Friday, November 28, 2014

Sponsored Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Blogdash and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

    As a stay at home mom I still love good cosmetics and pay even more attention now because I do not have a lot of time for myself to have a long beauty routine. I usually am not a fan of serums all that much as there are many all-in-one creams and oils now that I find them unnecessary.
      However, now with winter upon us and our skin being extra dry and in desperate need of some extra love I was willing to try out Valentia's new Even Glow Serum. Their promise to repair, refresh and renew my skin made it a perfect match to fit my wintry skin.
        Valentia skin care products have been formulated with natural and organic cosmetic ingredients that will repair and protect the skin. They are all alcohol and paraben free cosmetics. Valentia Cosmetics describes their new Even Glow Serum as
     " a proprietary blend of skin super oils that compliment our 20% Vitamin C Base, leading to a powerful antioxidant treatment. Each natural ingredient was chosen to support and enhance Vitamin C's efficiency on the skin, leading to a more well-rounded serum to add to your daily skin care ritual".
     Valentia's Even Glow Serum repairs, refreshes and renews your skin by restoring evenness to your complexion, and giving you an extra boost of confidence each time you look in the mirror.  The Even Glow Serum is made with Vitamin C, Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil, Resistem, Hyaluronic Acid and Green Tea Extract. It is known to even skin tone, increase your skin's glow and radiance, absorb rapidly, boost collagen production and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

      I first added this twice a day to my routine. It is best to use serums after cleansing and toning the skin, but before oils or moisturizers. Valentia's Even Glow Serum dries really fast and I only need around five drops for my entire face and neck. Right away it brightened my skin and within just a few days my skin was softer, smoother and looked healthier. I liked how it is not very oily it is mostly a mixture of oil and lotion so it is much easier to work with than most serums. It even helped clear up any acne that I had at the time.
      Valentia's Even Glow Serum is definitely a serum that I can and will keep in my beauty routine as it works so well for so many things. This also makes a great stocking stuffer for the holidays for any woman in your life. We all could use a little extra Vitamin C in the winter, think of it as a type of chapstick for your skin.

Next Generation Stay At Home Mom gives Valentia's Even Glow Serum 5 Stars!

You can buy your own Valentia Even Glow Serum exclusively at Amazon. It is sold in a 1.18 oz (35 mL) glass bottle with a dropper for only $35.00!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

    Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you are traveling we are wishing you a safe journey. We hope your day is filled with joy, laughter and most of all love!

Papa and Xavier

The First Thanksgiving

A Visit From Gram and Papa



Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sponsored Review: Old Factory Candles Gift Set

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Blogdash and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

  The Old Factory Candles Gift Set are a fantastic gift for anyone in your life. They are really unique candles that are much better than your average candle. Old Factory Candles are sold exclusively on Amazon. They are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming cotton candle wicks and premium fragrance oils.  Each gift set contains three 2 oz. soy wax candles that burn clean and even for 20 hours. They come in a subtle jar design that easily goes with the decor in any room. Old Factory Candle Gift Sets are specially formulated for a pleasing smell, but not over powering. You can burn one candle in a small room or two in a larger room. You can mix and match the scents in the set as they all complement each other very nicely.

     One of my favorite features of these candles and why I think they will make a great gift for anyone in your family is the array of choices of gift sets they have. They truly have a set for everyone in your life. Check out the great gift sets and the complementing scents that they offer.
Fall Harvest- Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves
Happy Holidays- Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, Gingerbread
Winter Wonderland- Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut, First Snow
Romance- Rose Petals, Champagne, Dark Chocolate
Fresh and Clean- Lemongrass, Olive Blossom, Fresh Linen
Spa Day- Cucumber, Lemongrass, Green Tea
Vacation- Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, Awapuhi
Coffee Shop- Coffee Bean, Hazelnut, Chai Tea
Man Cave- Straight razor, leather, mahogany
High As A Kite- Cannabis, Incense, Bag O' Cookies
New Born Baby- Baby Powder, Baby Shampoo, First Blanket
50 Shades- Leather, Vanilla, Jasmine Bubbles

      I had a very hard time picking a set to try as they all seemed nice and intriguing. Instead of taking the holiday route I decided I would get some candles that would always be relaxing and fun to smell in the house so I choose the Vacation Gift Set with the Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei and Awapuhi candles. They shipped quickly in a long rectangular box. Each candle has it's scent labeled on the bottom of it. They come in beautiful glass jars and were very well poured soy candles.

