Monday, December 31, 2007

take a day off...or more!

Here is my advice for mompreneur monday on this New Year's Eve: Take the day off! Being a mompreneur means you're always trying to balance work and family. The holidays are the perfect time to start off the new year right by spending quality time on what's most important, and that's spending time with loved ones. In my opinion, the only way to keep balance as a mompreneur is to actually give more time to my family than to my business. And that's my New Year's resolution for give my time to those things that matter most. Happy New Year! --Emily

Friday, December 28, 2007

soup, snow, and celebration

This year we started a new holiday tradition. On Christmas Eve, weather permitting, we will have yummy soup in bread bowls, a dusting of snow, and celebration with friends and family. Here are the soups we served this year. They tasted extra delicious in bread bowls from the local bakery. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Eve and maybe even had the chance to start a new holiday tradition!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth
1 jar green salsa
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer about a half hour. Top with white corn tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Great with a side of cornbread!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup margarine
3/4 cup flour
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
6-8 cups milk, divided
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over high heat, combine the celery, onions, rice, bouillon, broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter or margarine. Slowly add the flour, stirring often, to make a roux. Add 4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup at a time, while constantly stirring. Add this and the chicken to the rice mixture and return the rice mixture to the stovetop over low heat.

If the soup seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining 2 cups of milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Tomato Basil Soup
3 cups whole tomatoes with juice, pureed in a blender (1 large can is perfect)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
2 small diced potatoes
1 T dry basil
1 tsp dry oregano
1 bay leaf
3 cans chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups Half & Half, warmed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Heat oil in large pot; add celery, onion, carrots, and potatoes and saute 5 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and bay leaf. Then add 2 cans chicken broth and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Melt butter in large saucepan and slowly sift in flour to make a roux. Slowly mix 1 cup hot soup into roux. Then add another 3 cups hot soup. Add roux mixture to remaining soup. Simmer. Stir constantly until thickened. Add remaining can chicken broth, cheese, warm Half & Half, salt, and pepper. Simmer 15 more minutes.

Here's some food for thought from Alice May Brock:
"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good." --Emily

Thursday, December 27, 2007

mom's time-out

Though LeShan and I are taking the week off from our blog I wanted to do a quick post today, for it's thankful thursday and I have much for which I am thankful!

  • A slim-downed Christmas. This year we decided Santa would bring one big gift and we would supplement with only a handful of smaller gifts. Though the gifts under the tree were a bit more sparse the kids didn't seem to notice. I think we can do even better next year!"
  • "The 12 Acts of Servemas". My parents have asked that we do an act of service each Christmas and write about it instead of buying them a gift. Though we went overboard this year (12 Acts of Servemas about killed us) we're already looking forward to figuring out what we'll do next year. We're thinking an experience serving at the soup kitchen will make for a great memory for everyone.
  • Mom's time-out from writing for Boutique Cafe and posting on freshly baked. I've really enjoyed spending more time with my family. We've gone to the movies, done non-grocery shopping shopping, and stayed up late playing games. I've even been able to read the fun magazines Santa left in my stocking while sitting on the couch rather than in the bathroom!
  • Game night. My family loves to play games and we've been staying up late to do so. It's interesting the kinds of conversations you have at 11pm at night when everyone's hyped up on sugar and suffering from lack of sleep. It's quality bonding at its best. Our favorite games? Sequence, Phase 10, Apples to Apples, and Whoonu.
  • New Year's resolutions. They allow me to eat See's candy by the pound, Costco's All-American Chocolate cake by the slice-ful, and any other chocolate confection by the handful and not feel guilty about it. I might make a New Year's resolution to exercise along with that one to diet, but then again, maybe I'll save that one for 2009! --Emily

Friday, December 21, 2007


Christmas is a time of traditions both old and new. Being far away from family means Christmas is spent with just our family and a small gathering of friends. We have started a new tradition of having soup and various snacks on Christmas Eve. Our old traditions include Monkey Bread on Christmas morning, snacking on leftover's throughout the day, then going out to eat in the evening. For me it's all about keeping it simple!


2 lbs lean ground beef
1 46oz can tomatoe juice
1 29oz can tomatoe sauce
1 15oz kidney beans drained
1 15oz pinto beans drained
1 1/2c chopped onion
1/4c chopped green bell pepper
1/8tsp cayenne
1/2tsp white sugar
1/2tsp oregano
1/2tsp pepper
1tsp salt
1 1/2tsp cumin
1/4c chili powder

1. In a skillet brown the beef, and add onion. Saute till onion is tender.
2. In a large pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, then let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
*In a slow cooker use low setting for 8-10 hours.

