Paris Travel Tips: Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris

Paris Travel Tips: Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris

Ah-ah-ah-AH-achoo! It’s flu season, and it seems like half of my daughter’s school is sick. Literally. We haven’t had the flu but our own personal set of viruses that keep the child out of school and in bed or on the couch. Unfortunately, most of these will keep a kid out of action for at least a week, and believe me they go crazy with boredom. Oh, yes. There’s only so much crafting, TV watching, reading, and homework ignoring one can do! Of course, there are also those days the patient is so sick and out of it they can’t really do anything, but what I’m talking about is that time when they’re almost well but still aren’t allowed back at school because of a fever or other factors. Then it’s time to plan a trip to Paris!

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So what do you do when you run out of things to do for the sick child on the couch? I’m tempted to say let them be bored and figure it out, which is not a terrible suggestion. However, when you’re sick I think a little humoring and encouragement is due! Therefore, what better thing is there to do than plan a trip to Paris??

“Plan a trip to Paris?” you may say, “I’m not going to Paris! Why would I plan a trip there?”

Why?! Well, why not? Paris is ALWAYS a good idea, and basic organizing, trip planning, and budgeting are great skills for kids to learn. You may not actually go on your trip, although I highly suggest it, simply planning and learning about an awesome place like Paris is really a lot of fun.

Let's plan a trip to Paris, Eiffel Tower pin

What exactly do you need to plan?

Airplane Tickets

As far as airplane tickets go, you can book through any number of sources. There are the traditional type websites. You can go through a travel agent. Or you can go to the individual airline’s website such as British Airways.

Arc de Triomphe, Let's Plan a Trip to Paris

Where to stay?

There are so many options for places to stay in Paris! Part of the fun of this exercise is to search online for the best Paris hotels or B&Bs.

Hotel Websites

Of course, you could always plan to stay at the Ritz Paris. If money is not an issue there are all sorts of fun websites to explore accommodations in Paris.


Look for good locations on Airbnb. I’ve used Airbnb internationally and nationally and had great experiences with the hosts. If you use my link, and it’s your first time to sign up you’ll even get a $40 travel credit, and who couldn’t use that?! Click here to sign up and get your credit.

If you do choose to book through Airbnb I always suggest selecting a place with many good reviews, not something newly listed. Also, as far as location goes, try to be close to a metro station or within good walking distance to the monuments and places you’d like to see.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Take some time to search

Another option is to simply Google “best hotels for families in Paris” or specifically the style of accommodation you’re looking for. Go to your favorite travel website or look at several such as or or whatever you’ve had success with yourself in the past. As an exercise, it’s fun to look at several and get a variety of options.

Are you going on a road trip soon?

Road trip activities, in the car with feet on the dash

Read all about the Ultimate Road Trip Activities For Kids. Let’s keep them happy and occupied!

What monuments or places would you like to see?

Do some searches. What are you interested in? The history of Paris? Art? Food? Sports? Do you want to see some of the amazing churches in Paris such as Notre-Dame or the dazzling stained glass in Saint Chapelle? Maybe you were a fan of Highlander back in the day (or another show set in Paris 😉 ) and want to see all the places around the city where it was filmed. If nothing else you can plan to have a sword fight with baguettes under a certain bridge with the Eiffel Tower in view.

Sainte Chapelle stained glass windows

There are so many amazing places to see in Paris, famous cafes and restaurants, and ways to grow and learn. Plan to take your time with meals in France and do as the French do. Enjoy each other’s company and delight in the food. Relax and breathe in the culture. It’ll be good for you.

What will your trip cost?

Fill out your free printable Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris! worksheet. Add everything up and see how much your trip will cost. If you wish, add in a budget for food as that’s not included in the basic plan.

It’s not that much now, is it? Make a plan and jump on that airplane. I’ve never regretted traveling to a new place and the amazing new experiences to be had. Take a risk and act on it today! Or simply enjoy a sick day diversion to lift your spirits.

Download the free Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris! worksheet

Let's Plan a Trip to Paris printable preview


So, will you plan a trip to Paris?

Are you inspired yet to plan a trip to Paris? Maybe even act on that plan and do some bookings? I love Paris, and there’s nothing like a sick day to make me long to be able to travel. So, step 1, if you’re sick, get better! Step 2, download your Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris printable. Step 3, explore the internet using your printable as a guide, and plan a trip to Paris! Step 4, go to Paris!

Have you and your family visited Paris? What are your favorite monuments or places to see? I was lucky enough to first make the trip in high school with our high school French club. I loved it so much I’ve studied the French language and have been back many times. However, it’s been too long! I really need to start planning…

Let's plan a trip to Paris, the Eiffel Tower and Deux Magots

What To Plant In Your Keto Vegetable Garden

What To Plant In Your Keto Vegetable Garden

Okay, I admit it. I love seed catalogs. No, not looking at a website online but a REAL, paper printed seed catalog with 20 varieties of pumpkins, berry bushes of all sorts, and pages of suggestions on herbs and seasonings. Generally, they start arriving in the middle of January when we’ve been frozen in long enough to be craving Spring. There’s something immensely satisfying in planning out your garden if it’s three pots or an acre, in the middle of a deep freeze. But what should I plant in a keto vegetable garden?