      We really enjoyed these candles immensely. First of all they eliminated smells right away. The first day I decided to try one was because we had cooked bacon in the morning. As much as I enjoy bacon it stinks up the house for the rest of the day. So instead I tried lighting the Sea Breeze candle and in about thirty minutes you could not even smell the bacon at all and it smelled wonderfully fresh. All of the candles scents were very nice and light, but still a relaxing aroma. I found a little went a long way. We only needed one candle at a time and it filled our entire house with the aroma and we even have high ceilings. They are easy to clean and burn really clean which is nice to have the clean jars afterwards.
       Next Generation Stay At Home Mom not only gives Old Factory Candles Gift Set 5 Stars we also highly recommend them for a holiday gift!

There are plenty of people in your life who love candles. Now with these amazing different gift sets you can get them a gift that is as unique as they are!

Old Factory Candles Gift Set sell exclusively on Amazon for $25.00 for a set of three, two ounce candles.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Explaining Thanksgiving

  After all the fun of explaining Halloween, I have to admit it was a pretty hard sale to get Xavier excited about Thanksgiving. It is very hard trying to explain to a toddler what Thanksgiving means in a nutshell without getting into a whole big story. I mainly settled on informing him that it is a day when all of our family gets together and eats a big meal together and we say "thanks prayer together". I also mentioned we eat some of his favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, apples, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin pie. (He loves to eat at Thanksgiving).
     For about a week that was sufficient enough answer for him. Then, the second week he kept waking up and asking if it was Thanksgiving. So to further his excitement and to get him to perhaps focus on other things until the big day I mentioned that his Papa and Grandma are coming to visit for Thanksgiving. He was very excited. I am not sure that was such a good idea, because now he just keeps saying "Papa and Grandma are visiting me", "Cleaning room for Papa and Grandma", "Gonna play toys with Papa and Grandma", "Gonna eat turkey with Papa and Grandma" and so on and so forth.
        Needless to say Thanksgiving has been a challenge to try to explain. There are not even any shows that really talk very much about Thanksgiving. We tried A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, but he lost interest quickly in it.
    Now he is seeing Christmas in stores and on television and has already mentioned "Christmas tree?". Needless to say the holidays at the Arbia's are going to be very comical this year. I look forward to seeing the toddler wonder that comes along with them!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sponsored Review & Giveaway: Susie's Hope DVD

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. 

         If you are looking for something different to watch on television and something that will inspire you and others around you. You should see the movie Susie's Hope. Susie's Hope is a true story that is based on the successfully passed Susie's Law in North Carolina. Susie's Law seeks stricter punishment for all animal abusers. Susie's Hope is an inspirational story about a woman who was attacked by a pit bull finding forgiveness and healing through a small pit bull mix puppy who was found beaten, burned and left for dead. Together, both survivors and victims of senseless animal abusers they learn to heal, forgive and love again. They lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection for all animals.
       I was very surprised with this DVD. I took this review not knowing how I would or would not like the movie. However, I am a big animal rights advocate and I was here in North Carolina when Susie's Law passed. Finally perpetrators of animal cruelty can receive up to ten months in jail as a result of this law. Before it most animal abusers were out on bail and just paid fines and community service. This made the punishment for animal abuse much stricter. I was very interested to see how this law was finally made in North Carolina. The story is a remarkable one that just when you think it may be corny, or easy to figure out comes out with a twist, a turn or even just a phrase out of the actor's mouths that tug at the strings of your heart and make you fall in love with this movie.
      The cast of this movie is not well known and the movie itself is not a big budget film. However, it has outstanding production quality and the acting is superb. Many characters go through dynamic emotions which is rare to find in small budget movies. There is no way you can watch Susie's Hope and not find anything great in it. It truly inspires.

