No time for real meals?

Dream Dinners LogoIf you find yourself at 5pm every day thinking in your head, “Crap. It’s five o-clock again.What am I supposed to make for dinner tonight?” then please consider going to Dream Dinners as an option.

What is Dream Dinners? It’s a place where you go, assemble meals that you choose quickly and easily. You bring the food home with simple instructions included, you freeze it, and you then pull it out when you want to have a particular meal for dinner.

I’ve heard of Dream Dinners, but haven’t done them. And I regret that. Here’s why – these are not crock pot meals. I don’t know about you, but I tried that — I made up like ten different meals on Sunday afternoon, froze them, and then put them in my crockpot for family meals. First – no one really liked them. Second – they tasted like crock pot meals. You know what I’m talking about. Bleck. In my, possibly jaded, opinion, a crock pot is good for a pot of chili and a pot roast. Both have the word “pot” in them, and I think that’s on purpose.

Besides, I want my family to eat real food that I cooked. Call me silly. But I do. And that’s what I love about Dream Dinners. With a nominal amount of effort and time, I can place a real home cooked meal on the table that my family will actually not only eat, but enjoy. 

I was invited to a special bloggers event at the Anderson Dream Dinners location back in November. We had such a nice time learning about Dream Dinners, and then assembling our meals. It’s a fool proof process — perfect for the lackadaisical cook you know as me. I brought my meals home, threw them in the freezer and was set. I would pull out a packet in the morning, and by evening it’d be ready for me to cook. 

I’m serious about it when I say the meals are simple and easy; and I’m serious about it when I say delicious and liked by all. When  I say simple, keep in mind that’s what I have to do, the food is not simple – it’s complex flavors and thoughtful combinations.  Your family will think you slaved for hours in the kitchen. You’ll know the truth. 

Since November, my life has gotten even more hectic. I really, and I mean, really need to schedule another appointment to make and buy some more Dream Dinner meals. I really can’t say enough for how much we enjoyed these. 

If you’d like to give this a try, why not take advantage of their new customer special? They have an introductory special for $74.95 — you get to choose three to six dinners. Here’s a link to the store. And here’s one to the introductory offer.

Dream Dinners also offers round out your plate options — sides to add to your meals, breakfast options, and dessert options – some perfect for a potluck dinner. 

I’m sure, that similar to me, you’ll be impressed and pleased with your experience.

Let the curse of mismatched socks go

Pile of Single SocksI’m not sure when or why during our growing up years we get this sudden need in our psyche to only have matched socks. I’m sure as a kid I could have cared less, but I can remember helping my mom fold laundry on her laundry day. She did laundry for a family of seven one day a week. I just can’t imagine doing that. Because of this daunting task, as soon as we were able, we all helped with the laundry. She taught me how to fold clothes — I still fold clothes the way she taught me. When it comes to socks, she taught me to match them up and fold the tops over each other. Some of you learned to roll the socks into a ball. Regardless, we were all taught that socks had to be matched up to it’s mate, and if it wasn’t, it couldn’t go in the sock drawer. It had to go into the pile for single socks. A very sad place for a sock to be.

To this day, I won’t wear mismatched socks. I’ve gotten over having a pile of single socks, I just throw them all together in my drawer (please don’t tell my mom), but I can’t wear mismatched socks. It’s just a rule buried too deep inside my very soul. 

I’m now the mom of two kids, ages 12 and 9. When they were babies, I always matched up their socks. I did it just as I’d been taught. And then something happened. I decided that I didn’t care if socks were matched up. Guess what? Neither did my kids. In fact, years later, they rarely, if ever, wear matching socks. Socks are not placed in pairs in drawers, but are instead, grabbed from the laundry in handfuls, and shoved into drawers. It’s liberating. It’s blissful. And I don’t believe I’m harming my children in any way. LOL. 

In fact, a few years ago, a girls sock company came out with purposefully mismatched socks. You know who they are. Cute socks. They cost twice as much as just regular matching cute socks. Why not just buy a bunch of less expensive socks and unmatch them on your own?

Seriously, though. We are always charging around. There’s always one more chore/task/event/etc., that needs to be done, attended and crossed off our list. Whether or not your kids having matching socks, shouldn’t be a priority. No one will judge you if their socks don’t match. In fact, for most kids in my kids age groups, it’s a game to see how funky and unmatched they can get their socks. How much more fun it is to view socks this way compared to obsessing about them? buying only one kind, color and brand so that they can’t help but match? or spending countless hours searching for the blasted wee devils? (BTW – a secret hiding place of socks is in the corners of fitted sheets. I’m serious – look in your linen closet now. I’ll take your thank you’s as you find the socks.) In addition to no longer worrying about lost and missing socks, you’ll have a few precious extra minutes in each day to count piggies and toes instead of socks. 

Treasure each precious second with your kids. Let the little things slip by the wayside. 

(I borrowed this image from a good friend of mine Erin R. She posted about the torture of single socks the other day on FB. Now we’ll see if she reads my blog!)

Sleeping Beauty Hits the Ensemble Theatre

ETC Sleeping BeautyAnd it’s fabulous! Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, part of my families tradition is that we head downtown to the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC). This year the play was Sleeping Beauty, and it was performed as a musical. 

As always, the costumes were just as incredible as the performers who wore them. We were enchanted with the Fairies: Marigold, Daisy and Lilac. Our absolute favorite character was Wisteria played by the talented Deb Girdler. Year and year, and performance after performance, she steals the show! 

ETC’s take on Sleeping Beauty was a little bit different from the traditional story. They always put their own comical twist to the plays they perform. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling through the performance. Once again, this is a must see performance for both young and old.

ETC Sleeping Beauty FairiesTickets for Sleeping Beauty range from $28 to $44 for adults and $18 for children. If you are on a budget, you might want to try to take advantage of ETC’s half-price rush tickets which are offered for all performances, and available two hours prior to show time.

Sleeping Beauty runs December 3, 2014-January 4, 2015. 7:00 p.m. performances Fri.; 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. performances Sat. and select weeknights; 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. No performances on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. A complete calendar is available at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.  

Disclosure: Tickets for our preview attendance were provided by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Views expressed in this post are our own.