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Keto vegetable garden pin, tomatoes

This year, the joyous magazines began to arrive, and I had to stop to think. Last year I was only exploring a ketogenic diet and had not yet started so it did not factor into my garden planting. This year now I’m thinking, okay, how can I best use my small garden space and grow the vegetables we’ll actually use while eating keto? What exactly is a keto vegetable garden?

Yes, I made that up. Keto vegetable garden. What I really mean is what vegetables and plants are eaten in the keto diet, and what should I plant and cultivate. I’ve come up with a list of ideal veggies for our garden, which is not huge, and am in the process of narrowing it down to exactly how many plants, packets of seeds, etc. we actually need. 

What should you plant in a keto vegetable garden?


Two cucumbers with vines and yellow flowers

  • Lettuce blends and individual varieties 
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes – Monsters, beefy, cherry, grape, jelly bean, Early Girl, Roma, hybrid, heirloom
  • Peppers – bells, Anaheim, sweet banana, jalapeño
  • Green onions – bunching onions
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Pie pumpkins. We don’t eat a lot of pumpkin on a keto diet, but I certainly love them in fall! Can we say pumpkin spice?! 
  • Cinderella pumpkins – Rouge Vif d’Etampes


Overhead view of three pots in an herb garden

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme


Some people on a low carb or keto diet feel like they have to avoid all fruits. That’s simply not true, and my sweet tooth often craves a good almond flour raspberry muffin. Berries are healthy and can be eaten in moderation just like anything on a keto diet.

Raspberries on a fence in the sun

What must-have kitchen gadgets do you have to prepare a keto diet?

What have I cut out this year?

I chose not to include some of my usual staples this year because they don’t aline with the keto diet. Most are high carb or high sugar content, and so not ones I want to tempt myself with or actually use.

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Sweet peas
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes

What do kids love to plant for decoration?

  • Jack-be-little pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Wee be little pumpkins

What are some of the flowers I love?

Aren’t lupins beautiful?! My love of lupins stems back to one of my favorite childhood books, Miss Rumphius, who spreads lupin seeds around town to “make the world more beautiful”. We adore flowers, and getting more in our yard this year is one of my big goals.

Purple lupins

  • Zinnias
  • Snapdragons
  • Lupins
  • Roses
  • Lantanas
  • Peonies
  • Phlox
  • Lilacs

Do you not have a garden, but an outside concrete space or balcony? 

No worries! You can have a garden too. There are so many options out there today and new methods of growing. First, take a look at these possibilities, and then enjoy a trip out to your local garden center or farm. Gardening is great for kids and an awesome way to teach responsibility and a love of nature. If you have an outdoor space, even a small one, you can get a few pots together to plant a few vegetables.

  • Pots
  • Tubs
  • Raised bed gardens
  • Tiered planters

Plan and prioritize your keto vegetable garden

What do you prefer to buy, and what do you love to see grow? If it’s easier to buy cauliflower but you’d like to plant a high yielding zucchini plant, do that. Make a plan, experiment a bit, and enjoy it! Take a look at the websites I use in planning my garden.


Jung Seeds Garden Planner This garden planner is a great online way to map out your garden space. It’s easy to use and fun to work with and save from year to year. Of course, good old pencil and paper work well too, but we all love technology! Jung has some of the best seeds for our Colorado region.

Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. They send us some of my favorite seed catalogs!

Burpee More seed options.

Miss Rumphius 

by Barbara Cooney

This was one of my favorite childhood books with beautiful illustrations that inspired me to much of my planting. It would make a great gift for any young girl or even yourself!


Why should you plant a keto vegetable garden?

Why do I love gardens? So many reasons. I love to see my kids plant and take care of the vegetables to see where they come from and the work involved to grow our food. I have my own fond memories of following my dad around the garden picking little pumpkins and miniature blueberries I determined he planted just to keep me busy. Truly, there’s something spectacularly rewarding in tending to your garden, seeing it grow, and being able to pick and eat your results. Of course, it also gets us moving and outside in the beautiful sunshine!

My garden is never perfect but always fun and a new way to explore nature. One year all my tomatoes died, the next year bunnies burrowed and had baby bunnies in the center of the garden, you just never know what you’ll get! However, you always learn from it and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

What do you normally plant in your garden or what would you like to plant? Did you grow up with a garden or is it new to you? Oh! One more questions, what are your favorite books about gardening, fiction or non-fiction? I’d love some recommendations!

What to plant in your keto vegetable garden

Must-Have Keto Kitchen Gadgets

Must-Have Keto Kitchen Gadgets

Must-Have Keto Kitchen Gadgets

Here we are January 16. How are your New Year’s Resolutions or goals coming along? I’m learning the necessity for me to write out my goals, mini-goals, short-term, long-term goals, and steps to accomplish those goals. Sometimes I have a brilliant idea in my head, and I say to myself I’m totally going to do that! However, if it doesn’t get written down with the anticipation of the satisfaction of crossing it off when accomplished, it rarely happens.

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Holiday health spiral

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, only 8% of people actually accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. Only 8%! Are they setting the wrong goals, unattainable goals, or what? In addition, many have already given up on their resolutions. Well, let me tell you, I’m determined not to be one of those giving up!

Before Christmas, I followed a ketogenic diet and was doing really well with it. There’s nothing like measurable progress, i.e. your weight on the scale, to motivate you to continue. I was feeling great and even in a good workout groove.

