Free Holiday Meal Plan from eMeals



I just printed out my Thanksgiving meal plan compliments of eMeals!!  I love the ease of having these special menu plans available so I don’t have to search – it’s all done for me!

Join eMeals During November and December and Get a Holiday Plan for Free – yep – that is right!  Also, did you hear that you can get a 14 Day FREE trial now?  This is the perfect time to try it out and grab this extra bonus too!

eMeals has a Traditional Holiday Menu Plan, a Paleo Holiday Meal Plan and a Clean Eating Holiday Meal Plan available for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are even complete with a pre-made grocery list!

eMeals knows it can be daunting to enter the kitchen to cook for your family during this time of the year, so take this as your easy way out!  Go grab your FREE trail now!

As you prepare for the holidays this year be good to yourself and let eMeals be your game plan. Along with the free holiday plans, save money and make time for family with delicious eMeals weekly meal plans everyone will love. eMeals provides easy recipes with concise directions and a grocery list for budget minded and busy people. eMeals is the new way to organize and simplify the usual chaos of dinner at home.

Check out this Traditional Holiday Meal Plan recipe below. Doesn’t it look SO good?  (Even though I am gluten-free I am making this one for the rest of my family and I can’t wait!)

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

2 (12-oz) packages steam-in-bag green beans
1 (8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 (2.8-oz) container French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook beans in microwave as directed. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sauté mushrooms in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once after 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add to beans in bowl.
Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Crumble bacon, and add to beans. Reserve 1 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in drippings until tender. Add to beans. Stir in Alfredo sauce and cheese.
Spoon into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake



Over the weekend I decided to wipe up a quick and easy Gluten Free Coffee Cake using my Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix – love that stuff.  I had all the ingredients except cinnamon.  I had forgotten to put it on my grocery list.  I began putting the ingredients back in the cupboard, when I could smell the cinnamon bark essential oil I had in my diffusing (which smells incredible!) and decided to try adding it to my recipe in place of the ground cinnamon.

It turned out incredible!!  So I had to share this quick and easy recipe for those who amy have gotten the Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil for FREE this month on the promotion. (I only use Young Living Essential Oils in my cooking)  Your family will thank you!

The recipe is adapted from the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe on the back of the Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix package.   Just keep in mind… I am not a food photographer, but wanted to show you the final product!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Fabulously flavorful Gluten Free option to serve with coffee or tea
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Cake Batter
  1. 2 Cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
  2. 1 Cup coconut sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. 2/3 Cup butter
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1 Cup sour cream
  1. 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
  2. 1/2 Cup coconut sugar
  3. 3 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  4. 1/2 Cup raisins, soak in cup of hot water to plump, then drain
  1. 1 Cup powdered sugar
  2. 2-3 TBSP water
  3. 3 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together FILLING and set aside
  3. Cake Batter: soften butter in mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla.
  4. On low speed, alternately add Pancake Mix, then sour cream until incorporated.
  5. Grease 9" bundt cake.
  6. Spoon 1/2 batter into pan, covering the bottom.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 of the filling over batter evenly, repeat with layer of batter, then sprinkle remaining filling evenly over batter.
  8. Take a knife and insert straight down into batter moving up and down around the pan in a zig-zag motion to marbleize cake. (I did not do this step)
  9. Do not smooth out the batter.
  10. Bake 45-50 minutes when inserted toothpick comes out clean. While warm, run a knife around the edges.
  11. When cool remove from pan and pour thin stream of glaze back and forth over the cake.
Adapted from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix Package
Adapted from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix Package
The Confident Mom

Top Travel Tips For a Enjoyable Journey


Heart shaped cloud in the sky

I have a hidden secret I have only shared a few times here on the blog, and today I am going to use this hidden gem of mine to help you mama’s out!!!  In my previous career I was a Flight Attendant – yep – for 20 years I traveled those “not so friendly skies” and learned a lot in the journey.

As I get ready to hop on a plane tomorrow with my family to go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, I thought it was time for me to share the digs on some of my known secrets of making flying a little more enjoyable.

A Dependable Suitcase is a MUSTTravel-Pro

First and foremost, if you want to travel easier on your own or with kids you MUST have a reliable and sturdy suitcase.   Travelpro suitcases are the Flight Attendants best friend and I have had mine for over 15 years and it is still going strong.  This is my favorite one – you can seriously pack so much in it!  I went to a Convention earlier this summer and was gone just over a week and managed to pack all I needed in this suitcase – including outfits for each day, a computer, books, a formal gown, shoes, purse, exercise clothes and more.  Do yourself a favor and get a good suitcase.  Plus, it fits in the overhead – no checked baggage fees!