Corn Fritters

3 C oil for frying
1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C milk
1 Tblsp shortening melted
1 12oz can whole kernel corn, drained

1. Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C)
2. In a medium bow, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Beat together egg, milk, and shortening; stir into flour mixture. Mix in the corn kernels.
3. Drop fritter batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil, and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Monkey Bread

24 oz Frozen dinner rolls
1 C Brown sugar
1 pkg Instant butter scotch pudding
1/4 C White sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 C Walnuts (optional)
1/2 C Butter

Grease and flour bundt pan. Mix brown sugar and pudding together. Mix white sugar and cinnamon. Place dinner rolls frozen into pan, layer at a time. Sprinkle brown sugar mix over first layer, then cinnamon mix, spread 1/2 nuts and butter melted over first layer. Repeat with next. Set over night (I place mine in the oven) Do not cover. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!--LeShan

Thursday, December 20, 2007

a hot cup of cocoa

Today's thankful thursday is inspired by a song from my daughter's second-grade class Christmas all about a steamin' hot cup of cocoa "with a marshmallow or two." I am a HUGE fan of hot chocolate and am extremely grateful for its various side effects. It can warm you from the inside out, make a long night of Christmas gift wrapping less painful, and bring two friends together for a much needed therapy session. Here are five cocoa-related things I am grateful for this season:

  • Godiva's dark chocolate hot cocoa mix. Check out their holiday assortment for a great gift idea!
  • Endangered Species Chocolate's All-Natural Peppermint hot cocoa mix. Do your soul and the world a favor by supporting a worthy cause. 10% of ESC's net profits are donated to help support species, habitat and humanity.
  • Stephen's Candycane Cocoa. You can buy this flavor in single-serving packets, which when combined with a cute mug makes for another great fit idea!
  • Back to Basics' Cocoa~Latte machine. This is so much fun for the whole family and makes the frothiest, yummiest cup of hot cocoa. Just add the milk, cocoa mix, and flip the switch!
  • 7-Eleven's hot chocolate. Yep, I love this stuff. With a rich hot chocolate flavor and a variety of flavored syrups 7-Eleven lets you create your own hot chocolate confection. Tastes better than Starbuck's (though the atmosphere is a bit lacking).
What is your favorite hot chocolate mix? How do you like to enjoy your steaming cup of cocoa? Share with us your secret cocoa indulgence! --Emily

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

a vesrion of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I actually enjoyed!

For wonderful web wednesday I just have to feature this video sent to me from a friend via email. I honestly am not a big fan of The Twelve Days of Christmas song. Perhaps I've heard it twelve too many times, or maybe I'm just embarrassed because I can never remember if it's 11 lords a leaping or 10. Whatever the reason Straight No Chaser (a men's a cappella group) gave this song a fun twist that not only put me in the holiday spirit (hey, it was a long day yesterday) but also changed my attitude about this traditional Christmas song. And now it's time for you to enjoy Straight No Chaser and the group's version of The Twelve Days of Christmas! --Emily

Monday, December 17, 2007

get a taste of some fresh PR ideas

I recently did a review of PR Cafe's Definitive Guide to PR on Boutique Cafe and I felt it would make a perfect mompreneur monday post. I'm actually going to save myself some time by simply posting a teaser so you'll be tempted to read the full review on Boutique Cafe's website. I have yet to get my Christmas cards out and I need all the time I can get! So here's a little taste of what PR Cafe's Definitive Guide to PR can do for you and your business:

"Ever wanted to write a press release for your company but didn’t know where to start? Looking to pitch your idea but don’t have any “real news”? Or do you aspire to win an industry award but haven’t the slightest clue how to begin? Whether you’re new to the art of public relations or an old pro, PR Cafe’s Definitive Guide to PR is a must-have resource for any business owner.

Sure, I’ve written press releases before but I was at a loss as to how I could best utilize the power of PR to grow our company. I don’t have much faith in (or a budget for) advertising, so what other options exist? Let me tell you, after browsing PR Cafe’s Definitive Guide to PR a whole new world has opened before my eyes. ..."
You can read the full review here--and I highly recommend you do! --Emily

Friday, December 14, 2007

good food and good friends make for a great night!

Every December the women's group in our church has its annual progressive dinner/bake-off, so for food for thought friday I'd love to recap the event. By about a week before the date we submit our favorite recipes, from appetizers to salads to desserts. These recipes are then pasted into a Word document, printed off, and punched with holes so they can be added to a binder chock full of recipes from years past. I even have some from 2001!

