations set up along the way featuring live animals, naturalists, crafts and more. Hope you can join the fun on one of these upcoming fall weekends in a city near you:

  • Chicago: September 29
  • Denver: September 29
  • Seattle: October 13
  • New Jersey, October 13
  • Washington, DC: October 20
  • Atlanta: October 27

Happy hiking!

Road Trippin’ and Healthy Eatin’

We leave tomorrow for our official summer vacation: a weeklong road trip to Montana to visit my brother and his awesome gal, as well as their new home in the hills of Missoula. There’s the rodeo and new farmer’s markets, floats on the river, and lots of hikes ahead of us. Personally, I can’t wait to make friends with their flock of chickens!

I can’t say how much blogging I’ll get done next week, but I’ll surely be posting pictures and snippets of our adventures – which include a side step to Glacier National Park – on Twitter and Facebook. I’d love for you to follow along!

In the meantime, don’t you just love a good road trip?

It’s a 13-hour drive from our place to theirs. Lots of time for happy tunes, scenic views and mind wandering thoughts. That is of course when one of us isn’t in the back seat trying to occupy K-Bear. I’ve got a bag of tricks ready to go, but what I haven’t added to it yet is snacks. Continue reading