Shopping, missing my Momma, and a bit of mother’s wit

Don’t go with the get by.

Sometimes we rush and go with what we think is ‘good enough,’ but good enough often is not good or enough.

My Momma used to say for things that really matter – it is better to go without and to wait until you’re able to get what you really want. Go for quality and when you get it, take care of it, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for a lifetime.

That statement bears repeating.

When things really matter, it is better to go without and to wait until you’re able to get what you really want. When you are able, go for quality. When you get it, take care of it, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for a lifetime.

This wisdom applies in a lot of areas – from large purchases to life partners. Let’s talk about it. The video check-in below shares more about this admonishment from my mother, plus a bit about my current season of shopping (and the related angst – lol). It also shares about my current state and offers encouragement for those going through the process of bereavement.

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Vistaprint Promobox Review

The Promobox subscription from Vistaprint is relatively new to me, and it may be an interest to you if you are a small business owner. It may also be a fit if you work for a small non-profit or if you’re involved in a ministry where promotional materials that can get the word out about what you do, your mission, and your events may be helpful.

Check out the unboxing of my first two promoboxes.


As mentioned in the video, I contacted Vistaprint customer service and the designer spent about 45 minutes with me on the phone. He updated my profile to better capture my brand, recreated the banner and two other items that were not in line my organization’s feel, and sent the replacements to me with expedited shipping at no cost. This is typical of my experience with Vistaprint – when a mistake is made, they promptly make it right.

That said, while I still use Vistaprint’s regular services, after a few more shipments, I cancelled my promobox subscription. I liked and found use for only 1 or 2 items per box, and while the items are nice – they are not always needed in my business. At this time the benefits of this promotional item subscription service do not outweigh the cost and clutter that comes from getting items I won’t use. {Post flood, I’m highly commitment to clutter-free living.}

Overall, I think Vistaprint is a great company and the promobox program is promising. It is just not a fit for my organization at this time.  Want to give it a try to see if it can be helpful for you? Go to





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National Homemade Soup Day with {Recipe}

Y’all know what today is….

It’s National Homemade Soup Day!

{Que roaring crowd}

Soup makes my toes curl. It is so versatile. Light broth-based, hearty bean-based, hearty stewy-like or spicy chili-ish… I like. I like. I like.

Today I celebrated the Super Bowl day with a bowl of lentil deliciousness made earlier this week.

Lentils are one of my favorite foods. Often miscategorized as a bean, lentils are seeds providing protein, essential and non-essential amino acids, fiber, prebiotics, potassium, iron, minerals (zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and boron) and vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate, and phylloquinone). According to the National Institutes of Health, lentils are one of the best health-promoting foods with documented connections to the reduction of diabetes, obesity, cancers and cardiovascular diseases (Ganesan, & Xu, 2017). Lentils provide all this health help at pennies per serving, they cook quickly and take on flavors well making them easy on a food budget, busy schedule, or picky palette.

Vegan chili is my go-to lentil preparation made using the from-scratch recipe posted here or my shortcut method of hooking up a store-bought lentil soup with spices, corn, and soy chorizo. But this week, I was inspired by Zoes Kitchen Lentil Soup.

Zoes Kitchen’s lentil soup is so good; I pulled staples from the pantry and fridge and decided to knock it off.

Here’s the blueprint of my version:

  • Sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots, and diced Yukon gold potato in a touch of olive oil for a few minutes til softened. Zoes Kitchen’s lentil soup doesn’t have potatoes. I added buttery Yukon golds for texture and creaminess.
  • While this is cooking, wash, rinse and pick through lentils two times to remove residue and small stones.
  • Back to the soup pot, stir in Himalayan salt, cracked pepper, and a few cloves of minced garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes to allow the garlic to become fragrant without burning. Add a spring of fresh rosemary and a sprig of fresh thyme.

NJ Lentil Soup Seasoning

  • Stir in the lentils and enough vegetable stock to cover by 1-2 inches. Lentils will nearly double in size when cooked.
  • Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are tender adding additional stock if needed. {This pot of soup took about 20 minutes to cook}.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning {I added a bit of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning}.

That’s it.

I served this soup to the family Thursday night with a side of fresh carrots and crescent roll knots for the kids – crackers for me. Will and the kids loved it {SCORE!}

I enjoyed leftovers Friday afternoon and the remaining serving for National Homemade Soup Day tonight. Like most soups, it got better as the flavors melded over time in the fridge.

This super yummy, super simple soup will be a regular in our household.

Are you a soup fan? If so, what is your favorite homemade soup?

If you decide to give this lentil soup method a try – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy, healthy eating!

Ganesan, K., & Xu, B. (2017). Polyphenol-Rich Lentils and Their Health Promoting Effects. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2390.


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