Hello friends and happy Friday! Feel Good Friday 10 will possibly be the last FGF of the year since next week is Christmas (Although you never know…. I might sneak one in there)! Can you believe it? Are you ready? We are mostly ready over here but as the season comes to an end I feel this great sadness over all of the holiday activities I just didn’t have time for. I love Christmas SO MUCH so I want to do all the things, and I need to just set the bar lower from now on. As we head into these last weeks of the year, it’s so important to take great care of yourself, spend time with those who matter, and remember that you are enough, and also remember that there are some people out there who are not as fortunate as you. Today I’ve got some easy and healthy recipes and foods to share with you for those times you’d rather spend moments with your kids who might be home from college rather than in the kitchen. I also have an idea for giving that a friend of mine shared and I am behind 100%. I truly hope that some of today’s post inspires you to enjoy your time with loved ones this season, and be grateful for all you have. (This blog uses affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
Help erase lunch debt: I am going to start with what my friend Traer is doing. First of all, a little background on Traer… she came into my life when she became a vendor at Sweet Clover, the store I once owned. She has always had an eye for beauty which makes her business a success, but what she also has is a heart and voice for those less fortunate. This year she is on a mission to help eradicate the lunch debt in her local school system, which is $22,000. My kids pack their lunch every day, and while they may complain about what they have to take sometimes, we are very fortunate that we can offer them food. I can’t imagine being in the position of not being able to provide one of life’s basic needs to my kids, and the stress of racking up debt just to be able to provide them with lunch. Traer is bringing awareness to this topic and has started a GoFundMe which you can donate to. This debt honestly wasn’t something that was on my radar, although it’s been a topic of discussion here a couple of years ago and more recently in the news this past fall in many states. In related news, I am proud to say that North Carolina never denies a student food, and that in my own county, there were three large donors that already took care of last year’s debt. As I was researching information on this topic, I came across this article about NC, and was filled with such emotion… I cried reading the stories of donors who were able to do so many great things. My hope is to one day be in a position to help on a much larger scale, but for now I can at least give a little and help spread the news.
Holiday Cheer: My friend Ariel is sharing the most fun holiday post today with 33 fabulous people posing by their trees… I am honored to be included and loved all of the creative ideas. This post just spreads joy! BTW, I posed by my little porch tree because my porch is my favorite space here and I was able to decorate that tiny tree just as I wanted as it is safe from toddler fingers. 😉
Crock Pot Vegan Soup: We have always been big fans of chili in our house, and for years Chris made turkey chili because I didn’t eat beef. Well, now I don’t eat meat except seafood, so meal time has gotten a little trickier. Chris will only eat SOME beans and certain veggies, so we definitely eat together but separate meals often. Monday night I decided to try a new recipe for a vegan black bean quinoa chili, and we both loved it! We will make it a little spicier next time, but it was delicious (even though I totally forgot to add the corn at the end… oops!) It took only about 10 minutes for me to get everything ready, put it in the crock pot, and cook. I know a lot of you have college kids home or family in town and the last thing you want to do is spend time slaving over meals and missing family time… I would definitely recommend this recipe as a time saver and great meal!
Quick Healthy Meal with Heart: Emmy LOOOOVES Kodiak chocolate waffles, and I recently started buying their pancake mix, both chocolate, and buttermilk. I have yet to try the gluten free, but it’s on my list. They’re delicious, quick and easy, and also pretty good for you as they’re loaded with protein and all natural. I knew all of these benefits, but the other day, I happened to really look at the side of my box and read that they also donate a portion of their proceeds to various foundations that protect grizzly bear and other wildlife habitats. Learning that bit of information made me love this brand even more!
Heartfelt Book: After hearing Rachel Hollis’ interview with Joe Biden recently, I added his book, Promise Me, Dad, to my Amazon list. (By the way, Chris was shopping for me and I suggested he look at my Amazon list and his response was, “How do I know what to get? You have so many books on this list!”) Anyhow, the interview was absolutely captivating and I loved learning especially about how Biden was raised and how that affected his career. After listening to him speak, I wanted to hear more and added this book to my must read list.
Merry Christmas: Finally, here is our Christmas Non-card that I posted on facebook… “Oh Snap! The Bustamantes didn’t get it together in time to mail out Christmas cards!” We may not always be on time, our hair may not always be clean, and we may sometimes have sassy attitudes, but we are always well intended, and we sincerely wish you the happiest holiday season, from the bottoms of our hearts! By the way, if you’re wondering where Chris’ shirt is, he’s eating the gingerbread man cookies instead. We also gave Wilder some to keep him happy, and that’s why the dogs’ butts are facing the camera… they were busy eating crumbs. If you’re also wondering where you can find out more about those rad sweatshirts, click here. I am wearing a medium, and the kids are wearing smalls. I have been wearing mine on repeat, and the kids have been wearing theirs, well, for 5 minutes while I forced them into photos.
I truly am grateful for all of you who visit me and spend time with me here. From my family to yours, Oh Snap! Happy Holidays!