Friday, November 13, 2015

Carolina Renaissance Festival

I am warning you right now this post will be picture heavy.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we had the opportunity to go the The Carolina Renaissance Festival and last weekend was our time to go. Despite the chill in the air we had a blast!

There were many opportunities to enjoy the wonderful relaxing music of the time period.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Harpist was my absolute favorite! Isn't her costume gorgeous???

With having kids on the spectrum I wasn't sure that some of the shows would go in there book. But the boys laughed and were so engaged. Even our shy one ran up front to be apart of the show!  This guy was so engaging and funny. We enjoyed every minute of it! 

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

There were jugglers, Irish Dancers, Hypnotist, Sword Fights, Jousters and so much more!

I always encourage my kids to try something at least once. You never know, you might enjoy it. So the decided they would try there hand at Bungee Jumping. To my surprise they both enjoyed it! This momma was cringing inside since that high off the ground. 

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The food is fantastic! We each tried something different, There were Bread Bowls, Turkey Legs, Stake on a Stake , crepes, pizza,etc.  and don't get me started on the dessert!!!  

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The back drop in the woods, the falling leaves, the music, the crisp cool air just puts you in the mood to meander the streets of this town of yester-year. And Meander we did, to petting zoos, shopping, more entertainment. Over all we had a blast and would love to go back again next year. I love that the boys learned a lot about that era in a fun interactive environment. 

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Park is open for two more weekends, so get your tickets now! Visit the US Family guide and get free admission for one child! I promise you , it will be be so much fun! 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy

It's that time of year for bonfires, hot chocolate, boots and comfort food. My husbands favorites are Beef Stroganoff, Baked Ziti, Chili, and most of all Chicken Pot Pie.  For a while we were buying our pies from the Moravian Bakery in town. Although they were mouth-watering, it got kind of pricey as we needed two pies because we love this dish so much!

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy

I thought that making Chicken Pot Pies from scratch was going to be time consuming and difficult. And when you have hungry boys in the house you can't do time consuming and difficult. Then a friend taught me how to make my own for super cheap and it was so easy!!! I made one for dinner last year and it clearly wasn't enough for my ravenous family.  We are a two Pot Pie family!!!

Here is how you make your own without all the kneading and tons of prep work:

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy

Just a few ingredients a little bit of cooking time and your family will thank you. No peeling and cutting potatoes and carrots. Believe me this is super easy.

Ingredients per pie:

1 can of Cream of Celery Soup
1 can of Veggies
1/2 a can of Chicken Broth
Pie Crust (store bought if you want it to be fast)
4 - 6 Chicken Breasts (we like lots of chicken in ours)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 drop Rosemary Essential Oil 


1. First things first you need to boil your chicken. I boil it in chicken broth, salt and pepper, celery seed. Boil it till it's no longer pink and it's tender. You can now shred it with your Kitchen Aide or cut it up in chunks with your Kitchen Shears.  It just depends on your preference.

2. In a Pot, add your Cream of Celery Soup, Chicken Broth, Veggies, Salt and Pepper. Personally, I love the taste of Rosemary with chicken so I add a drop of  Rosemary Essential Oil to the mixture. A little goes a long way . Essential Oils are concentrated so you don't want to add too much or it will overpower your meal. Let that heat up on medium for about 5 minutes or so. Just till it's hot.

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy

3. Add your chicken.

4. While that's heating up on low. Get one of your pie crusts out and place it in the bottom of your pie plate or plates if your family is like ours. Using a fork. Poke a few holes in the bottom crust to ensure even cooking.

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy

5. Pour your veggie/chicken mixture in your pie pan and place your second pie crust on top. Taking care to press it all together.  Cut slits in the top for the steam to escape.

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy

6. I add an egg wash to the top to make it pretty and golden brown.  Bake it at 350 for 30 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes after you take it up. If you don't, the pie slices will fall apart. I'm speaking from experience (see first picture).