         It runs about 105 minutes. It is not rated, but that is due to it being a lower budget film. I would guess if it was to be rated it would be around PG13. Although it is a lovely and inspiring film, there are some scenes of gore, attack and maliciousness that should be avoided by young children. If you are unsure, watch the movie first then make a decision for yourself if you think your children can handle it. I certainly think it is a great movie for families with older children as it shows how love and compassion really do create miracles.
         Some of my favorite moments in this film was how you see through the eyes of the dog and how the dog sees a particular object and gets frightened of it. I loved how they showed that big dogs cannot be treated nor trained, the same as smaller dogs. Too many people do not know that simple information. It was great how they said that even though dogs are property they are not the same as property. In the movie Susie's owner, Donna says "burning a sofa is not the same as burning a baby dog", I like that they bring light to the different degrees of animal cruelty that exist in our world. "The way we treat animals says a lot about humanity"- Donna, from the movie Susie's Hope.
    Next Generation Stay At Home Mom not only gives Susie's Hope 5 Stars we think you should add it to your holiday gift giving list. Give your loved ones a gift that will inspire them to love!

You can order your dvd copy of Susie's Hope for $24.99 from proceeds go to benefit the Guilford County Animal Shelter which is the shelter that has taken care of Susie since she first got rescued, among thousands of other animals.

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win your own DVD copy of Susie's Hope!
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Giveaway is open to the USA and Canada only and ends December 5, 2014 at 9:00AM EST.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Faves Oldies But Goodies XIII

Xavier last Thanksgiving.
I notice that many of you have children at different ages, or are even grandparents caring for children of all different ages. Plus, you may not have read some of my previous posts. Please note most of my posts are in the above tabs of About This Blog (basically our story as a family), The Parenting Area (inspirational and informative tips and tricks),Party ThemesRecipes (from appetizers to baby food, check out all my yummies), Reviews (we review everything from places, technology, beauty, fashion, and of course baby and toddler items), Sponsor Information (if you are considering being a sponsor of Next Generation Stay At Home Mom) and Contact (if you want to shoot me an email for whatever reason, all are welcome, so are comments on the blog and social media). You can find other posts by searching or looking through the months and years. However, I thought it would be much easier for you to highlight stories and items every Friday so here you go! I hope you enjoy and all have a great weekend!

Friday Faves Oldies But Goodies XIII

Read About
Family Connections

Be Inspired By
Saying Grace

Learn Some Tips From
Roadtrip With A Toddler

Give Thanks In An Amazing Way
Bring your hostess or decoration your home with some amazing Flowers from The Bouqs!

Pick up some amazing cosmetics
For you or for someone you love EnvyDerm has great deals on eyelash conditioning mascara and natural lip plumping glosses

Stock Up on 
Soothie Suckers Herbal Pops for Immune or Nasal Support for ages 2 to 92
Be sure to get you $2.00 off coupon and enter for a chance to win a box!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy 4 Year Anniversary

    Four years ago on a beautiful warm, sunny autumn day I married my best friend and love of my life! We had a beautiful ceremony in our favorite park and an amazing reception afterwards.

I have loved every second I have spent with my husband and I look forward to spending many, many more.

I love you Nick! Happy Anniversary!

Enjoy a quick music video of our wedding ceremony!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sponsored Review & Giveaway: Soothie Suckers

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Tomoson and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

