my faith story

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I’ve had so, so many requests for this post. Friends out there were curious about my faith, what deepened my faith, and how it plays a part in my life. You guys know I don’t typically write about these types of topics here on the blog. I never want anyone to feel isolated, and I respect and LOVE the fact that we all have different views and backgrounds. With the overwhelming requests I’ve received, I decided to write a post about about all of this. It’s a vulnerable one and I just wanted to say thank you in advance for being kind to me for sharing my heart, and also to those who choose to leave a comment.

Please keep in mind that this is my story; it doesn’t have to be your story, and if you don’t believe the same things, it’s ok! I have friends who have different beliefs and genuinely feel that it makes life way more exciting and interesting. I’m also friends with people who think that creme brûlée is a real dessert (it’s not), but even though we have different beliefs, we can still love each other. 😉

As many of you guys know, I grew up Catholic. We went to mass each Sunday, prayed the rosary, and the Catholic environment was a large part of my adolescent and young adult life. At the same time, I wasn’t a great Catholic. I tended to daydream during the homily (I still do sometimes), and was really there for the music more than anything. But, I was there.

While I don’t agree with *everything* in the Catholic faith, I agree with a lot of it. Most of all, I love the rich traditions and the comfort of it all. Mass reminds me of a hot yoga class with a set flow; the structure is the same each day, and I know what to expect. Sometimes I give it 100%, sometimes it’s more like 60%, but I’m there.

While I went to mass pretty much my entire life and absolutely believed in God, I never really felt super close to Jesus. He was a man who did miraculous things, but when people talked about having a relationship with Jesus… I didn’t get it. I was like yeah I respect the guy who gave his life for us, but we don’t feel like BFFs, and that’s ok. That’s how it was until a couple of years ago.

For some people who have a sudden draw towards Jesus, it can be after a huge life change or event. For me, it was when the world flipped upside down. We all have our own struggles, and 99% of mine never see the pages of this blog, but I was going through an extremely difficult time. I was here, still trying to work and make an income for our family, the kids were home from school (Liv had SO MANY zoom classes and so.much.damn.homework), I was trying to keep P from bouncing off the walls and injuring herself, and the Pilot was traveling internationally with the airlines during an unpredictable time. Bella passed away, which broke my heart into a million pieces, and a relationship with someone very close changed in a devast

Baked Corned Beef with Honey Mustard Glaze

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Baked corned beef with honey mustard glaze turns out moist and juicy with a sticky sweet glaze on top that no one can resist.

For as long as I can remember, my family has enjoyed a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner on St. Patrick’s day. However, a while back, this recipe for baked corned beef in the oven caught my eye and I saved the recipe to try.

baked honey mustard corned beef

Baked Corned Beef in the Oven

Oven baked corned beef turns out tender and juicy every time I make it. There were six of us together for this meal the first time I made it and every single person requested seconds. Even my rarely-excited-about-meat child all said that they “loved” this corned beef.

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough for seconds for everyone, but I learned my lesson. If you’re able to fill the freezer with a couple of extra roasts whenever corned beef goes on sale – do it.

The first time I tried this baked corned beef in the oven, I knew right away that it would be making an appearance at our St. Patrick’s Day dinners for years to come. As it turns out, I keep corned beef stashed in the freezer now, just to make this recipe whenever the craving hits.

Our favorite way to enjoy this corned beef is alongside a generous serving of Irish Colcannon for a complete meal. Don’t forget to reserve a bit of the glaze for a dipping sauce.

Honey Mustard Corned Beef

I’ve always enjoyed corned beef but it’s never been the kind of meal I dream of at night. When first I tasted this corned beef with honey mustard glaze caramelized over it, it completely knocked my socks off.

The very simple glaze of honey and coarse-grain mustard added a beautiful sweetness and subtle tang to the salted meat. The flavor combination of the glaze with the cured meat hit all the right notes for me.

A little brown sugar sprinkled over the top before baking ties all the different elements of the recipe together.

While the honey mustard flavor might not be strictly traditional as far as Irish recipes go, I think it preserves the familiarity of corned beef while making it even tastier. That’s a win in my book.

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Should I try a digital detox?

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Nearly one in three of us take a break from our devices each day, while a quarter of us ensure we have a social media detox on a weekly basis. But how effective are social media detoxes, and do we really need them?

Should I try a digital detox?