Christmas hit, and suddenly I was in a downward spiral. Well, maybe not completely, but it feels like it! 😉 After indulging in all our favorite Christmas goodies my sweet tooth came back with a vengeance. Truthfully, mid-way through January, I admit I’m having a lot of trouble rocking my ketogenic diet and workouts.

Keto zoodles with sauce

Keto goal for the year

So let’s start simple, I thought. This is a huge part of my life, and one of my major goals is for my family to eat healthier, simpler meals. What do I mean by simpler? Well, quite frankly, simpler for me so I’m not preparing something different for each member of the family. Yes, another admission! I often make a different meal for EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY.

Why in the world would you do that? You’re probably saying. First of all, my husband works nights, so his schedule is different than ours and generally eats his “dinner” late morning. Secondly, we have allergies and Crohn’s disease in the family, vegan fasting days in the Orthodox Church, and my desire to eat keto. Whoa! It’s a lot to organize when I write it all out.

This year I’m determined to prepare healthy, ketogenic meals with which I can win over the entire family. A lofty goal perhaps? I’m going to at least shoot for it, and share my successes along the way on the blog. Hopefully, I’ll be fusing a ketogenic lifestyle with a travel-loving family, and I’m excited!

Therefore, as a simple starter today, I’m going to share with you some must have keto kitchen gadgets. These make my life easier, and more importantly, help me to stay the course and keep on track to make it back into ketosis. Here we go!

Pin it for later here!

Must-have keto gadgets pin

Indispensable must-have keto kitchen gadgets

1. Spiralizer

I love my spiralizer! It’s great for making zoodles (zucchini noodles) and other noodles out of different veggies. It makes it that much easier to eat gluten-free and add those vegetables to your meals. Click here to see an example on Amazon.




2. High-power blender

Honestly, I use my Vitamix blender almost every day. I make smoothies for myself or the kids, salad dressing, soups, and more. It’s almost like the oven or dishwasher for me. If it broke today I would immediately order a new one (that is, if the 7-year warranty had expired!). See an example on Amazon here.



3. Immersion blender

An immersion blender is great to have on hand to partially blend soups or a quick smoothie. I don’t use this as often as the regular blender, but it’s good to have. Super-convenient! Click here for an example.





4. Ice cream maker

There are so many good keto ice cream recipes, and I love to experiment with my own. Unfortunately, I don’t have an ice cream maker of my own yet as I’ve been spoiled. I’ve been borrowing one from my father for lengthy periods of time, but it’s really time to get my own. It’s on the wish list! Click here to see an example.


5. Cast-iron cookware

Cast-iron cookware is great for going on top of the stove and into the oven. It’s classic cookware you can even pick up sometimes cheaply at a yard or estate sale or even a thrift store, so be on the lookout! Take a look at options here or here.



For fabulous cast-iron, but a bit out of my price range at the moment is pretty much anything from Le Creuset. I’ve been wanting this 9-quart Dutch oven it seems like forever. I stick it in my Amazon basket every time it’s on sale and end up removing it. Made by an amazing French company, who can resist cast-iron when it comes enameled and in the color “Marseille”?!? It always has great reviews. See the Le Creuset Dutch oven here.


6. Slow cooker

You can always use a slow cooker for those quick weeknight meals. Throw it together in the morning and voila! A perfect dinner. Click here to find one on Amazon.



Then, of course, there’s the Instant Pot. I’ve yet to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon; however, it’s probably inevitable. So many people have told me how amazing it is, and that it makes daily cooking so much easier and quicker. We all like that now don’t we? For now, it’s on my wish list. See on here on Amazon.

7. Good knives

Fairly self-explanatory. This is another tool to make your life easier. See options on Amazon here.

8. Glass storage containers

I like to put keto meals and snacks together beforehand in portions so they’re ready to go when I need on in a hurry. I love these glass containers. They stack well so as not to use up valuable fridge space, and are awesome to have on hand. I’ve seen similar ones on sale even at the grocery store. Check out an example on Amazon here.


9. Silicone lids

These are fabulous for sealing a bowl, half a can of tomato sauce, half an orange, or whatever you choose to preserve with them. They’re great to have around and oh, so useful. See them here on Amazon.

10. Silicone muffin cups

These are great, and I use them daily. Every morning at breakfast the family vitamins go into one for each person. I bake muffins and cupcakes in them. Also, I use them as molds for my peanut butter cups. Yum! There are many kinds to choose from, but check one out here.

Must-have keto kitchen gadgets, and a lot more

I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas today about some must-have keto kitchen gadgets and maybe a bit of motivation. Likewise, I’m excited about my new focus for 2018 and would love for you to join me on the journey. Let’s get those kitchens cleaned, organized, minimalized, and ready to cook! It’s time for a change.

Where does your meat come from?

Check out my article and video about my experience with ButcherBox.

ButcherBox unboxing feature

Best of 2017: My Favorite Things

Best of 2017: My Favorite Things

 This week I reflected back on 2017 and took the time to indulge in thinking about my favorite things from the year. It’s been a great year, and I’ve been super-involved in my kids’ lives, but sometimes it’s good to think about yourself too. While it may appear I should be a little old lady in a cottage in England, these are some of my favorites and what I consider my best of 2017.

