Dinner Time Hack for the BUSY PARENT

Dinner Time Hack for the BUSY PARENT

When you think of meal prepping your first thought is pre-planning “healthy” meals which are good for you but don’t taste very good. Hoping to lead you towards a healthier and happier life. What if we told you we have found a local Louisiana company that makes life so much easier for the busy parent? Creating meals that the entire family loves freeing us up in the kitchen to spend more time having fun with our little ones.

Authentic Cajun food TO-GO!

Fresh baked bread from Acadiana Manna

Running our own business, we know what its like to be a busy parent running around like chickens with our heads cut off. When Olivia gets off the bus, the first word out of her mouth is.. “so what’s for dinner?” We used to scramble and most likely order pizza or head to the nearest fast food place.” But now that we have found Acadiana Manna we no longer think the struggle is real. It’s perfect and completely frees us up in the kitchen. We are able to plan our meals, just like we plan our social media calendars. Knowing what activities we have coming up ahead of time lets us prepare our dinner plans in advance.

The best part?

If we are seriously craving something else we can just grab a different meal right out of our freezer. They are made out of all fresh ingredients and feeds our family of 4 perfectly. Even when Teagan wants to go back for seconds.

It’s perfect and completely frees us up in the kitchen. We are able to plan our meals, just like we plan our social media calendars. Knowing what activities we have coming up ahead of time lets us prepare our dinner plans in advance. The best part? If we are seriously craving something else we can just grab a different meal right out of our freezer. They are made out of all fresh ingredients and feeds our family of 4 perfectly. Even when Teagan wants to go back for seconds.

Whether you are a busy parent or even a single person who doesn’t like to cook for one. you can just pop the leftovers in a to go container and bring them to work the next day for lunch. The options are endless!

For all of our Louisiana friends and family, and those who just love authentic Cajun food this is the place for you. Remember, its not a restaurant, it’s a store front so anything you want is ready for you to walk out the door with, just add heat. All of their meals you either put on the stove or bake them in the oven. Have no fear, for those of us that just aren’t even good at microwaving meals Buddy and Cleila happily share the “cooking instructions” with you.

Some of their meals include:

Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp Etoufee from Acadiana Manna

Wild caught Louisiana Gulf shrimp prepared in a rich buttery sauce. Which happens to be excellent with fresh French Bread!

Care Package Pasta

Care Package Pasta from Acadiana Manna

Bowtie pasta tossed in a rich cream sauce with a little Italian blend of cheese. They added a little twist and gave it a touch of Cajun smoked sausage, chicken breast, and wild caught Gulf shrimp! You have just discovered our family’s favorite meal.

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

Fresh chicken sautéed in a rich house-made and hand stirred Louisiana roux. They add fresh, Cajun smoked sausage along with herbs and spices.

Boo’s smothered chicken

Chicken seasoned to an old Cajun family recipe and smothered in onions and fresh, smoked andouille.

For the non-meat lovers out there, they have the Vegetarian Pasta –

Vegetarian Pasta from Acadiana Manna

Their vegetarian pasta features fresh sliced mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and spinach sautéed in a wonderful heavy cream and garlic bath! This is Teagan’s favorite!

Teagan grubbing on some Acadiana Manna Vegetarian Pasta

Whether you live near the store, or far away (you just have to add in the price of shipping) this is the restaurant for you. Acadianna Manna is a definite win for the busy parent! All of your Cajun favorites made- fresh for you to bring home, and even on vacation. Not going to lie, this is perfect for us and our trips to Destin. Kudos to those amazing Cajuns who have finally catered to those of us living the busy family lifestyle curating the perfect meals for us to have at home. We encourage you to give these family favorites a try, you won’t be sorry! The store is located at 69142 LA-59 Suite F, Mandeville, LA 70471.

Travel With Your Kids Internationally With These 7 Tips

Travel With Your Kids Internationally With These 7 Tips

Once you get to know me, you’ll find out that I make at least three trips to Norway every year. It has taken me TWO WHOLE YEARS to get the courage to bring Olivia, my now 7 year old along with me. I’m so glad I did! Here are 7 tips I can give you to hope your international travel will be as successful as mine, and make you want to travel with your kids more!

Tip #1 Get them excited about the journey!

When I first started to plan the trip, I thought about the best time frame she would get to experience Norway, and it doesn’t get much better than Christmas! We spent 10 days in Bergen where we got to experience a traditional Norwegian Christmas holiday and everything that beautiful town had to offer. I booked the trip months in advance and made sure to talk about it a lot with her to and show her lots of pictures. Before we left for the trip I got her the cutest travel journal from Amazon! She was super excited and wrote in her journal every day!

Travel With Your Kids to the Christmas Market in Bergen
The Christmas Market in Bergen, Norway!

Tip #2 Plan your flights!