Last night was this year's progressive dinner and it was another successful year if you judge by the variety of dishes and great conversation. How does it work? We start at one house, split up into groups, and rotate among three or four houses sampling everyone's recipes. I've become an expert on how to pace myself so I'm not bursting at the seams by the time we arrive at the church for desserts and a program! I even take notes as I go, marking with two stars my favorites, one star the good but not great, and a dash for those I don't care for. I liked just about everything I tasted last night, but here are a few that I not only loved but are perfect for holiday entertaining. Enjoy!

The Holiday Sprite
16 oz. can orange juice
16 oz. can lemonade
1/2 can sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 liter Sprite
10 cans water

Mix ingredients together in large container and serve. Makes 18-20 servings. (How easy is that--and it was so good!)

Spinach Dip
1/3 of 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 T dry minced onion
1 tsp Accent
1/2 tsp salt
2 T chives

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve with various cracker or warmed baguettes or French bread broken in pieces. (Not your typical Knorr spinach dip but this was to die for! Could it be the cream?!?!)

Corn Pudding
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
1 (8.5-oz.) package corn bread/muffin mix
1/2 cup milk
1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75-oz) can cream-style corn

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add mix alternating with milk. Fold in corn, Pour into greased 3-qt. baking dish. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned. (Reminds me of Chevy's corn cake!)

Cranberry Salad
2 cups cranberries, ground
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups apples, diced
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Combine cranberries, sugar, and marshmallows and let set overnight. Add other ingredients and fold in the cream and chill. (Sweet, light and yummy!)

Baked Oatmeal Breakfast
3 cups quick oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients; then add wet ingredients. Pour into a 9x9 greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Crust should be golden and a bit crispy when done. Cut and serve in bowl. Eat plain or top with milk, raisins, dried or fresh fruit, nuts, etc. (This would be perfect for serving guests Christmas morning!)

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
4 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a 10x15 jellyroll pan. Lightly beat egg white. Add water and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir until well coated. Mix sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat and spread evenly on prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool. Store in airtight container. (These were almost a clone of those tantalizing ones from the mall kiosk--I could eat them by the fistful!) --Emily
There is no love sincerer than the love of food. --George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, December 13, 2007

need an adjustment?

After watching a program last Sunday on the Travel Channel about a tribe in New Guinea, I was inspired for today's Thankful Thursday. We women complain about everything sagging, I don't think we really know what sagging is until we have to go without the help from modern day fashion, i.e. bras and spandex! BTW the men sag too, and it's not pretty!

So for 1. I am grateful for clothing. I'm grateful that I am able to clothe my family, and that my kids can put on a jacket when they head out to school so they don't freeze. Well, if you live in below freezing climates that still might not help, you could move to Florida (Emily). 2. I'm grateful that my kids can go to school...yes, I need it as much as they do! 3. I can put food on the table every night if I so choose, or the drive-thru works too. At least I don't have to go dig it out of the ground, and eat it even though it tastes like dirt 4. Running water, and that I don't have to walk 5 miles each way, only to carry it back on my head and risk being eaten by a wild animal 5. Cars, and gas to put in the car, so I can getaway when I need to. Even if it's to the grocery store a few miles down the road.

This time of year, it's easy for me to think about all the things I need to do and get, and if only I had more time and more money. But it's really all about the attitude adjustment and having the attitude of gratitude.--LeShan

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

it's a wonderful web...

...and a wonderful way to give! For wonderful web wednesday I thought it fitting to highlight a site that is all about the spirit of giving. 'Tis the season for being charitable--though we really should be charitable all year long--and Kiva is a fantastic site for those looking to support a truly worthy cause this year.

Kiva basically lets you loan money to small businesses in developing countries. You "sponsor" a business and then throughout the course of the loan (about 6-12 months) you'll receive email journal updates from the business(es) you've sponsored. How does Kiva do this? Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions and therefore has access to entrepreneurs from impoverished countries worldwide. What I really love about are the profiles. Just go to Businesses in Need and you can find a business by gender, sector, or region. Then you can read a detailed description of the person behind the business and see how much they still need to fulfill their loan request. And guess what? Loaning money is easy. You can loan as little as $25 and do it securely through PayPal. has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, and in Pres. Clinton's Book Giving. With all that traffic the site is working hard to add new businesses so check back often if you don't see one that catches your eye the first time. Being in business we know how important it is to have the support, both moral and monetary, to help make a business succeed. Now you have the opportunity to lend a hand. Don't hesitate to do so! --Emily

Monday, December 10, 2007

holiday trimmings

You've trimmed the tree, and put the decorations up, now it's time to put the tinsel on you! I'm talking about all the accessories that make your outfit go from chilling to thrilling. Here are some tips to help make your holiday's sing.