       Along with my reviews of great holiday gifts I am still keeping with our normal routine of great baby/toddler/kid products. This is a product that Next Generation Stay At Home Mom completely stands behind. I am not sure we have ever tested a product as well as we have tested out Soothie Suckers Herbal Ice Pops. Since it is the cold and flu season we are all looking for ways to boost our immune systems safely as well as get rid of any illness that we get. With children that is a hard thing to do as they cannot have as many medicines as most adults. Soothie Suckers has made sure everyone can be healthy from the ages of 2 to 92!
     Soothie Suckers Herbal Ice Pops were developed by a mom of five. Her mission is "to empower families by creating all-natural health supports that are fun, convenient and tasty". Soothie Suckers come in a box of 8, 1 fl. oz (29mL) pouches each. It is recommended for ages 2 to 92. Soothie Suckers come in two different types there is the Immune Support and the Nasal Support. Both varieties have Echinacea and Astragalus in them. The Immune Support also adds Mullein and Organic Thyme. The Nasal Support adds Pleurisy and Goldenseal. The herbal formulations use certified organic or wild-crafted herbal extracts. There is NO alcohol used in the herbal extraction process.
            Soothie Suckers make a great dietary supplement as they have a Low Glycemic Index. They are sweetened with organic agave syrup (15 calories per pop) and monk fruit ( a zero calorie sweetener). They have no artificial flavors, no high fructose corn syrup and no alcohol. They were created in conjunction with the President of the American Herbalists Guild, KP Khalsa. Soothie Suckers come unfrozen in the box so you can drink them in the pouch or a cup, add them to tea, or freeze and eat as a frozen ice pop. They are the perfect amount to take on flights with you if you are traveling.
          I mentioned that I am not sure we have ever tested a product as well as we tested Soothie Suckers because they literally came to my door step the day Xavier, Nick and myself came down with horrible colds. Needless to say the box was divided up (mostly for Xavier) and we all used them. They got rid of our colds very quickly. We all enjoyed the taste of them. I did not like the freeze pop idea as Xavier is too messy with ice pops, but he drank it easily out of his cup with a straw. Nick and I both just drank the 1 oz pouch. I could actually feel them helping my cold and I only drank the Immune Support. Both tasted like a natural juice, grape and orange.
       We are big supporters of Soothie Suckers. We have been using herbs a lot for our health and Soothie Suckers took the guesswork right out of it for us! At only $9.99 per box (be sure to check for a $2.00 off coupon at the end of this post) you simply cannot beat these! I think every household should have them especially now during the cold and flu season!

Next Generation Stay At Home Mom Gives Soothie Suckers Herbal Ice Pops 5 Stars!

You can buy Soothie Suckers in the Immune Support or Nasal Support off of their website
Enter the coupon: HEALTHYFUN for $2.00 off your order!

Don't forget to enter to win a box of Soothie Suckers! Contest is open to all USA residents and ends on December, 2, 2014 9:00AM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Sponsored, #review, #sponsored, #SoothieSuckers
 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fighting Nightmares


 Just when we get moving to a toddler bed done and Xavier sleeping well into the night. He has started getting nightmares. Apparently it is common between the ages of two to four.
       It is so odd as when we go in his room due to him crying, instead of him immediately jumping to us we actually have to move him and make sure he is awake. Then, instead of calming him down he usually will say "Hi Mommy" and I have to put him back to sleep. It is very odd, compared to how I am used to running in from a cry of his.
    I did find that the best way to wake him up is by sitting him up in bed. As the shaking or poking him may make the night terror worse. Usually once I sit him up in bed and rub his back and talk to him he wakes up. I then put him back to sleep and kiss him good night. Luckily, they are random night terrors. He could go nights without any and some nights he may have a bunch. I have found no rhyme or reason for them, but this just goes to show that once you have a child, you have no sleep, as they will never sleep through the night. Good thing I am a night person!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Painting and Play-Doh


      There is an amazing thing that happens when you become a parent you find other parents and you inspire your friends to be parents. Some of us have been friends for a while, some we met as new moms, but we all now have a common bond. Our common bond that we share especially at this moment is our toddlers.
      Toddlers forever need to be occupied. They are little sponges just dying for us to give them information about everything and anything. They are willing to try new things and do new things and learn about new things all the time. I wish I could bottle their energy and enthusiasm and use it when necessary.
         A few weeks ago I had a bunch of our good friends over with their toddlers. I decided instead of letting them just play together I would try a structured activity. It was definitely a learning experience, but it was hilariously fun and we cannot wait to do it again!
         Now that Xavier is two and a half he really is getting into art a lot more. He loves to color, draw and paint. I have been itching to get my art supplies back out, but with a baby in the house it just was not necessary. So I decided for our friends who were coming over we would do painting and Play-Doh. The ages were from one to Xavier's age. I bought some of Crayola's fantastic finger paints that are completely washable. (Trust me Xavier had a white shirt that came out white after washing it!). To make it more fun, I got a canvas for each child. I also gave them a cup of water and some old brushes with long handles to try different ways of painting.