Do your kids follow a normal sleep schedule? Or do they throw your through a loop with a weird sleep schedule? Plan around it! Our first flight was perfect. Olivia usually goes to sleep at 8:30 pm so picking the latest flight which left at 10:00 pm was our best option. We got to the airport in enough time to sit and eat dinner together, and then it was lights out for the entire flight until breakfast! The flight back was a little different.. We had an early morning flight so she stayed up until the end of our last flight.

Travel with your kids with plenty of enough time in between flights.
Olivia’s first time seeing snow was in Oslo, Norway!

Check with the airline you’re flying to see if they provide headphones, pillows, and blankets. We brought Olivia’s eye mask and pillow, along with her iPad and favorite headphones so we didn’t have to pay extra for things on the plane. When we finally got our bags and to the car it was still her bedtime, so she was still able to sleep in the car for the . Don’t forget to give yourselves a couple of hours to stretch your legs, play, eat, go to the bathroom and get ready for the next flight!

Tip #3 Pack Smart!

If you’re traveling for a weekend getaway or for several days.. Only pack what you need, especially when you have to bring your winter wardrobe! When I was getting ready for the trip I was thinking.. How am I going to maneuver all of these bags? The truth is, I wasn’t. I got all of the essentials together for the two of us and all of the Christmas presents she would be opening and packed those first. My big suitcase and my laptop bag were all I needed, and I brought a carry-on size suitcase and a backpack for Olivia, to carry her toys and snacks.

Traveling With Your Kids and Their Christmas Presents
Christmas gifts made it all the way to Norway with us!

Traveling with your kids has its advantages, I got the airport to weigh both suitcases together, so we didn’t have to pay an additional fee for my heavy bag. My suitcase had all of the Christmas presents, so I was so hoping I didn’t have to move anything into hers. It worked out great! I was able to check both of the suitcases and only had to worry about bringing two bags around the airports for 20 hours. The airport also weighed both bags together so I didn’t have to pay additional fees for the big bag.

I also skipped out on packing her car seat and we borrowed one from a friend when we arrived. One less thing for me to tag along!

Tip #4 Pack Snacks!

It doesn’t matter what country I’m in, Olivia is a picky eater. I personally think the food on the plane, when heading internationally can be better than some of the airport food, but the kiddos do not think so. We flew Norwegian Airlines and the flights are cheap, but you have to pay for all of the extra items, including your meals. I purchased the meal plan for Olivia and I through the airline. But, naturally Olivia refused to eat because she saw vegetables. I made sure to pack lots of snacks like nutella, popcorn, and Go Go Squeez . The Z bars were my saving grace when Olivia turned her nose up at breakfast sandwiches. I also packed enough so whatever she didn’t eat in the airports, she had for snacks throughout the trip, and they all fit in her bag.

Tip #5 Do Your Research!

Do you need a passport for the country you are visiting? The answer is always yes, when traveling internationally. But do you need a Visa? Some places require them and others do not. Although we did not need to have a Visa where we were going, I had to provide our passport numbers well in advance. Also, they did not accept the passport card where we went. Make sure to bring the book! If you don’t have a passport and you’re planning to travel soon, check out where to find your nearest passport office. I decided to wait closer to our trip to get Olivia’s because I wanted to make sure I got my paperwork back right away. We also have an office in New Orleans, so it wasn’t too far away. Do what ever works best for you and your family!

Travel with your kids with passport in hand
Olivia’s first time using her passport!

Tip #6 Leave In Plenty Of Time!

I was lucky enough for this trip, to have started working from home about a month before we left. This gave me the perfect opportunity to pick up and work from wherever I wanted to. While I only worked for a little while on our trip, I did work there and back. We drove from New Orleans, LA to Orlando, FL and made a trip out of our trip. We stayed in Tallahassee, FL which was the perfect halfway spot for us. Naturally, when we got to Orlando, FL I made a pit stop at the Airhead’s trampoline park. It was a sweet treat for her and it helps make traveling with your kids easier when they’re not so filled with energy. We stayed close enough to the airport to where we weren’t rushing to get checked in. We also did the same going back.

Traveling with your kids and seeing the snow

Tip #7 Have Some Fun!

Try and remember to have some fun with it! This is your chance to give your child memories to last a lifetime! If they decide to throw a fit because they’re bored, take the opportunity to embarrass them too. I know I did! We were getting ready to board the plane from London and we had a delay. She got cranky, so I turned on some music and had a dance party. Mortified, she decided to calm down and I chose to stop dancing. You would too if you saw my mom moves!

Travel with your kids and have some fun with it!
Having fun with the love of my life <3

I hope I was able to provide you with a little inspiration to travel with your kids! If you’re looking for some other ideas, check out the Life Twinning blog.