When was the last time you disconnected? We’re spending more and more of our time online, whether that’s browsing social media to catch up with friends, following our favourite influencers, or catching up on the latest shows being streamed. Many of us get our entertainment, news, and updates from those we love, all through a device. It’s no wonder that one 2021 survey revealed almost a third of us (31%) feel like we are ‘almost constantly’ online – and a whopping two-thirds of us (64%) feel that social media is having a mostly negative effect.  

Could taking a break from social media and having a digital detox be the answer we’ve been looking for? Or are there any pitfalls to switching off and disconnecting from our digital lives?

What is a digital detox?

From digital detox retreats to phone-silencing pouches, some of us are even switching off our smartwatches and fitness trackers to go back to analogue solutions to help us decrease our time spent online.

A ‘digital detox’ refers to taking a break from your devices for a set period of time. This could mean not using your smartphone, computer, laptop, tablet, or other smart devices to access social media. Taking a digital detox doesn’t just mean turning off TikTok or switching off Snapchat; it also can include decreasing how often you check your emails, play video games, send texts or other messages, and even catch up on the news using your devices.

As of January 2023, globally, we spend an average of 2 hours and 31 minutes using social media each day - around five times the recommended 30 minutes per day maximum that some researchers suggest could lead to significant improvements in our wellbeing.

What are the benefits of having a digital detox?

The benefits of taking a break from tech can vary from person to person depending on how much time you’re already spending on there, how you’re interacting with it, and how it makes you feel. Overall, decreasing your social media use can help you not only get more time back in your day but can help to decrease your likelihood of other negative experiences including:

  • encountering cyberbullying
  • experiencing fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • feelings of isolation, anger, or upset
  • comparing yourself to others

A growing body of research suggests that internet addiction may be a real worry - including

January 2023 Book Recap

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Hello friends!! How are you? I’m back from an incredible mastermind trip to Santa Barbara, in addition to an Air Force event up in Phoenix. I’ll share more pics in Friday Faves but it was a wild weekend and now we’re back, and back into the usual routine. I’d love to hear how you’re doing and what you were up to!

For today’s post, I wanted to share a recap of my January books. I read 5 1/2 books last month (one was a DNF). I was back in a WWII historical fiction blitz, which continues to be one of my favorite genres. There are so many incredible historical fiction novels, but I tend to read a ton and then need a break from the heavy subject matter.

Here’s what I read in Jan!

January 2023 Book Recap

January 2023 Book Recap

The Winemaker’s Wife

This was my first book of 2023 and I finished it within a few days. As much as I loved Book of Lost Names, I think this one was even more of a page turner. It has parallel storylines, following three main characters in the Champagne region of France in WWII, and present-day Olivia, who is brought to Paris on a mysterious trip with her 99-year-old grandmother. I had no idea how winemakers were involved in the Resistance, and that they would help with transporting information, ammunition, and hiding refugees until they could flee to safety. Some parts of the book were hard to read, as you can imagine, but the ending was so lovely and so well done. I definitely give it a 10/10, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

From Amazon:

At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.

But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe – least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.

Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents – and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah

Lightened Up Healthier Chicken Parmesan Recipe

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Lightened Up Healthier Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Chicken parmesan is always a crowd favorite, but sometimes I want a dinner that’s a little lighter. This lightened up healthier chicken parm recipe is so simple and the flavor is delicious.

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that you won’t even miss the mounds of mozzarella, piles of pasta or the sauce. Even though we have a traditional chicken parmesan recipe that is fantastic, I think we prefer this healthier version. I love how light and fresh it tastes and the chicken is crazy moist. It’s nice to have a meal where you can still eat great tasting food without feeling weighed down and completely stuffed afterwards. I think everyone should make this parmesan chicken!

a photo of a golden breaded chicken breast sitting on a white dinner plate topped with salad greens and a lemon vinaigrette and shaved parmesan.


What is Parmesan Chicken?

Parmesan chicken (or chicken Parmesan or chicken Parmigiana) is a dish that consists of breaded chicken breast covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone cheese. Parmesan chicken originated in Italy. We are sort of breaking all the rules with this lightened up version except for the breaded chicken part, but it’s so dang good!

a photo of a thin breaded chicken breast that has been sliced into with a bite being removed with a fork. the chicken has salad greens and shaved parmesan on top.Read more