         They all loved it! Of course, some more than others and it was funny to see each child's reaction. Some had to try out everything from all Xavier's toys, painting, Play-Doh and even outside toys. Others spent the majority of the time eating. I was amazed at the different ways they all played and expressed themselves. Some grabbed the paint and threw their entire hands and body into the painting. Some experimented with the brushes first then went to their hands. One started playing with the water. He poured it from cup to cup which sparked curiosity among the others. Only a couple tried out the Play-Doh. I am pretty sure all of them and their parents had a blast.

             Xavier was so excited that his friends were coming over to paint and play with him. He could not wait all day. It was so cute to actually hear him talk about how excited he was to play with each and every one of them. Afterwards he still kept talking about how much fun he had. I'm glad I was able to share this wonderful day with our friends and have a lot of fun.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipe Substitutes

   Tired of making the same old things every year for Thanksgiving. Try making a few different dishes this year. If you have a picky family a good thing to try is introducing one new dish each year. That way you can try new things but keep your favorites. Here's a list of some we have added to our Thanksgiving Dinners throughout the years. What is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

Click on the name for the link to the recipe!

For Dinner

Apple-Sweet Potato Bake

Crock Pot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Cheesy Squash Bake

For Dessert

Homemade Brownies

Dutch Apple Cake

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Chocolate Date Bites

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Riddle


     I apologize for not writing as much. After Halloween I got hit hard by a stomach bug that apparently went around our neighborhood after Halloween. Luckily, it was contained to just me, but when mom is sick no one is ever very happy. Luckily, Nick was able to work from home while I was sick so I could rest. Needless to say I have a lot of catching up to do on housework, computer work and blogging.
     It always amazes me how quickly Xavier just learns things. Everyday it is something new. While I was catching up on things I admit I let Xavier watch television more than usual. However, I find it so fascinating now that he talks he tells me when he wants to watch television and when he doesn't.
        We do not have fancy anything, just basic cable. His channels are PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney and Nickelodeon Junior. He typically likes Nickelodeon Junior, but lately he has switched and watched a lot of PBS Kids and Disney. I have to admit there are a lot of wonderful learning shows for children out there. I never said I was going to be a mom who did not let their kids watch television, but we do try to limit it. Now that he talks and knows how to turn on the television I am surprised as to how little he watches it and how great some of the shows really are. He learns so much from them. Gone are the days of cartoons just entertaining with mindless running around and jokes. Now all the shows demonstrate something of pertinent learning value. He learns numbers, letters, shapes, measurements, words, actions and what I find the most entertaining he relates his life somewhat around these cartoons. He understands the dad and mom and kids portrayal in the cartoons and how they help out as a family. We can mention a certain episode of a show and he remembers it and it helps to aid in talking about things.
       I knew for sure it was good for him to watch the television when the other day we were watching Dora The Explorer together. Dora said "Can you guess the answer to this riddle?" All I could think of was "Oh I suck at riddles" (which I really do). So here was Dora's riddle

"What goes up when the rain comes down?"

I had no clue and unlike most of the time, there were no hints. Just Dora and Boots staring at us through the television wondering what the answer to the riddle was.
      Apparently, Xavier picked up that this needed to be answered so he said "umbrella". To which I turned and looked at him astounded that he even had an answer, not to mention it ended up being the answer when Dora pulled the umbrella out of her backpack.
       I think my philosophy is everything in moderation and perhaps just a little more of Dora The Explorer, as apparently my child is learning a lot from television and used with parental supervision and in moderation it is an excellent teaching tool for young ones. So go ahead turn on a kids channel and sit down, watch, learn and interact with your children!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sponsored Review: EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Mascara

          I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Tomoson and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