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Best of 2017 pin

Best of 2017: Food

My Favorite Recipe

Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This is my most-used recipe this year, and it has gotten me through a lot! In case you didn’t know, I started following a keto diet/lifestyle this fall, and it has been amazing! However, I have a gigantic sweet tooth, which was a huge part of my problem and one of the main reasons for going keto. As a matter of fact, I’ve dropped the sugar but kept some of the sweet with this awesome recipe. Because who doesn’t like peanut butter cups?! I can’t recommend the blog All Day I Dream About Food enough. Truly, I’ve made a ton of the recipes on the blog and loved every single one of them. For example, the Low Carb Gluten-Free Brownie Cheesecake was an especially huge hit with the family.

My Favorite Food Box

ButcherBox unboxing ground beefButcherBox is an awesome mail order food box. It comes once a month (or less depending on what you select) frozen in dry ice, with great quality meats. Already, I’ve ordered the grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork and loved the selections sent. My husband especially thought the rib-eye steak was amazing. You can read my blog post about it, and see my unboxing video, here.

Also, if you’d like to try ordering your own box you can use my affiliate link here to get $20 off and free bacon in your first box. 

Best of 2017: Travel

My Favorite Trips

Tbilisi, Georgi with Kids

Tbilisi, Georgia

This summer we took the kids to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia south of Russia on the Black Sea. My husband’s family lives there so it was an amazing opportunity to visit family, expose the kids to a different language and culture, and visit new places. We visited the Black Sea city of Batumi, family cities and villages in between, but for the kids, the capital of Tbilisi was a truly amazing experience. Read about Batumi here, doors and windows of Tbilisi here, and traditional Georgian bread making here.


Ruidoso, New Mexico, best of 2017Ruidoso, New Mexico

One of our favorite family destinations in summer is Ruidoso, New Mexico. Because we live in Northern Colorado we love our Colorado mountains, but traveling south to New Mexico is an entirely different mountain experience. It’s awesome to see the terrain change, the earth colors change from tans, to reds and browns, and explore a new area of the country. Ruidoso is up in the mountains and a fun place to get a cabin and hang out with family.

Look for the Top 10 things to do with kids in Ruidoso coming soon!


Grand Lake, Colorado best of 2017

Grand Lake, Colorado

Grand Lake moose, best of 2017

One of my favorite places on this earth is Grand Lake, Colorado. It’s the perfect place for families to enjoy the ideal Colorado mountain, hiking, fishing, etc. experience right on the lake. We usually stay at one of the cabins at Lemmon Lodge right on one of the beaches of Grand Lake. There’s a play area, the perfect fishing spot where the river enters the lake, and even a campfire spot for making s’mores.

Roundup River Ranch best of 2017

Roundup River Ranch

This year we had the most amazing experience to be a part of Roundup River Ranch near Gypsum, Colorado. Roundup River Ranch is a camp is for kids with chronic illnesses who otherwise would never be able to experience a true traditional summer camp. Doctors and nurses provide support along with many other amazing volunteers to make these kids feel like a “regular” kid, forget about their troubles for a week, and enjoy camp with their friends. I won’t go into detail, but my daughter was able to attend and had the most awesome time. These people and this place bring joy to others, and if you are looking for a cause to support this might possibly be the one. Check out the Roundup River Ranch website.

Roundup River Ranch best of 2017

Best of 2017: Learning

My Favorite Books

We Were The Lucky Ones

The book is set during World War II and told by the viewpoints of various members of a Polish Jewish family. It’s based on a true story making all the more amazing and a true picture into some of the horrors of our history yet the powerful love and strength of family. Read my review about it here or check it on Amazon here.


Arcanum Unbounded

Arcanum Unbounded comes as a book of short fiction in his Cosmere world by acclaimed author Brandon Sanderson. For me, the best part was the novella “The Eleventh Metal”, a part of the Mistborn Saga. If you’ve read the Mistborn Saga and then read “The Eleventh Metal”, a whole new dimension is opened up.  Amazingly, an entirely new story revolving around Kelsior is presented. Moreover, this story took place at the same time as the trilogy, yet you were unaware of it when first reading. It is mind-boggling and completely awesome the way Mr. Sanderson wove something he knew was there all the time but didn’t choose to tell his readers (except for clues here and there) until this novella. Loved it. See it on Amazon here.

A Gentleman In Moscow

I loved the history and characters involved in this book and how everything plays together until an ending I was not at all expecting. Great writing. See my review here or find it on Amazon here.


A Duty to the Dead

The Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd has been my go-to series this year for familiar characters and an engrossing mystery. Set in World War I, Bess Crawford is a British army nurse in France tending to the wounded and dying. In A Duty to the Dead, she’s injured when her ship is sunk crossing the Channel, and she must return to England to convalesce. Ultimately, I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read in this series. They’re sometimes a bit unbelievable, sometimes predictable, but always a great cozy mystery and a page-turner. Moreover, the characters you grow to love and see as a family in their world. Read more about it on Amazon here.

My Favorite Podcasts

Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses is like a class in writing genre fiction, hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. It’s a great motivational podcast for any aspiring or even published writers. Topics include world building, character development, character voice in the first person, switching genres, and so much more. Every season, different hosts pop in with their own expertise as well.

