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Salmon Chowder

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I know that you can eat fish pretty much any time of the year, but let’s be honest, it’s the best during the Summertime, right?  When I think of fish in general, I think of the ocean and that usually leads me to thinking of the beach and that ultimately is the goal for most of us during the Summer!

If you love Salmon as much as I do, YOU MUST TRY THIS RECIPE!  This might not seem like it would be very “kid friendly”, but I swear….. my  little BABIES eat this up!

Maybe they are just weird or maybe they just can’t taste the salmon, or ……. yeah, maybe they are just weird……….  😉

Regardless the case, they really do love this one!

Salmon is probably one of the healthiest kinds of fish out there.  The best part is that this meal is very light too!


Check out the Recipe below!


Recipe:  Salmon Chowder

•  1 lb. fresh skinless Salmon

•  1 – 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil

•  2 cups Shredded Carrots

•  1 cup Chopped Onions

•  1/2 cup Thinly Sliced Celery

•  2 1/2 cups Cubed Red- Skinned Potatoes

•  4 cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth

•  1 (16 oz.) package Frozen Corn

•  1 Tsp. Fresh Chopped Dill Weed , plus more for Garnish (Optional)

•  1/4 Tsp. Salt

•  2 Cups Milk (I used Skim)

•  2 Tablespoons Cornstarch (for thickening)

•  Water for Poaching Salmon


•  Rinse Salmon and pat dry.  Set aside.

•  In large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.   Cook and stir carrots , celery, and onion in hot oil about 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

•  Meanwhile, in another large pot, bring water (about 2 cups) to a boil.  Add salmon.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.   Remove salmon, flake into 1 inch size pieces  and set aside.  Discard water.

•  Stir the broth, potatoes, corn, dill, and salt into cooked veggies.  Bring to a boil.

•  Reduce heat to medium low heat .  Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

•  Stir together 1/2 cup of the milk and cornstarch.  Add milk mixture to pot.

•  Stir in remaining  1  1/2 cups milk to pot.

•  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and slightly bubbly.  ( about 5-6 minutes)

•  Gently stir in poached salmon and heat through.

•  Serve in bowls and top with additional fresh dill.

•  Goes GREAT with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread!





Kid Approved, Main Dishes, Mom News, Recipes

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Teacher Appreciation Luncheon



A couple of months ago, I was asked to throw the end of year Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at my son’s preschool.  I love being hospitable to others.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that has turned out to be my calling in life.  I really hope that statement doesn’t come across as boastful.  In fact, I mean it to be anything but that.


You see, back when I was in school, I felt like everyone knew what they wanted to “be when they grew up”………… EXCEPT ME!

When asked that question, I think I came up with something original, like……  an actress!  I even convinced myself that I REALLY wanted to do that and even got as far as auditioning for the Raleigh Christmas Carol, which happens to be ran by no other than  Ira David Wood, which happens to be the father of Evan Rachel Wood, (the hollywood actress).  (I realize I just gave you ENTIRELY TOO MUCH information!)

Anyway, I had to sing for my audition and as it got closer and closer to my turn, I realized VERY QUICKLY that I did NOT want to be an actress afterall !!!  Well, God must have heard my plea to make something happen that would allow me to crawl out of the building prior to my turn because literally 3 turns before my own ( I know this because I was counting as I sweat profusely) , they announced they would be taking a quick break.

I QUICKLY seized the opportunity to turn to my mom and let her know my thoughts and after seeing the shear TERROR in my eyes, she lovingly abliged my departure. (*THANK GOODNESS!)

Honestly, I cannot believe I just told you that!  Oh well, I guess it isn’t a secret anymore……….  The point is, I’m glad that I have found something I love to do for others and that I have turned out to be at least decent at and others appreciate.


I had a great group of ladies jump in to help me.  We decided to go with a “Super Hero Theme”.


Now, I cannot claim ALL these ideas.  I searched Pinterest (the Holy Grail of Ideas) and put our own spin on them.

The picture above is an IKEA picture frame that cost a whopping $. 99  !  That’s right, 99 cents!

Then, I just found a picture of Wonder Woman and sized it to 4×6 and printed on regular computer paper.  The picture frame is double sided, so I printed 2 per frame ( I had 3, so I did 6 total) and lined them down the banquet table.


The table cloth is a simple deep blue also purchased from the Dollar store as well as red paper plates and gold napkins secured with red ribbon.



We did a candy bar and used jars from IKEA ( I had just gone a trip so they all really came in handy) .


I made the labels using glitter foam sheets found at the craft store.  They are sticky back so you can play around with them how you like.  I used a circle punch to make the white circle and then stuck them to the clothes pins.  The clothes pins simply clip on to whatever container you choose.  The small scoops were purchased at The Party Store for $.89 each.


I found the cutest Galvanized Container at Sams Club and layered chocolate chip cookies and specialty cupcakes from a local cupcake shop.


What candy bar would be complete without goody bags to put them in?


The goody bags are simply brown paper bags purchased at the Dollar Store and cut to fit (my best interpretation of The Captain America logo) sticky back glitter foam sheets left over from the candy labels.


Did you know that local establishments will graciously donate items to functions like this?  All you have to do is ASK!  Of course, it would be very courteous to give them adequate notice and NEVER FORGET to send them a “thank you” note to let them know just how much you appreciate their kindness.  We were very lucky to have wonderful people in our community from a few different restaurants graciously donate to our function.  The result was AMAZING!


These cool dispensers were picked up at Sam’s Club for $29.99 for the pair!  Chalkboard necklaces let the teachers know which drink is which.  Simple decorations that the volunteers found in their children’s rooms decorate the table.  🙂


We made gift baskets for each of the teachers as well.  I found the coolest drink cups (even though you can’t see them very well) at Michael’s.  They had Wonder Woman on them and they were PERFECT!  Paired with girly items from the Target dollar bins, they made a cute little gift for the teachers to take home.