     Since it is getting closer and closer to the holidays and Christmas I am starting to slowly add some great products that I recommend as gifts for loved ones. This is one of the things I think would make a great stocking stuffer for your wife, mom, girlfriend, grandma or teenage daughter.
       Just when I was running out of mascara and needed to buy some, EnvyDerm contacted me about trying out one of their new mascaras. I was really excited not only to try the mascara, but to use EnvyDerm Cosmetics due to the fact that they offer high performance cosmetics that are also Paraben free.
     The EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Mascara is a luxurious volume mascara that helps enhance your natural eyelashes. The more you use it the better your eyelash growth and the condition of them. After extended use you end up with longer, thicker looking luscious lashes. EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Mascara is enriched with Peptides, Moroccan Argan Oil, Vitamins and Amino Acids. It has a  smudge-proof and clump-free formula that does not flake or run. It is also made in the USA.
     I have to admit there are not many mascaras that work as well as this one. Most of them always have some flaw whether it's clumps, flakes or smudges. Yet, I did not find any of those things with the EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Mascara. It is really smooth and easy to put on and after two weeks of use my lashes do look a lot healthier. I was impressed as it lasted pretty much all day, and does not run with sweat or tears and was still very easy to remove with soap and water. I also wear contacts and glasses which it did not bother either and my eyes always looked beautiful. My favorite part was how natural it made my lashes look. Most mascaras still look painted on. EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Mascara looked like my natural lashes which was great to put on with some lip gloss and I look made up for the day.
    Next Generation Stay At Home Mom gives EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Masacara 5 Stars!

      Be sure to grab this mascara while you can and get an extra for that special someone this holiday season!

EnvyDerm Conditioning Volume Mascara can be purchased by visiting
it sells in 7mL/0.24 fl. oz. for $ 29.00.

Check out my video for some great mascara application tips!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Herbed Chicken and Potato Bake

  I am constantly keeping a look out for new things to do with chicken. This is a great, easy, recipe that tastes delicious with chicken thighs which is a bonus because those are usually cheaper than breasts. The dark meat of the chicken cooked with the tomatoes makes this a delicious mix. Also, as a bonus if you have left overs chop up the chicken and add a little mayonnaise and celery and you have a delicious chicken salad! Enjoy!

Herbed Chicken and Potato Bake
- serves 6-8 people

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Herbs D' Provence (you can substitute Italian seasoning but not as flavorful)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 garlic cloves whole, peeled and crushed
- 2 (15 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes
- 6-8 potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs (you can do this with or without skin)

   Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour just enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a 9x13 casserole pan to coat the bottom. Put the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and Herbs D' Provence to taste. 

Cover potatoes with one can of the diced tomatoes.

Put chicken thighs, skin side up on top of the potatoes. Salt, pepper and Herbs D' Provence to taste.

  Cover with second can of diced tomatoes. Be sure that each chicken thigh has juice covering it. Place the garlic cloves in the middle of the chickens.

Bake uncovered for 70 minutes or until chicken is brown and juices run clear. Remove garlic cloves before serving.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Making Connections


      Xavier started talking nonstop pretty much after his second birthday. I am just now realizing just how much he has learned and picked up over the past two and a half years. He can now sing the alphabet song and Itsy Bitsy Spider complete with hand motions. He knows how to count to fifteen and what numbers and amounts are. He even knows his whole alphabet and knows certain words. We quiz him a lot now just out of curiosity to see what he knows. Of course when we quiz him with shapes that he also knows, he wants to quiz us as well so apparently Xavier would like to know the status of our knowledge as well.
       He is a huge lover of music. He likes to play any toy that has music. He has a record player he was playing with the other day. His new favorite song is London Bridges (I have no idea why). He was playing his record of London Bridges and he ran over to our (adult) keyboard that you can play like a piano or you can turn on and by pushing different number combinations such as 22 you can play a song. There's over 300 songs you can play on it. Apparently, Xavier figured out the exact number combination for the keyboard to play London Bridges and has it memorized, because as soon as he played the record he ran right over to the keyboard, turned it on, hit the number key for London Bridges both were playing and he was dancing around the living room laughing.
        Sponges! That's what toddlers are, so be careful parents what they see and hear they do. Remember set the bar high. Be who you want your child to try to be and perhaps they will end up soaring even higher.



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