Simple Pin Podcast

“Kate Ahl is the owner and founder of Simple Pin Media, a Pinterest management company that specializes in managing Pinterest pages for businesses and bloggers. She is passionate about teaching simple, actionable Pinterest marketing strategies to help business owners and bloggers boost their business using Pinterest without wasting their time. In her podcast, The Simple Pin Podcast, she interviews people who are using Pinterest in creative ways to drive traffic to their website and increase revenue. She’s on a mission to rid the world of Pinterest myths, crazy hacks to ‘game’ the system and rabbit trails that waste valuable business-building time. She wants to give her audience solid Pinterest Marketing advice using data-driven results. Keep it simple, be authentic, and pin with purpose.” Check it out on iTunes here.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

In college, I majored in History, French, and International Studies. I admit to being a complete history geek, and I LOVE this podcast. Hardcore History is just that, and I’ve listened to several of the series. Right now I’ve gone back to an older one and am listening to “Blueprint for Armageddon”, a series of episodes on World War I. Each podcast, or episode, is about four hours long brought to you by Dan Carlin, who sounds like a super-excited history professor, although he claims not to be a formal historian. His voice is great for the topics, he pulls references and drama from everywhere and just creates a fascinating study of history. History buffs, don’t miss this one! Click here for Hardcore History.

Best of 2017: Fun

My Favorite TV Shows

First of all, to be honest, I don’t watch a lot of TV except for a daily dose of Wild Kratts (highly recommended) with the 5-year-old. What I do watch is on Amazon Prime or Netflix, and these are some of the favorites discovered this past year.

The Dr. Blake Mysteries

“Dr. Lucien Blake left Ballarat (Australia) as a young man. But now he finds himself returning, to take over not only his dead father’s medical practice but also his on-call role as the town’s police surgeon.”

This is a fun mystery series with great characters, acting, and Australian point of view. The series becomes addictive after the first few, and I’m eagerly waiting for seasons 4 and 5 to come to Netflix.

Click here to see it on Amazon.


“Eight puzzling murder cases keep good-natured Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez busy – and keep you guessing – in the breathtakingly beautiful Shetland Islands. As Perez and the viewer quickly come to realize, not all is what it seems in this close-knit island community. Based on the best-selling Shetland novels by author Ann Cleeves (Vera).”

Click here to see it on Amazon.


“Ireland natives face emotional and physical turmoil as they decide to take up arms against the British.”

This was an intriguing version of the 1916 Easter Uprising with strong female points of view and great acting.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Julian Fellowes Presents Doctor Thorne

“From the creator of Downton Abbey. Dr. Thorne lives a quiet life with niece Mary in Greshambury, home of the wealthy Gresham family. Unbeknownst to others, the Greshams have lost their fortune and matriarch Lady Arabella has a scheme to regain it via an arranged marriage with her son and an American heiress. However, her son plans to elope with Mary, which complicates Lady Arabella’s plans.”

This was a fun series for those who love British period drama. While it was not Downton Abbey, it was well-acted with beautiful scenes of the big British houses and countryside. I enjoyed it very much.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Great British Baking Show

This is one of those shows that’s just relaxing to me. Even though I’ve pretty much gone gluten-free, I’ve always been a huge baker and love to see these traditional European recipes. The British just do everything better, don’t they? 😉

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Interested in Ireland?

Read about all my Irish favorites. What do you love about Ireland?

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Your Best of 2017

Do you love British drama? Where did you travel in 2017? Or maybe what was your favorite recipe? Take a second and let me know if you’ve liked my favorites or give me some ideas for 2018. What were your favorites? Write them out in the comments below!

Here’s to a great year!

How To Conquer Your New Year’s Resolutions

How To Conquer Your New Year’s Resolutions

This post contains affiliate links. New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again! As I sit here with a piece of leftover Christmas English toffee, I bemoan the fact that YES! Again, I have eaten more than planned, become more addicted to sugar, and gotten behind in my workout schedule. Of course, the excuses pile in: we’ve had company, I’ve not been able to cook at home, I’ve been sick, etc., etc.

Why New Year’s Resolutions?

I go through this every year and get ready for a January reset in healthy eating, home cleaning, organization, workout planning, and more. It all boils down to, “What can I do to improve myself in the New Year?” New Year’s resolutions happen for me as the Christmas decorations get put away and months more of snowy winter loom ahead.

But this year it really gets me! I’d been doing so well with meal planning and exercise, loving the ketogenic lifestyle and BAM! Faceplant. Well, it’s time to pick ourselves back up again, make those New Year’s resolutions, create a doable plan, and get at it! For me, it’s all about planning and listmaking, being prepared. By setting goals with simple, doable mini-goals to accomplish along the way, you can conquer your New Year’s resolutions with planning and determination!

New Year's Resolutions pin

Conquer healthy eating New Year’s Resolutions with the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle

When it comes to getting meals on the table, are you tired of:

  • scrambling to make something decent out of what’s in your fridge
  • resorting to compromise or convenience foods because you’re short on time
  • battling weight gain and feeling discouraged that the family isn’t eating better
  • wasting money on restaurants, food that goes bad, and too many last-minute grocery runs
  • and feeling like cooking is a burden instead of a joy?

I totally get it, because I struggle with those very same things.

But 2018 can be the year you take control of what your family is eating once and for all.