1. Nails- Winter hands look beautiful when you keep the nails trimmed and painted. At Apothena they offer water based nail polish that doesn't contain harmful chemicals!

2. Lips- Mistletoe is abundant this time of year, so keep those lips soft and oh so kissable. Stila's lip gloss have big shine but don't stick.

3. Ears- They should sparkle and shine! If you love the look of designer jewelery but find your wallet a bit thin from all the gift giving, check out Eve's Addiction for great prices on designer look-a-likes.

4. Necks- Scarves are oh so hot, and good at keeping the chill away! These soft, cable knit are available at JCrew.

The Holiday's are a great excuse to dress it up, so take advantage and do what ever makes your bell's jingle!--LeShan

what the heck is rss?

A lot of mompreneurs have gotten into blogging, whether the blog is their business or an extension of their business (like freshly baked). With blogging comes a whole new world of terms and tools and the learning curve can be pretty steep. For mompreneur monday I'd liket o share with you a great video on one such term...RSS.

RSS is one blogging technology that took more than a few patient explanations by my husband before I even started to grasp the concept. After possibly the fourth or fifth discussion (hey, I learn better by demonstration then explanation), my husband came across a truly great tutorial. RSS in Plain English is the video that finally broke through my RSS fog by giving a simple step-by-step explanation of RSS and how it works. It was almost like an RSS for dummies--but I didn't feel dumb after noticing this video's been "digged" over 1,000 times!

Think of RSS in Plain English as the light at the end of the RSS tunnel. If you're already an RSS expert you may still want to pass this along or post the link on your own blog. The more your readers understand about RSS the more likely they are to subscribe to your feed, and a large subscription base is a goal a lot of us blogging mompreneurs have.

If you've got any other great tips, tricks, or tutorials on the ins and outs of blogging please share them in the comments below. There's always something new to learn! --Emily

Thursday, December 6, 2007

yummy gifts

This time of year we all love to spread the Christmas Cheer by giving gifts of yummy treats. Whether you have a Christmas cookie exchange or just love making them for the yum of it, here are some great recipes for Food For Thought Friday, to help make the season brighter!

Chocolate-Candy Cane Cookies

1 pkg 8oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 pkg. 16oz. white baking chocolate
12 peppermint candies crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Blend in melted semi-sweet chocolate.
2. Shape tablespoons of dough into 52 balls. Roll each ball into 3 inch long rope. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet, bending top of each to resemble a candy cane.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes; cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Microwave white chocolate as directed on package and drizzle over cookies. Let stand until firm. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top.

Mint Thins

1 pkg. (8 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 tsp Peppermint extract
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (35 crackers)
1 peppermint candy cane crushed

1. Heat chocolate in double boiler until completely melted. Add peppermint extract and blend. Dip crackers in melted chocolate, coating each cracker completely.
2. Carefully scrape off excess chocolate. Place on wax paper covered baking sheets; sprinkle with crushed candy cane. Refrigerate 30 mins. or until chocolate is firm.

Eggnog Cookies

2 1/4 c Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 c sugar
3/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c eggnog
1 tsp vanilla
2 large egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients. In large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until resembles a grainy paste. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks. Beat until smooth.
2. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Do not over mix. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with additional nutmeg. Bake for 23-25 mins. or till the bottoms turn light brown. Transfer from pans immediately to cool. --LeShan

girls weekend

This was one of those weeks where I had to think really hard about what to be thankful for this thankful thursday. Since my post last week we've dealt with the flu, the first real snowfall, and even more than the usual lack of sleep. But in that same week I was able to spend a few days with my best friend and business partner, and for that I am truly grateful. Here are the five moments I am most thankful to have spent with her:

  • Seeing LeShan at the passenger pick-up area and jumping out to give her a great, big hug. I could hardly let go as it's been a year since I saw her last.
  • Testing out my new Cuisinart Griddler and thoroughly enjoying the yummy tomato, mozzarella, and basil panini we ate that night--and having someone else in the kitchen not only slicing and dicing but helping prepare the separate dinner my kids ate (no way were we going to share our panini!).
  • Enjoying a Jamba Juice even when it was 30 degrees outside and the kids were nuts in the car. Good thing the Chocolate Moo'd (sans boost) is a hit with the little ones!
  • Shopping at Anthropologie and each of us finding a great deal (less than $20!) on something really, really cute--and we didn't even buy the same thing!
  • Getting a manicure, eating yummy roasted tomato soup at Paradise Bakery, and shopping at the Tanger Outlets in Park City late at night. The ride home was a bonding moment as well but that's another which we will never tell.
How do you bond with your girlfriends? And what about them are you most thankful for? We'd love for you to share! --Emily

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

become a savvy organizer

For today's wonderful web wednesday I'm totally excited to feature a new website produced by one of my favorite people over at Boutique Cafe. Daria, Boutique Cafe's podcast extraordinaire, is the producer and a contributing editor for The Savvy Organizer, a podcast that "answers the call heard around the world for organization."