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for     New Moms

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for New Moms

Being a new mom myself, I have just the scoop on what to get that special new mom you know for the Holiday season. Life can get a little crazy for all of those new moms out there. These are really the things to bring a smile to their faces! 

Planner

  • Planner – With the new year just around the corner, having a planner is just what any new mom needs. I know my planner has been my savior with trying to remember everything, and the best thing about this planner from classycareer girl is it can be used any time throughout the year, and its goal oriented, keeping every new mom on track with their goals! Whether that goal is work related, mom, related, or even health related. This is the perfect planner for any goal any time, that is why I love it so much!

Cordless Vacuum

  • Cordless Vacuum – I tell you what. We got our Dysonv7 vacuum, and my world is forever changed for the better. Having an almost toddler and a seven year old in the house, we were constantly having to take the vacuum out to clean up mess after mess. Furthermore, with the baby trying to chase the cord around the living room & kitchen, this vacuum is great because there is no cord and its almost effortless and the suction is fantastic. The battery lasts for an hour. This is a gift any new mom will surely be thankful for and sing your praises for years to come!

New Book

A NEW BOOK – Girl, wash your face 
  • A new Book – Lets face it, no new mom thinksthey have the time to read a book, but they should make more time for it.  GirlWash your face is the perfect book to start lifting those spirits. Thisbook comes highly recommended.  It is an interesting take on self-help because it’s so relatable to everyone. This book I first heard on audible during a road trip. I loved it so much that I bought the hard copy to be able to read again and again. This is what all of my girlfriends are getting for Christmas. Shh don’t tell them!

Water Bottle 

TRIMR WATER BOTTLE
  •  New Water Bottler – You see before I was a mom: fitness was very much a part of my lifestyle and now Post-Baby I wanted to continue the same trend. Now that Teagan is walking around picking up EVERYTHING, this TrimrDuo Classic Protein Shaker Bottle is perfect for us. Its different from other protein shakers because it has two different functions because the straw goes to the water bottle spout, and there is of course the gulp option. Teagan has no idea how to open either of these ways, but she can shake this protein shaker like a rattle and get almost as much enjoyment out of using it as I do.  Add in a little Aminoenergy, and you have yourself the perfect holiday gift for any new mom out there!

Wine Glass

  • New Wine Glass – When water just won’t cut it, momma always needs a new wine glass, and The Maars Bev Steel Stemless Wine Glass Tumbler, is perfect. It’s perfect because its stemless, and the lid lets you take your beverage on the go. It’s double insulated, keeping your glass cold. Or hot for warm beverages. This is something anyone would love. The solid color makes it perfect to personalize it also!
TONE IT UP ‘TIU’ GIRLS

TONE IT UP ‘TIU’ GIRLS

The TIU community has been a way for all of us girls to have that one thing in common, when life can pull us into so many different directions. It keeps us all healthy, and as accountability partners. While we all exercise at different levels – this group evens the playing field and lets us belong to an even bigger community of girl power. Its not a fad diet, or something that you just forget about and gain a whole lot of weight. It’s a lifestyle. The food is so amazing, we have all sort of became unofficial brand ambassadors spreading the TIU love to everyone we know.

When life is crazy and you’re trying to keep a healthy balance. Meal prepping is key! This is something Tiffany and I do every Sunday. Preparing in advance ensures that we don’t break the bank, and don’t get sucked into eating fast foods because life can be so fast paced.

If you haven’t checked out their website, I urge you to go to www.toneitup.com right now!

My top 5 favorite TIU recipes 

Salmon Bake

  1. Salmon Bake – It didn’t make its way to the printout cook book, but it’s a TIU staple that I always go back to. Its simple, and oh so yummy.

Turkey Chili

  • Turkey Chili – Hands down, delicious. They give you single serving recipes, but you can double or triple the recipe to give you leftovers because…Its even better the next day!

Tray Dinner 

  • Tray Dinner – Oh so delicious, and there are so many different combinations to choose from, you cannot go wrong!

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats 

Slim Down Smoothie

  • Slim Down Smoothie – 5 simple ingredients, it’s a must when you need something quick!

There are so many different things to try out food wise, you can check out all of their workout videos, and of course do the daily moves. Having a strong backing, at home, and through the different technology types it really has us feeling like we are a part of something. A great community. Women empowering women, in the healthiest way of all. We love these girls, and hope that you will to!

Destin FL Christmas Holiday Events

Destin FL Christmas Holiday Events

Christmas at the Beach: Destin, Florida

With us living only 4 hours away from our former home, we will definitely be popping back a few times and having some Holiday fun! Here are some of our favorite Destin Holiday activities coming up!

Destin Parade

Destin Parade – The City of Destin’s Christmas Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 10. Make sure to stand on the North Side of the street to catch the parade!