You’ll have a plan that makes it easier to get homemade food on the table, eat in a way that supports your weight-loss goals, make dinner time less stressful (even on those busy days and weeks) and save money by eating at home more (and wasting less).

Here’s the solution you’ve been waiting for…

It’s the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle and it’s the busy cook’s answer to eating healthier this year.

What’s in this bundle, you ask? Well, everything you need to make meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and eating great food easy as pie.

This is how it works:

If you want recipes & meal plans created specifically for the way you eat (Paleo, Keto, vegan, gluten-free, budget-friendly, just to name a few), you can pick the mini-bundle that suits you best and pay just $27.

If you’d prefer to have the whole collection of made-for-you meal plans, organized shopping lists, no-brainer tips, PLUS over 3,800 recipes for today’s most popular ways of cooking and eating, pay just $20 more and you’ll get every single thing in this bundle.

I’m telling you, this makes meal planning so much easier!

Some of my favorite food bloggers contributed, so I really can’t speak highly enough about the quality and value of what’s inside, for less than the price of a single meal out! I have to say, I am super-excited about the Keto bundle. If you’ve read my posts lately you’ll know I’ve started to follow a Keto way of life, although I’ve been waylaid by the holidays. Maria Emmerich is my go-to for cookbooks and amazing recipes, and she’s included a slow-cooker Keto cookbook I’m dying to try out.

Trust me, this is one investment that will pay for itself multiple times over.

Want to check it out and get your own Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle?

This is how it works:

  • Visit the website by clicking here and take a quick look at all the yummy food you’ll be making with this package, then click the “Get my bundle now!” button to go through their simple and secure 3-step checkout process.
  • You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading all your eCookbooks and printable meal plans.
  • Use their Getting Started Guide to choose your first meals or find the ready-made plan that’s perfect for you!

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just 8 days!

After Friday night, January 5th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

It’s even backed by a 30-day full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

Their customer service is amazing, and they truly want to make sure you’re taken care of and that you love your bundle.

Simplify mealtimes & eat better in 2018 with the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle.

Learn more or get your bundle here!

Did you sign up for the meal planning bootcamp?

How to eat healthier feature

What’s included in the mini-bundles? The full bundle?

Budget Meals

  • 20: 20 Healthy Lunches, 20 Minutes Prep, 20 Ingredients in Total by Lorena Grater ( $9.00 )
  • 4 Week Costco Meal Plan by Andrea Green ( $4.99 )
  • A Month of Meals from My Humble Kitchen to Yours by Diana Bauman ( $5.99 )
  • Conquering Your Kitchen: How to Plan Meals, Shop, and Cook Real Food with Confidence and Purpose by Annemarie Rossi ( $4.99 )
  • Healthy Eating on a Budget by Rachael Condon ( $12.97 )
  • Meal Plan on a Budget: Feed Your Family for Less than $5 Per Person a Day! by Danielle Reeves ( $1.99 )
  • Real Food for the Real Homemaker by Elsie Callender ( $9.99 )
  • Simple Soups: 12 Easy Soups to Stretch Your Budget by Jessica Cramer ( $9.99 )
  • The Everything Beans Book: 30 Frugal, Nutrient-Packed Recipes for Every Eater by Katie Kimball ( $8.95 )
  • The Frugal Recipe Cookbook by Lisa Goodwin ( $3.99 )

Freezer / Batch Cooking

  • 4 Weeks of Easy Meal Planning by Brittany Wise ( $12.00 )
  • Batch From Scratch by Lisa Barthuly ( $9.95 )
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Family Favourites by Sharla Kostelyk ( $15.00 )
  • Cook a Week of Meals in 4 Hours by Darren Stehle ( $11.60 )
  • Freezer Cooking with Milk & Honey Nutrition by Mary Ellen Phipps ( $15.00 )
  • Freezer Meal Clubs Recipe Book by Amylee Udell ( $14.99 )
  • Money Saving Mom’s Freezer Favorites: Breads & Desserts by Crystal Paine ( $9.99 )
  • Prep Ahead Freezer Meals by Alea Milham ( $9.99 )
  • The Ultimate Guide to Freezer Friendly Meals – Chicken by Angela Davis ( $3.99 )
  • Throw and Go Meals: Easy Prep for the Busy Chef by Abby Keyes ( $25.00 )
  • Work Lunch Made Easy: 30 Days of Nourishing Lunches That Will Change the Way You Eat at Work by Ally Milligan ( $15.00 )

Gluten Free

  • 30 Minutes Or Less Gluten-Free Dinners E-Cookbook by Taylor Kiser ( $4.99 )
  • 34 Single Serve Healthy Desserts by Lee Hersh & Linley Richter ( $7.99 )
  • Allergy-Friendly Breakfast Recipes by Kelly Roenicke ( $9.99 )
  • Gluten-Free and Family Friendly: Gluten-free, Family-approved Recipes to Please your Palate – and your Budget! by Carrie Willard ( $3.49 )
  • Gluten-Free 1-2-3 Meal Plan by Tammie Duggar ( $5.00 )
  • Coconut Flour Muffins, Pancakes + Mug Cakes by Regina Braun ( $12.00 )
  • Gluten-Free Breakfast Recipes by Elise New ( $2.99 )
  • Gluten-Free Meal Planning Made Simple by Raia Todd ( $5.99 )
  • Goodness Me it’s Gluten Free Pasta by Vanessa Hudson ( $7.99 )
  • Oat Flour Muffins: Gluten-Free Baking The Simple Way by Katy DeDeyne ( $2.99 )