Maja Russell, The Savvy Organizer's podcast hostess, was destined to be an organizational coach. Her humble beginnings, revamping her teenage friends' closets at sleepover parties, drove her to her present-day, one-on-one phone coaching and on location BLITZ visits. Maja has been a regular contributor and guest for several years on Boutique Cafe's podcasts. (BC podcasts are another must-have on your iPod!)

With practical ways to streamline your life The Savvy Organizer is readily available on your iPod or online. The site's weekly podcast features tried and tested ideas, inspiration, and suggestions for getting your life in gear. And just in time for the holidays is their latest and greatest podcast, Savvy Holiday Planning.

"Freedom from chaos is the goal!" Seems like that's a goal I set every January 1st. Maybe this year it will happen with The Savvy Organizer's help! The site also features hot products and Maja's favorite ideas for maximizing your organization at home, work, or play. Just repeat after me,
"Top to bottom, left to right, focus, focus, focus." (Maja's motto--simple yet so inspiring!) --Emily

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

tis the be you!

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." There's a reason to why the fashionista Coco Chanel is perhaps the most quoted fashion icon, She's brilliant!

It's true, we can find fashion in everything we do and see. If you want to find your own personal style, pay close attention to what you like, not just when you are gazing (drooling) at dresses and shoes, but when you're seeing nature, or a beautiful room, they all connect to your colors and taste. The most stylish people around are the ones who follow their own lead and work at it, nothing worth it ever comes without a little sweat. Speaking of which, hopefully I'll be out of my sweat pants sometime today! --LeShan

Monday, December 3, 2007

mompreneur must-haves

I know how crazy Mondays can be so today's mompreneur monday is going to be short and sweet. Check out "15 free (or really cheap) must-haves for a small business" list from eMoms at Home. I didn't even know some of these great freebies existed! Plus eMoms at Home is a must-have site for any mompreneur. This internet home business magazine was founded by Wendy Piersall, who is "dang passionate about helping parents succeed as entrepreneurs, parents, and in life." She also write for She actually started the site to document the process of building an internet startup from home as a parent of three children. eMoms at Home's niche topics include eBay selling for eParents, Craftboom, Freelance Parent, Momsational (product reviews), Dad's Work Life Balance, and Seasonal Kids Activities.

Friday, November 30, 2007

We all have friends who always seem to have the yummiest of recipes. Today's food for thought recipe is from just such a wonderful friend. I haven't tried it yet but if it's anything like the others she sends along it is sure to be a hit!

Tomato-Feta Dip
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-oz.) can dice tomatoes w/ basil, garlic and oregano, drained
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
4 T. chopped fresh basil (optional)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle feta cheese evenly in a small, shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle parmesan and basil over top of tomato mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with garlic toast rounds, toasted bread slices, or a hearty wheat cracker.
I'm planning to make this for my mother-in-law's 60th birthday party next weekend. If you try it before then let me know what you think! And speaking of birthdays, here's a thought from George Santayana:
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

Good food always helps me enjoy the journey! --Emily

Thursday, November 29, 2007

air travel and anthropologie

For today's thankful thursday I've got five things with one thing in common: They all start with the letter A. Not sure how that happened but it just did. Maybe I've heard the LeapFrog's Fridge Phonics Alphabet set one too many times!

  • Airplanes: They bring best friends and business partners from Orlando, Florida to Sandy, Utah for a much-needed business meeting and girls' weekend.
  • Anthropologie: What's not to love about Anthropologie? It's the one catalog I receive that makes my husband wish he were a woman (yes, he actually said that!).
  • Art class: This is a great outlet for my daughter and one thing at which she can excel while her big sister excels at swim team.
  • I love's free shipping and great deals. Just bought a great KitchenAid food processor at $50 off plus another $10 with rebate. And you can't beat the great reviews--wouldn't make a purchase without reading them!
  • AirCrib: BTVco's lightweight, ultra portable AirCrib made packing up the kids and traveling to southern Utah for Thanksgiving so much easier! (You can read my full review on Boutique Cafe.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

take note

Looking for gift ideas for the men in your life? Or how about a great children's book sure to delight your family? Lena's Notebook, an online magazine for mom, has just what you're looking for and more. It's a perfect fit for wonderful web wednesday!