Water Bottles for ALL

Our family brings our own water bottles, empty through security and fills up at the drinking fountain.  We are a frugal family and buying expensive bottles of water at the airport just doesn’t fit in with our desire to spend our vacation money.  I love this bottle, my all time favorite because it is padded with silicone and is glass, so I can add my Lemon essential oil to it without any issues.  The flip top lid seals well and I love the handle, so you can attach it on the outside of your bag too.


Lots of snacks, especially when traveling with little ones. Bring way more snacks than you think you will need. My snack of choice…almonds and individual bars (love these for me and the Zbars for my four year old – I buy them on subscribe and save from Amazon).  I also find the individual applesauce perfect for little hands.  I also will throw in some fresh fruit if I have time.



I LOVE my small travel pack of oils, these stay in my purse at all times and I love that I have just enough of several varieties to meet almost any need that might arise.  Main staples like Lavender (boo-boos & relaxation), Lemon (for my water), Peppermint (for refreshment) DiGize (for tummy troubles) Joy (for uplifting my mood) Peace and Calming (because who doesn’t need some Peace and Calming on an airplane?) Frankincense (for boosting my immune system) Stress Away (for the lady with the crying baby in front of you) and more.  I am prepared for almost everything that could happen, small, compact and ready to go.

Thieves Spray and Hand Sanitizer 

MUST have for everyone traveling – I even offer it to my seat mates.  Germs are everywhere, and especially now with all the ICK floating around with no sure tell way that is known to catch it or not catch it….. I will be spraying the arms on my seat, plastic folding tray, and more – UGH!!  Between the Thieves spray, which I actually use to spray directly in my mouth and the waterless hand sanitizer, I feel very well covered and protected.  My husband who travels for a living 3 days a week, is never without his Thieves spray.  Perfect for fighting germs and supporting your immune system when you need it most.

Ear Plugsear

I never leave home without ear plugs. I hate the loud noise of the airplane cabin so always have these simple foam earplugs with me – we get them by the bag!  Economical and I love that they are individually wrapped too.  I use them when I’m traveling for sleeping at night too, as I am getting older it is harder for me to adjust to strange places, and having the ear plugs helps me drift off to a good night sleep.

NingXia Red and NingXia Nitro

My body needs to have some immune boosting support when I am on the airplane.  With the dry cabin air that is recirculated in and out of 147 peoples noses….. ugh!!  I love that NingXia Red will keep my energy level and it’s full of antioxidants and essential oils to give my body an extra boost to fight off anything that may enter it “uninvited”!

NingXia Nitro gives me that extra boost of energy, I down that little shot just before I need to get my game on – like deplaning with a four year old or waiting for our luggage and I am running after a four year old in the terminal.  Or after an 8 hour flight…. we all need a boost of energy with out the crash!! 

Pack Activities

Now this one only applies if I am traveling with my kids.  If I am on my own, I typically read, listen to some music or take a nap.  {Yep, those ear plugs are great!!}  But with my four year along, it means bringing books, some paper, colored pencils (hate crayons on the airplane and so do flight attendants – they can make a real mess!)  Oh, and don’t ever think that Play-doh is a good idea on an airplane – NOT!  I try to keep things simple and easy….. I tend to play I Spy games, look out the window with my little guy and look at books.

What is your favorite travel tip you can pass along?

My 5 Favorite Things RIGHT Now!



When I come across a great find or something that I truly adore, you know I want to let you know about it too!!  That is what community is all about.  So today, I am going to share with you my Five Favorite Things that have caught my eye and helped me with managing my home, being a mom or just taking care of myself a bit better!

1.  Lavender Buckwheat Pillow

I think I may have mentioned this Lavender filled pillow a few years back, well – we still have it and it is going strong.  I love it!  We recently found another use for it and it involves my four year old.  He is now sleeping with this little pillow!  He asked to borrow it one night and it has never come back in our bed!!