Instant Pot & Slow Cooker

  • 21 Healthy Instant Pot Dinners by Nancylynn Sicilia ( $7.99 )
  • Easy Instant Pot Recipes by Justine Howell ( $9.99 )
  • Eat the Clock! Easy Instant Pot Recipes on the Table
  • in Under 45 Minutes by Kara Carrero ( $8.99 )
  • Freezer Meal Boot Camp Packs #1 and #2 by Leslie Lambert ( $12.99 )
  • From Freezer to Crock to Table: How to Make 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in Less than 3 Hours by Karen Petersen ( $3.99 )
  • Hangry Beyond Belief: A 30 Day Pressure Cooker Meal Plan for the Busy Cook by Jessica Van Slyke ( $3.99 )
  • Instant Pot Favorites: Healthier Instant Pot Recipes that your Family will Love! by Becca Ludlum ( $7.99 )
  • Mama and Baby Love Slow Cooker Freezer Meals ( $14.99 )
  • Master the Electric Pressure Cooker by Marci Buttars and Cami Graham ( $14.99 )
  • Meal Plan: 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Dump Meals for under $150 by Lauren Greutman ( $5.97 )
  • Traditional Cooking School’s Pressure Cooker Favorites by Wardee Harmon ( $9.99 )


  • 30 of the Best Low Carb Recipes by Denise Wright ( $9.99 )
  • Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan by Ann Moore ( $30.00 )
  • Keto CrockPot Slow Cooker Cookbook by Stephanie O’Dea ( $9.49 )
  • Keto Family Cooking by Hillary Moore ( $10.95 )
  • Low Carb Family Favorite Recipes by Georgina Bomer ( $5.99 )
  • Low Carb Meal Plan Starter Kit by Maya Krampf ( $9.99 )
  • Low-Carb Starter Pack: The Complete Beginners’ Guide by Libby Jenkinson ( $12.00 )
  • The Art of Healthy Eating: Slow Cooker by Maria Emmerich ( $12.99 )
  • The Keto Family Table by Kelli Becton ( $9.99 )

Meal Planning

  • Capsule Pantry Blueprint by Elisa Giorgio ( $37.00 )
  • Clean Mama’s Recipe Binder Kit by Becky Rapinchuk ( $10.00 )
  • Easy Homemade: Homemade Pantry Staples for the Busy Modern Family by Mandi Ehman ( $5.99 )
  • Printable Meal Planner by Carrie Lindsey ( $5.99 )
  • The Art of Meal Prep 2 by Erin Palmer ( $8.99 )
  • The Ultimate Busy Mom Meal Planning Planner by Jenn Slavich ( $7.50 )
  • The ULTIMATE Meal Planning E-Bundle for Law Enforcement Families by Rebecca Volpe ( $30.00 )

Paleo / Primal

  • 30 Day Whole30 Meal Plan by Jessica Beacom & Stacie Hassing ( $29.00 )
  • Curry Night: 20 Asian Inspired Paleo Recipes for Families by Jo Romero ( $7.90 )
  • Easy Instant Pot Paleo Recipes by Dr. Karen Lee ( $9.99 )
  • Paleo Desserts & Treats by Jill ( $5.95 )
  • Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan ( $24.95 )
  • 4 Week Paleo Meal Plan by Michele Spring ( $9.99 )
  • Cook Eat Paleo Fast & Easy by Lisa Wells ( $15.00 )
  • Paleo for One: 45 Gluten-free Small Portion and Weekly Remix Recipes by Vanessa Davis ( $15.00 )
  • Paleo Mug Muffins by Heather Resler ( $6.50 )
  • Two-Week Paleo Meal Plan by Irena Macri ( $11.99 )

Quick Meals

  • 101 Simple Healthy Recipes by Natalia Valderrma ( $10.00 )
  • 15 Minute Suppers eBook by Wendy O’Neal ( $4.99 )
  • 15-Minute Soups: Over 55 Recipes to Get You Warm, Quickly! by Christine Pittman ( $3.99 )
  • 30 Days of Healthy Eating by Camille Beckstrand ( $9.97 )
  • 30-Day 20-Minute Real Food Meal Plan by Ruthy Kirwan ( $11.00 )
  • 365: One Year of Healthy Meal Plans for Busy Families by Jennifer Mason ( $17.99 )
  • Date Night Dinners: A Mom’s Guide to Babysitter Friendly Recipes by Ann Dunaway Teh and Lesley Baradel ( $7.99 )
  • Fast, Fresh & Fit: 30 Healthy and Family-Friendly Recipes for Busy Lives by Blair Lonergan ( $8.99 )
  • Got Dinner? Quick & Easy Recipes from The Confident Mom by Susan Heid ( $2.99 )
  • Nourished in 30 Recipe Book by Krissy Ropiha ( $30.00 )
  • Quick & Easy Healthy Recipes by Hannie Scott ( $4.99 )
  • Simple Recipes for Simple Meals by Laura Coppinger ( $6.95 )