In Lena's own words: "Based upon the philosophy that if we learn it, we should share it, Lena's Notebook is my attempt to pass along anything I learn related to children, parenting, relationships, clothing, home stuff and food (or I could just say 'life')." I couldn't have summed it up better myself! Lena's Notebook offers ideas for children's activities and games, parenting advice, fashion trends for kids, fun gift ideas, deals exclusive to Lena's readers, and a great section on charitable causes.

Get ready to do some serious note taking! Lena's Notebook has enough important--and fun--info to fill a page or two! --Emily

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

my own pair of red high heels

For fashion trend tuesday I wanted to highlight one of the most fun mom-related fashion blogs in cyberspace. A Mom in Red High Heels reminds us that "when a woman becomes a mom, she should not give up on herself as a woman." Hear, hear!

In the spirit of fashion combined with motherhood (yes, it is possible),
A Mom in Red High Heels has a great new series called "From the Mouths of Moms," where you get to read about the beauty tips and tricks of fellow mompreneurs. I am honored that the editor thought my beauty regimen (you'll find out rather quickly I don't have one) interesting enough to share. You can read my "From the Mouths of Mom" feature here. I consider myself lucky to be featured alongside such fabulous women as Heather Ledeboer of Mom 4 Life and Rachel Zinny of dearjohnnies.

Spend some time on A Mom in Red High Heels and you'll quickly be reminded "
There is something glamorous about Red High Heels that can transform our lives. Red High Heels have magical powers." --Emily

Monday, November 26, 2007

it's cyber monday!

What's a mompreneur to do on a mompreneur monday that falls on Cyber Monday? Announce a fabulous one-day-only sale at, of course! We wanted to show our full support of Cyber Monday with a special, one-day-only offer. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 26th (that would be today), georgie tees is offering 20% off your order plus free Priority Mail shipping*! This offer is good for only one day so be sure and do more than just window shop when you stop by for a visit. --Emily

*Discount and free shipping will be reflected once your order is processed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

happy thanksgiving!

the girls of georgie tees are taking the week off so we can spend time doing the things we are most thankful for like being with our families, eating lots of turkey and doing tons of shopping! Wishing you a happy holiday, see you back on Monday.

Friday, November 16, 2007

gobble, gobble

Since this is the last food for thought friday before Thanksgiving I thought it appropriate to share what I've heard is the be-all, end-all recipe for roasting a to-die-for turkey. The recipe is from Martha Stewart, and though I'm not a big fan of hers I think this recipe is worth sharing. It's a bit of work but most of the work happens the day before Thanksgiving. You can make those Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes while you're at it! The second recipe is for a really yummy soup I had the other evening, and though it calls for chicken I think it would be just as fabulous with some of that leftover turkey filling your fridge come the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Spice-Cured Turkey
4 cups coarse salt
5 cups sugar
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 leeks, cut into 1-inch pieces and cleaned of all sand
3 bay leaves
1 garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 T whole black peppercorns
1 T ground cumin
2 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp whole allspice
8 cups water
1 (18-20 pound) turkey
1 recipe Apple-Chestnut Stuffing
1 recipe Spice Butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider
3 T all-purpose flour
3 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

In a large stockpot, combine salt, sugar, carrots, celery, onions, leeks, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, cumin, red-pepper flakes, cloves, and allspice. Add the water, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. The brine needs to cool completely before the turkey is soaked in it: It can be made a day ahead or chilled over an ice bath.
Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Place in stockpot, breast side down. Add brine and enough water to cover. Cover the stockpot and refrigerate overnight. Remove turkey from brine; drain.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill cavities with stuffing, being careful not to pack too tightly. Secure skin over neck cavity with toothpicks or skewers, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Rub turkey generously with spice butter, and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in oven and roast 30 minutes. Baste, rotate pan, and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue basting every 30 to 45 minutes, until temperature taken in thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees (3 1/2 to 4 hours). Once turkey is well browned, cover with foil, in sections, if necessary to prevent overbrowning. Remove foil for last 30 to 60 minutes, to crisp skin. Allow turkey to rest 30 minutes before carving. While turkey is resting, remove stuffing.

To make gravy, pour liquid from the roasting pan into a gravy skimmer; set aside. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat; deglaze with a cup apple cider, using a wooden spoon to scrape up bits stuck to the pan. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of reserved fat from pan and flour; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Add reserved apple-cider mixture, stock, and any separated juices from pan. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Serve.