I have to admit, when I was first asked to do this, I kind of PANICKED!  What did I know about Teacher Luncheons??????

Well, after it was all said and done, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to do it and the response from the teachers was worth it.

If you are planning or have been asked to help throw a Teacher’s Luncheon, I hope this may have given you some great ideas!


Have you thrown a Teacher Luncheon?  If so, what was your theme?  I would love to know!

Until next time…….




Entertaining, Mom News

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One Kings Lane: Mixing Vintage and Modern Styles

The internet is an amazing place!  In my opinion, the most amazing thing about the internet is being able to share your ideas in hopes that it may inspire someone else. Whether it is inspiring them in cooking, organizing, or even DECORATING!

Well, I couldn’t believe it when the awesome online store, One Kings Lane contacted me and asked me to share my ideas on how I like to mix vintage finds with more modern ones.  They are a fantastic store that have sales on one of a kind finds.  They and I, both, are loving this style right now.


I absolutely LOVE these old army boxes that my Dad brought me a couple of weeks ago.  Not only are they cool, but they tell a story.  I love to imagine who it was who used these boxes and what their life was like at the time.

I decided to stack them on top of each other and use them as a bedside table, since I was needing one in my spare bedroom.


I decided to pair them with a modern style lamp and vintage pictures of my Mom and Dad.  By the way, I think that is a great way to show guests they are important!


When a guest is visiting you and you have pictures of them, try placing them in the room that they are staying in.  It personalizes their room and I bet they will get a kick out of it!


I happened to have this old vintage picture of my Dad as a young boy,


and this one of my Mom with her beloved cocker spaniel when she was a child.  They really appreciated the gesture when they visited.


You also probably remember the lockers that Z brought home from a job that we painted and used in the entry way.  They are still a “work in progress” , but they are just so cool and because of that we used them in the rest of the house as well.


We recently purchased the coolest light that has a vintage look to it to go above the lockers.


The pendant lights over the kitchen bar add to the vintage/modern design we love.


Of course, little man had to have a “superhero” red one……


and the girls’ got blue and purple ones.


I picked up this vintage sign at a flea market shop down on Ocracoke Island several years ago and it has had a spot on my wall ever since.


I bought these plates at the State flea market in Raleigh 5 years ago.


They are an unexpected piece of art placed on the wall next to  modern style office accessories.


I have had this milk jug forever.  I love these things.  If I ever come across them, it is so hard to pass them up.  I think they add such great character to any room and are great conversation pieces.

If you aren’t really sure about what category your style falls into, One Kings Lane has a great new feature they are offering to help you figure that out.  It’s called their Home Decor’ Resource and you should definitely check it out!

I personally think I fall into a lot of different categories.  I love so many styles!  Don’t be afraid to explore and check out all the great deals they offer too!


Speaking of deals, I just fell in love with this drink dispenser!  Those who know me well, know I LOVE a cool looking drink dispenser!  I’ll be back in a little while!  Got to go check out!  😉




Decorating, For The Home, Mom News

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Make your own Command Center!


Have you heard of the new concept of “Command Centers”?  Well, I reckon it’s a new thing?  Whoa, I just said reckon, but I’m not ashamed.

Basically, if you are short on space, or you don’t have a designated area for an office, you can take something as small as a corner or a wall and turn it into a COMMAAAAAAAAND CENTER!  (I imagine some crazy loud man with an echo saying that)

That is exactly what I did in the corner of my dining room.


You can put whatever you want in your center.  It is the area in your home where you typically take care of your bills, schedules for your family, organize dinner menus (etc.)  There aren’t really any set rules because let’s be honest, everyone’s home runs differently than the next home.


What I did, was take 4 plain, wooden clipboards that I picked up from Office Max for $2.99 each, only to be horrified later when I realized I could have gotten them from The Dollar Tree for…… you guessed it!

However, the ones there were not exactly the same.  They didn’t have the circle at the top that made it easy to hang on a single nail and would have been difficult to hang as a result.  Some of the things I put on my boards that help me were a blank grocery list that I grouped into areas of the store so that I wasn’t playing ping pong back and forth throughout the store while I was there.

Then I did our weekly menu for meals, my monthly calendar, and a great household planner I found at the The Confident Mom to help organize MY LIFE!  LOL!

All of the templates other than the one I created for the grocery store, I found online by searching “free calendar printables” or “free menu printables”.  I don’t have the links to the ones I used, but….

Here are some great examples of other Free Printables:

Shining Mom   (Free Printable Monthly Calendar)

The Suburban Mom    (Free Printable Monthly Calendar)

Sweet Bella Roos   (Free Menu Planner)

Posh Ideas  (Free Menu Planner)


Next to the clip boards, I have one of my bulletin boards that I keep fun things on, important reminders, appt. cards and so on.  I love showcasing some of the sweet artwork the kids bring home from school too!


I also have an area for my files with important things I need and a basket that I labeled for mail overflow.


Overall, I love this little nook and what we turned it into.  I forgot to mention that most of the things I used, were things I already had.  That is the best part about one of these command centers.  Try your best to use items that you already have.  I already had the desk (Target), chair(Old Time Pottery), bulletin board (Homegoods), baskets (Goodwill finds), and file folders (Office Max).

I bought the clipboards and slipcover for the chair.  Again, the clipboards were $2.99/ea. and the slipcover was bought from Pier 1 for $39.95.

If you have the time and want to organize your Family day to day life…… or simply your own life, seriously consider a Command Center!

I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Happy Decorating!




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