Real Food / Clean Eating

  • Clean Eating: A 28-Day Meal Plan to Reset Your Body, Fight Inflammation, Eliminate Toxins, & Lose Weight Naturally by Kayla Chandler ( $24.95 )
  • Conquer Dinner: Your Step-By-Step Guide For Getting Healthy, Homemade Dinners on the Table, Fast! by Maryea Flaherty ( $19.97 )
  • Everyday Sourdough: Recipes for the Everyday Baker by Kelsey Steffen ( $9.99 )
  • It’s That Easy by Jessica Hylton-Leckie ( $25.00 )
  • Love Your Veggies by Kelsey Preciado ( $19.99 )
  • Seasonal Meal Plans by Keri Houchin ( $9.99 )
  • Simple Clean and Whole Breakfast Recipes by Jennifer Meister ( $19.99 )
  • Superfood Green Smoothies: 30 Delicious + Easy Recipes to Reduce Inflammation, Balance Hormones, Improve Digestion + Help You Feel Great by Kate Kordsmeier ( $14.95 )
  • The Breakfast Revolution by Beth Ricci ( $8.95 )
  • Wellness Mama’s Snack Favorites by Katie Wells ( $9.99 )
  • The Taste of Eating Clean by Paula Miller ( $4.95 )
  • The Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion: Healthy New Year’s Kickoff 3-Month Mealplan Bundle by Kresha Faber ( $25.00 )


  • Easy Recipes For Busy Parents: So Simple Your Kids Can Make The Meals by Adam and Shoshana Chaim ( $7.99 )
  • Eat Dessert First by Nicole Dawson ( $5.99 )
  • From Flesh to Fresh: Your Journey to Vegan Living by Sadie Lankford ( $11.00 )
  • Soups, Stews & Chili – Brand New Vegan by Chuck Underwood ( $9.99 )
  • The Raw Food Girl’s Chocolate Recipe Book by Tamara Brown ( $6.99 )
  • Guilt-Free Desserts by Martyna Angell ( $15.00 )
  • The Ultimate Vegan Starter Guide by Katie Koteen & Kate Kasbee ( $16.00 )
  • The Vegan Slow Cooker eBook by Adele McConnell ( $18.99 )
  • Vegan Gluten Free Recipes: Delicious Breakfast and Main Dish Recipes the Whole Family Will Love by Willow Moon ( $2.99 )

Can you conquer your New Year’s Resolutions?

Of course, you can! It’s all about planning, attainable goal setting, and follow through. Do you need a help with your meal planning for healthy eating for you and your family this year? I’m all about ready-made meal plans for my way of life. Click here, right now, for the  Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle. Why am I so excited about it?

I don’t have to take the time to organize and plan it all, it’s just done, and all I need to do is tweak a few things here and there. Then I go buy the ingredients and get cooking! It makes me love cooking again and so excited to provide good, wholesome food for my entire family. Make the first, easy step today towards a healthier, happier, and less-stressed you.

Don’t wait too long! This is all the time you have left and then poof! The opportunity for this amazing bundle will be gone! Click here to get your mini-bundle or bundle before it’s gone for good.

Healthy Meal Planning

How To Eat Healthier This Year: A Bootcamp

How To Eat Healthier This Year: A Bootcamp

This post contains affiliate links. How to eat healthier

How to eat healthier this year

If “eat healthier” has been on your list of resolutions for, say, the last 10 years without success (or you’ve recently fallen off the healthy-eating wagon – again!), you might feel like throwing in the towel for 2018.

“What’s the point?” you wonder.

To that I say, NOOOOO!!!! Don’t give up yet.

Believe me, I’ve been there and I totally understand.

But feeding your family healthy meals in a doable way does NOT have to be stressful.

In fact, the whole point of this challenge is to help you conquer mealtime stress and eat cleaner, with a series of super easy steps to get your year off to a strong start.

The Meal Planning Bootcamp

The Meal Planning Bootcamp, created by Ultimate Bundles, is a 10-day challenge with daily meal planning tips plus an action task (a very practical one, in fact) that will take 20 minutes or less.

They’ll cover everything from planning, to pantry clean outs, to the quickest-cooking veggie sides, to set yourself up for success with batch cooking and freezer meals.

And seriously – set your timer! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish in 20 minutes!

Implement all 10 challenges and, at the end of the boot camp, you’ll find yourself with:

  • a better-organized kitchen,
  • the strategies you need to tackle meal planning like a pro, and
  • on your way to that healthier 2018, you know you’ve got in you.

It runs from December 30th to January 8th, and you’ll receive each day’s tip and task in your inbox bright and early every morning, so you can work it into your day whenever it’s most convenient for you.


How to eat healthier pin


Get FREE access to the Meal Planning Bootcamp:

Click here to sign up for the Meal Planning Bootcamp

Registration for this free 10-day Meal Planning Bootcamp is only open for a few days! Make sure to sign up right away, because it starts on December 30th, so you can greet the New Year armed (with kitchen knives, that is) and ready to go. 🙂

This is such an easy, free way to get yourself organized and try out some new tips for the New Year! Every year I try to eat healthier, and I admit it falls apart just as we hit Easter. I’m not going to let that happen this year! Along with me, set yourself up for success, not just for you but your family as well.

Cheers to you and here’s to a happy, healthy year!


Need some more simple, practical tips to eat better?

How to get your kids to eat healthy



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