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
5 2/3 cups water
1 pkg. long grain & wild rice mix
1 envelope chicken noodle soup mix
1 celery rib, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup cubed cooked chicken

In large saucepan, combine water, rice and seasoning packet, and soup envelope. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in celery, carrot, and onion. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Stir in cream of chicken soup and chicken and cook 8 minutes longer. Yield: 5 servings.
Thanksgiving often means large family get-togethers, so with that in mind here's some food for thought from Jeff Foxworthy:
If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'You know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

laughter is the best medicine

It's that time of year when we gather together with our families and discuss the things we are thankful for. So this thankful thursday is good practice to get ready for the big turkey day! Lately the thing I am most greatful for is medicine. After dealing with the ongoing cold/flu for the past 3 weeks, that has worked its way through every member of the family, I wonder what I would do without medicine. Thank goodness for all the brilliant inventors of NyQuil, Children's Tylenol, and Excedrin. And, because I believe that laughter truly is the best medicine, I am grateful for my favorite comic shows, The Office and Seinfeld reruns. Hint: They're even better when you're going on 4 hours of sleep for the 4th consecutive day in a row. --LeShan

my latest "prized" possession

You'll be glad you stopped by for today's wonderful web wednesday, especially if you can't pass up a giveaway. Lace, the woman behind Keeping My Fingers Crossed, pointed me in the direction of Prizey, a clearinghouse of online contests and giveaways. What I love most about Prizey is that it's 100% spam- and linkbait-free. Plus every listing in their giveaway directory doesn't require a blog link nor is it a contest that will abuse your personal data. It basically filters out all the giveaways that have "strings attached" and leaves you with the cream of the crop contests and giveaways.

How does it work? Prizey bloggers scan the Internet (and other blogs) for great contests and giveaways from retail and company websites. As a result you get easy access to reputable and easy-to-enter contests. How easy? You can browse by prize value, scroll through the calendar to see giveaways with upcoming deadlines, or search for a specific giveaway. You better schedule some extra time in your day because once you visit Prizey you'll want to enter more than one contest (heck, the more you enter the greater your chance of winning, right?). And yes, I've already entered a few myself! The site offers a variety of easy options for staying up to date on the latest contests. Besides an RSS feed and daily email digest you've got a Google calendar, Twitter feed, and even a customizable blog widget. Who knew there were so many ways to be in-the-know when it comes to giveaways!

Prizey is also a great resource for bloggers and companies that want to promote giveaways with the same criteria (exciting, reputable, and easy to enter). To find out how to promote your own product to Prizey's readers, click here. For those of you who say "I never win anything," I've now given you the chance to prove yourself wrong. --Emily

Monday, November 12, 2007

love your booties!

Boots are big this season and anything goes. Today's Fashion Trend Tuesday is all about loving and flaunting your booties! Everyone owns a pair of boots (if you don't--you should), and at least one pair ought to be cowboy boots. Cowboy boots are the fashion icon of all boots, in fact history dates them back to Genghis Khan! Some of us may still remember the time, when cowboy boots where the envy of all little boys (and girls). Who doesn't love to see kids sporting their favorite pair of cowboy boots with everything from Sunday dress to pajamas to diapers...good lookin'!

The once practical cowboy boot has been made fashionable by Hollywood, think of our cowboy hero's like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Hey, if they're good enough for Pres. George W. Bush, Jessica Simpson, and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader's, they're good enough for...well I still like them.

Cowboy boots have come a long way, so wear your boots with pride, it's an american tradition... even if they are italian leather. Check out these fun sites for more on cowboy boots:

The Sundance Catalog. A great site for authentic boots

Cowboy boots: The Art and Sole. By Jennifer June.--LeShan

make yours a million $ business

Whether you're looking to grow your business into a Fortune 500 or simply want it to pay for a couple extra family vacations a year, Make Mine a Million $ Business has some great resources for women business owners.

Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and OPEN from American Express launched Make Mine a Million $ Business to provide a combination of money, mentoring, marketing and technology tools that women entrepreneurs need to help grow their businesses from micro to millions. Their goal is to inspire one million women entrepreneurs to reach annual revenues of $1 million by the year 2010. Now that's a goal I'd like them to help reach (a lot more fun than the annual lose weight goal I keep setting). Besides some great mentors, educatio
nal tools, and events, I enjoy reading the stories of past Make Mine a Million $ Business award winners. From candy with a cause to an online media company to chic yoga accessories women just like us are making a name for themselves and using resources like this to do so.