My son loves the firmness of the pillow and the size, but most of all – he loves the smell of Lavender and that we re-new the scent using Young Living Lavender essential oil.  Since we began using essential oils almost two years ago, sleep has not been an issue in our house for anyone, but with this pillow, even more so.  I love that he gets to choose between the diffuser {this is our favorite diffuser for bedrooms!} running in his room or using the pillow.  {Sometimes he does get to use both!}

2.  Alaffia Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Body Wash

I ran across this body wash when I was at our local co-op last week and I picked it up after reading the ingredients – I was impressed.  Even more so that it was on sale for only $7.99 – seriously!  When I looked it up on amazon {my favorite go-to place to ship direct to my home, I saw it sold for $15.99}.  Still not incredibly horrible for the type of body wash it is – no synthetic fragrance, Paraben Free, Vegan, Gluten Free and No animal testing, plus it is made local to my area, just south of Seattle in Olympia.    When I don’t have time to make my own DIY Homemade Body Wash, this is the perfect fit for me!


3.  Real Food Planning Challenge

This incredible ebook by Kristin over at one of my ALL TIME favorite blogs, Live Simply is a MUST have for any busy mom who is really trying to feed her family better.  {Raises hand high!}  That is me, and it can be so challenging.  This resource is packed full of custom-designed printables to make the planning and prep just a bit easier.  You get daily step-by-step instructions, recipe cards, a season shopping guide, time saving tips and much more.  I just have cooking for dinner tonight on of the recipes included in her October recipe selections – Beef & Barley Stew, which is available to you for FREE as a subscriber to her blog!  I can’t wait, it smells fabulous and it was easy to do.  Grab your copy now, it’s only $8.99 and is available immediately. 

4.  The Best Yes

I bought the book, but decided to also get it on Kindle AND Audio!!  Yep, cover all my bases so I could let it all sink into my soul in different ways.  This is the next book for our book study and I hope to announce our schedule next week. If you want to get a head start, grab your copy now.  Being able to listen to a book out loud is to refreshing for me, it brings another element into absorbing the material.  Do you find audio books good for your soul?   This book is a major keeper – so pick it up in at least one form – you don’t have to do all three like me!

5.  The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

Okay, so this one is really for those of you who have little ones in the house.  It is a hardcover book, but mainly for little kids – but let me tell you – I love reading this to my four year old.  It is an adorable story and I love when an author makes rhymes – and this one is full of them.  Cut story about a Gingerbread Man who runs all over school looking for the classmates who made him, believe me you will love it.  Grab a copy on amazon for a gift, or on Kindle or see if your local library has as copy you can check out.

That’s what is bringing a smile to my face these days – how about you?  

What can you share as a favorite in your home right now?

Dream Dinner Challenge Wrap Up



Earlier this month I partnered with Dream Dinners  with the 30 Days of Dinner Challenge.  I was blessed with a fabulous way to provide great meals to my family by using the simple and easy meals you pre-make in their store locations.  We have had a very busy month and it was such  treat to just pull something from the freezer and not have to worry about grocery shopping or coming up with an idea and prep time.

We took care of that when we went into Dream Dinners and made our dinners in just under 1 1/2 hours!

We exceeded the challenge I took by two meals.  Our schedule is tricky – but this month I had challenged myself to 15 family meals together – we actually had 17 (and that is not including several breakfasts and lunches!)

What we ate

This is our spread from Dream Dinners – remember I am not a food photographer, but this will give you some ideas of the yummy meals we had.  We also of course had leftovers and a few other family favorites mixed in.










Wasn’t all that looking very good??

What I loved

Going to a location where we made our meals all in advanced was FAB-U-LOUS!  They cleaned it all up and I came home with 12 meals.

The best meals in my opinion were the two steak dinners – I was absolutely amazed at the quality of beef we had.  Remember here, I am rather spoiled as we buy direct from a farmer, grass-fed beef – and it is incredible.  I was very surprised at the tenderness of this meat and the sauces used were very tasty.

Going to the freezer and just pulling a meal out was incredibly easy and saved a ton of time.  We have never been real big on just heading out the door to a restaurant for dinner when I end up empty handed in the evening – we always find something.  But this made that idea of ‘going out’ because we didn’t anything an excuse we couldn’t use.

What I found difficult

To be honest, there was one thing that was a bit hard for me, since I have unique dietary challenges, mostly being gluten free.  It was hard to determine exactly what I could eat when choosing the menu items off the website, so we ended up arriving to make meals that did in fact have gluten in them.  If there had been a better description or list of ingredients I could have chosen more wisely or even brought different ingredients to substitute.  

For example, the meatloaf has bread crumbs, I could have brought my almond flour to use instead or these corn flake crumbs and substituted those.  So, for me it was a bit more challenging to eat this month and stay on track.

All in all it was a great success!  I loved making all the meals ahead of time and also finding new things to share at our dinner table.  We were extremely blessed!

Did you commit to the challenge too?  I would love to hear how it went – leave a comment.