Have a prepared week.

prepared1This time of year (when daylight saving ends) is probably my most productive time. It feels so much later than it actually is because we “gain” that extra hour overnight. This weekend, regardless of daylight saving, I feel ahead of the game and it’s been a great, calming feeling. Instead of waiting until Sunday to do all the prep for the week ahead, I spread it out and got the laundry done on Friday, did some shopping yesterday, and got our grocery shopping out of the way after church this morning. Now the rest of my day doesn’t have to be crazy hectic trying to cram everything in and I don’t have to worry too much that I didn’t get everything done (but who really gets everything done they had to in one weekend?!).

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Our Favorite Christmas Memories

On the Eve of Christmas, surrounded by the one[s] we love, it’s hard not to think about all of our cherished holiday memories together, new and old, good and bad, funny and serious.

Under the Oaks : Our Favorite Christmas Memories

Some of my greatest childhood holiday memories were about gifts, not just the ones I received, but the ones I gave. One year my aunt gave my sisters and I [all 4 of us] a big appliance box full of dress up clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories. I’m pretty sure there was never a gift that got as much use than that one; those were the days in which we were each others best playmates. A couple of years later I remembered receiving an American Girl from Santa, and from my Grandparents I received homemade doll clothes from my Grandma and a handmade doll bed from my grandpa. Even then I cared more about the love and devotion that went into those gifts than any other gift of monetary value; it has always inspired my gift giving.

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A Christmas Menu for Two

Under the Oaks : A Christmas Menu for Two

This year for Christmas and the New Year the husband and I are staying local, and similar to Thanksgiving are prepping for a low sugar, low carbohydrate, healthy and filling meal for two. We will be keeping it simple, yet flavorful with hints of the holiday: a touch of cranberry sauce in brie stuffed mushrooms, herb filled stuffing muffins, and allspice in the no sugar added apple pie. Similar to our Thanksgiving menu we will be using a gluten-free stuffing substitute for the stuffing muffins; it was so delicious over Thanksgiving we thought we’d go another round! (FYI, gluten-free stuffing mix can be found at Whole Foods) Continue reading