Santa 

Every weekend leading up to Christmas, Santa will be available from 12-4 to see and listen to all of the Christmas requests!

Visit with Santa @ Emerald Grande – Ring in holiday cheer and have breakfast with Santa, Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18, at Grande Vista Bar and Grill at the Emerald Grande. For reservations: 850-424-0621.

Baytowne on Ice 

Baytowne on Ice – If you are visiting and miss the snow and ice – Baytowne on Ice is for you. It has become a seasonal local favorite. The first hour is dedicated to ‘kids skate” Where kids ages 12 and younger s=can skate freely. This event will run until February.

Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles at LuLu’s:

Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles at LuLu’s: Billy Claus is Santa’s warm weather-loving brother who lives in the Caribbean, but comes this way to help Santa during the Holiday season. Join Billy to celebrate the 4th annual Billy Claus event at LuLu’s. This event is free with Billy and the LuLuBelles available to hear the all of the wishlists to pass along to santa!

Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles at LuLu’s: Billy Claus is Santa’s warm weather-loving brother who lives in the Caribbean, but comes this way to help Santa during the Holiday season. Join Billy to celebrate the 4th annual Billy Claus event at LuLu’s. This event is free with Billy and the LuLuBelles available to hear the all of the wishlists to pass along to santa!

12 Nights of Lights

12 Nights of Lights – Enjoy a festive light show every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, Dec. 2-30 in the Events Plaza at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Times are 6, 7, & 8 p.m.

Destin Boat Parade

Boat Parade: This year’s boat parade will be held on December 11th and will begin at 6:00 p.m. You can head to any of your favorite Destin Harbor restaurants to watch. I recommend boshamps as they have an entire outdoor area and beach bar that can play host to everyone of all ages.

Whether you are a local or are visiting the area on winter vacation, Destin is the place for a fun-filled Christmas. Don’t forget to check out the massive Christmas tree in the center of the Destin commons! We hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and the most amazing Holiday season!

Christmas in the City – New Orleans tips for Christmas!

Christmas in the City – New Orleans tips for Christmas!

Christmas in the City

Living in the greater New Orleans area Christmas in the City is a must. Tiff and I grew up here, and we are so happy to be back! Here is our Lucky Seven list of our favorite Christmas things to do that are also kid appropriate!

Being so close to all of our friends and family has truly been the greatest blessing of all! Teagan and Olivia growing up with all of their cousins, and of course our extended “Girl Squad” community. It’s the sweetest and we cannot wait to go to experience everything the city has to offer with our little ones!

 

 

NOLA Christmas Fest 

  • Nola Christmas Fest: This is a truly magical experience for adults and kids alike! Get your white Christmas on while ice skating at the Convention Center December 22-31. Admission is $20 a person.

Celebration in the Oaks

  • Celebration in the Oaks: Formerly called Christmas in the Oaks. Is truly a New Orleans tradition. Take the kids to city park where they can ride the rides in Story land. There is definitely something for the whole family here. The event goes on from now until January 1st. Its highly recommended to get your tickets in advance!

Caroling in Jackson Square 

  • Go Caroling in Jackson Square. Get your fa la la la la on in Jackson Square on December 16th! The gates open at 6:30 with the caroling starting promptly at 7:00. Be sure to get there early because this event has been a New Orleans staple since 1946. Candles & song sheets are provided. 

Elf the Musical 

  • Elf the Musical – check out this off-broadway production December 18-23rd at the Saenger theatre!

Audobon Zoo Lights

  • Go on down to the Audobon Zoo! This year the zoo is looking more festive than ever! With crafts for all of the kids and entertainment for everyone else in your party. This is surely not something to be missed this Christmas season! Open from now until December 30th. Admission is $10 for Audobon members and $15 for General Admission.

Teddy Bear Tea at the Roosevelt

  • Teddy Bear Tea at the Roosevelt – Going to the Roosevelt for Christmas is always a favorite activity of ours. The Waldorf Wonderland is a spectacle in itself but the Teddy Bear tea is something truly special for all of the girls in our family! This event is one of the priciest on the list, but it is NOT to be missed. Mrs. Clause reads her Christmas stories, other characters are wondering around, delicious Holiday food, the kids get the commemorative Roosevelt Teddy Bear and did I mention Mimosas for the chaperones that are of age? Yep!

Miracle on Fulton Street 

  • Miracle on Fulton Street: The Fulton Street Mall is quite the site this Holiday Season. It has Artificial snow, lights, Christmas trees, strolling Costume Characters, local musical acts, and even themed Holiday dining.

Being so close to all of our friends and family has truly been the greatest blessing of all! Teagan and Olivia growing up with all of their cousins, and of course our extended “Girl Squad” community. It’s the sweetest and we cannot wait to go to experience everything the city has to offer with our little ones!