After browsing the site take some time to visit Count Me In's website as well. Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of micro loans and business education for women entrepreneurs. The organization provides micro loans from $500 to $10,000 to women just like us who are starting or growing their businesses. Check out the website and learn how you can apply to the Make Mine a Million $ Business Program (in business over two years and annual revenues of over $200k) or the Micro to Millions program (annual revenues of less than $200k). Either program will help give you the resources and inspiration you need to grow that business of yours into million-dollar business or a semi-annual, two-week-getaway-to-the-Caribbean business. --Emily

Friday, November 9, 2007

rolls, peaches, and apples, oh my!

Lion House ClassicsAre you ready for more yummy Thanksgiving recipes? Today's food for thought friday will help you with your dinner rolls (with honey and cran-raspberry butters), peach cobbler, and tasty apple pie (a la mode is up to you). Actually this dinner roll recipe is so yummy you may want to eat them for dessert as well! Lion House Rolls are famous here in Utah and after you try them you'll know why. Enjoy!

Lion House Rolls
2 T yeast
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening, margarine, or butter
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 egg
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
butter or margarine, melted

In a large bowl mix yeats and water and let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, shortening, salt, dry milk, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat together until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour until soft dough forms. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise until dough doubles in size. Punch down and divide into thirds.

Roll out one third of dough into a circle; cut into 12 pie-shaped pieces. Starting at the wide end, roll up each piece into a crescent shape. Place on greased baking sheet with point on bottom. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush tops with melted butter or margarine. Let rise until double in size. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm with honey butter or cran-raspberry butter, if desired (recipes below). Makes 3 dozen rolls.

Honey Butter
Whip 1/2 cup softened butter; add 1/4 tsp vanilla and 1 egg yolk. Gradually whip in 1 cup honey until light and fluffy. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Cran-Raspberry Butter
Combine 1 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup raspberry preserves, 2 cups softened butter, and 1 T powdered sugar in a mixing bowl; beat on high for 5 minutes. Mixture should be creamy. Spoon into a dish; cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Peach Cobbler
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 quart bottle peaches, drained and sliced
cinnamon and sugar
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

peach cobblerPreheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together margarine and sugar. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Mix well and spread into a well-greased 9x9-inch pan.

Drain peaches, reserving 3/4 cup liquid. Slice peaches and place on top of batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; pour reserved liquid over top. Baked for 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold (warm is the only way!) with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Crunchy Apple Pie
1 pastry crust for a deep-dish 9-inch pie (homemade or store-bought)
1/2 cup sugar
3 T all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups thinly sliced peeled applies (Tip: Using 2 types of apples makes it even yummier!)
1 recipe crumb topping (see below)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup caramel topping

Crumb topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

apple piePreheat oven to 375 degrees. For crumb topping stir together brown sugar, flour, rolled oats. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until topping is like course crumbs. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated. Transfer apple mixture into pie shell. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture. Place pie on a cookie sheet so drippings don't drip into your oven. Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil to keep from burning. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and place back in oven for another 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle pie with chopped pecans then drizzle with caramel on top. Serve warm.
And since laughter aids in digestion, let me help you digest with a quote from Calvin Trillin:
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has
never been found.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

it's magic!

Well, it's not really magic but more a miracle how moms manage to do all they do on a daily basis. From homework to housework our to-do list is full, and if you're me, it keeps growing as more to-do's are added and less are crossed off! When it comes to the weekly cleaning (sometimes bi-weekly when life happens faster than I can keep up with) I am thankful for products that help the miracle that is my clean house happen. Today I'm paying homage to the little things that make cleaning a little easier.

  • My new Swiffer Wet Jet mop--Works really well and is easy enough for the kids to use. I love hearing it hum as it squirts out the cleaning solution (it's the simple things in life that make me happy).
  • Lysol wipes (or Clorox depending on what's on sale)--The perfect way to wipe up underneath a high chair after a lunch of applesauce and macaroni & cheese. Note: Hurry and wipe up the applesauce; it turns to cement in record time!
  • The Magic Eraser--Great for getting crayon, scuff marks, and mystery marks off walls, floors, and counters. Just don't scrub too hard on the wall or you may remove the paint while you're at it!
  • Microfiber cloths--Wonderful for wiping down surfaces in a hurry. These are truly magical as they're awesome at cleaning even without added chemicals.
  • Rubbing alcohol--Our latest miracle worker. Removes red Sharpie (i.e. permanent marker) from walls, toddler bed frames, diaper pails, and closet doors. Note: Does not remove from pajamas, curtains, board books or feet.
Yes, sometimes it's the simple yet magical things that make us happy! --Emily