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy


To find out more about essential oils please visit Naturally Essential. There you will find information on benefits, uses, and how to get your own!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Make Moving Easier for Kids with Autism

Moving is about as much fun as cleaning toilets. I love the idea of a new home and getting to set up shop in a new space. The decorating and the putting things in there place is fun for me. But when you have a child or two on the Autism spectrum, change can be monumental. Even if you are only moving two miles down the road. Transitions of any kind – especially those that are unpredictable – are unsettling and can cause a child to become totally undone.

Knowing how to support your child with Autism through change in order to make a successful transition is crucial. Helping with transitions is especially important during childhood “life event” changes ( attending a new school, death in the family, divorce, going to college, moving, etc.).

Here are some helpful tips we learned while moving with our two boys who are on the spectrum: 

1. Wait till after you have settled in to downsize their belongings. Yes they have tons of toys, collections of FastFood Toys, broken necklaces, a harmonica or two that don't work. But getting rid of them before you move will place more stress on them than they need. Wait till all the boxes are unpacked and their rooms are the way they want them. You never know, they might surprise you and come up with a box or two of items they realized they don't need or want. 

2. If your new home is close by take them to visit once or twice a week if possible. Take them for a walk around the area and introduce them to the other kids near by. That way when moving day is finally here they have friends around that will help make the transition easier and they won't be stressed over having to make new friends to play with. 

3. If you have a wonderful real estate agent like we did, ask to go inside a week or two before moving and let your kids map out where there furniture is going to go. Having them involved in the decorating process can help with the "change". 

4. Keep in contact with teachers! If you are moving schools, like their former teachers on Facebook so they can keep in contact. Being able to see pictures of their teachers can be especially helpful. Also, inform teachers early on your intentions to move. They can help make the transition easier by asking them questions, suggesting books about moving in the library etc. They can also keep you informed on how they are doing so that you can work together to keep them calm and happy during this crazy time. 

Moving with Autism

5. Pack their everyday can't live without it stuff in their own bags to carry in the car. They know right where their items are. It will help comfort them on Moving Day. 

6. Try to keep their routines the same. Wether it's story time, bedtime, when you eat your meals etc. It's just another way to help with the stress of moving to a new home, new town, etc. 

7. Do your best to stay calm when interacting with your child. You are under a ton of stress and everyone is asking you 50 questions about 50 pieces of furniture at once. But take the time to focus on your child when they need you. 

8. Praise!!! Give extra praise and encouragement. Thank them for helping and most of all lots of hugs (if they allow it). They need to know you are proud of them that even though you are stressed beyond measure that you love them and they are needed. 

I hope these tips will help  your child on the Autism Spectrum transition to their new home without meltdowns. No move is ever perfect. They still may have issues at school. Keep your routine,  give lots of praise, and keep in contact with their teachers. They can be a great help over the next few weeks after you move. 

Happy Moving Day!!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Free Child Admission - The Carolina Renaissance Festival

When the weather cools down we, as a family, often look for fun things to do in our great state of North Carolina. We love to take day trips, go to festivals, zoos, museums, fairs and more. One place we have always wanted to go to is the Annual NC Renaissance Festival located in Huntersville, North Carolina.

Growing up I attended and participated in my local Renaissance Festival which was so much fun but on a smaller scale. I have always wanted to go to the big one. I have seen commercials, brochures, and have heard people tell me how much fun it is. My favorite thing is the costumes. I love all the bright colors and beautiful dresses. The atmosphere was always happy and there was something fun to see around every corner.

This year we are going to take our kids and let them experience the fun, pageantry, food, and learn what is was like to live in that time period. Not only will it be educational but so much fun. I'm super excited about this. I can't wait to share pictures of our day!

We'd love to see you there!! Bring your family and time travel to the Carolina Renaissance Festival where history comes alive with non-stop day-long entertainments, arts and crafts, games and rides, jousting knights on horseback, feasting and so much more! Each day inside the 25 acre Village of Fairhaven is filled with an abundance of attractions and entertainments for all ages. Enjoy your best day out in history 8 consecutive weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, October and November. Details online at

My readers get to save with your visit! FREE Child Admission! - Receive one FREE child admission for children age 5 - 12 with purchase of one full price adult ticket at Festival gate. Children under 5 are always free. Coupon is valid at the Festival ticket booth! Visit the US Family Guide to get your coupon. 

See you there!!!