Circus Starring YOU


Circus Starring open at The Children's Museum!

It's easy to forget how amazing our local Children's Museum is. We take for granted the permanent exhibits, the new experiences, and the events they host.

But as someone who travels across the country with her kids and visits museums geared toward kids often, I can say without a doubt we're spoiled by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

How To Raise Kids Who Love to Read



I get asked a lot how to get kids to read. Friends with kids, blog readers, students’ parents, random people on social media–everyone wants to know how to help their kids fall in love with reading.

The answer to that is really simple and really difficult.


What's In The Cards?

As I sit in contemplation, I wonder what the rest of February has in store.  I decided to seek intuitive guidance and see what the oracle cards say for this Valentine’s Day and the rest of February.


Valentine's Craft and FREE Printables

I don’t know about you, but I’m a procrastinator.  I swear I can't do anything too far ahead of time and I'm honestly not sure why because I know it saves me time in the end, sometimes it saves me money, and it obviously saves my sanity… but making sure things are done ahead of time just doesn’t seem to work for me these days.  

So I’m here to save those of you who are procrastinators too!  


Salted Caramel Sundae with Peanuts: Recipe of the Week


Salted Caramel Sundae with Peanuts {Michael Symon}

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re a procrastinator like me, you didn’t think ahead to make those special dinner reservations 2 – 3 weeks ago at the newest trendy spot. No worries! I’ve got a simple, elegant dessert that’s sure to satisfy the greatest flavor combination there is – sweet and salty! The roasted nuts in this recipe add yet another salty, crunchy layer to an already addictive flavor combo.


Pork Egg Roll In A Bowl: Recipe of the Week


I try to mix things up a little for the family.  I don’t follow the paleo diet, but I kept hearing people talk about “crack slaw” and was intrigued.  This recipe is based on a crack slaw recipe.  It struck me as a neat idea, although my family was skeptical. My husband was pretty sure that the best part of the egg roll had to be the crunchy wrapper, but I thought otherwise and the family inhaled this one (no leftovers).

Ask Amanda's Resolutions for 2017


Last month, I answered a question from a frustrated mom on how to set resolutions that she can stick with. Last year, she didn’t even make it past February before she gave up.

I assured her that she isn't alone, with less than half of adults achieving some success with their resolutions.

I advised her to use my four SIMPLE steps to nail her 2017 Resolutions. Read the full Ask Amanda article HERE.

Today, I thought I would share how I used those same four SIMPLE steps to create my own resolutions for 2017.

Garlic Green Beans: Recipe of the Week


Garlic Green Beans

In the celebration of Chinese New Year, one of my favorite veggie dishes is garlic green beans. Growing up, my uncle would make green beans for Thanksgiving,and they are amazing!  There is always room for green beans. My uncle shared with me how to make these crisp green beans, and they are a hit every time I make them.

Why I Chose to Get Bariatric Surgery

I’d like to begin at the very end of the beginning.  On December 28, 2016, I traveled with my husband to Tijuana, Mexico and underwent bariatric surgery.  The procedure I chose was the Vertical Gastric Sleeve.  It is an endoscopic procedure in which 80% of the stomach is cut away, leaving a long thin sleeve in it’s place.  The purpose of the surgery is to cause restriction and limit the amount of food one can consume.  There are also other benefits, that are largely unexplained, like a loss of hunger, and a change to tastebuds (which favors nutritious foods and makes sweets less palatable).


A Social Experiment: No New Clothes


Remember this girl? Okay, so maybe I’ve never shopped high-end designers or driven a luxury car, but I can relate to Cher in so many ways. Trapped in a car while a supposed friend tries to shove his tongue down my throat? Yep. Fallen for a man who turned out to be gay? Oh, yes. (Too many times to count). Dated my stepbrother? Erm, no. Have one, but eww. 

Pork Two Ways: Recipe of the Week


Recipe of the Week: Pork Two Ways – Pulled Pork and Posole


Anyone else just take their Christmas tree down? Guilty here. #sorrynotsorry I’m still adjusting from December’s work commitments, extra social events, and attempting weekly to keep up with having at least ONE bin of clean, folded, and put away load of laundry! And, trying to stay on budget after the extra holiday spending is a plus, too! Our family tries to eat healthy “most” of the time. One of the biggest complaints I hear from my fitness clients is, “It’s too expensive to eat healthy.” I wanted to give you a helpful tip to save on time and cost when meal planning – try to use the same ingredients in multiple ways to keep it economical AND interesting throughout the week.

Lessons From My Son

Becoming a parent has been the most life altering event I have experienced so far. When I look at my little boy I feel like my heart is literally walking outside of my body. There have been countless moments where I sit and watch him in amazement as he grows and changes at a whirlwind pace. I remember sitting on the sofa watching him play in our living room the other day. He was stacking his blocks and building a tower. He accidentally knocked his tower over with his foot and I heard him say “uh oh spaghetti-o”. I had this brief moment of clarity where I felt so proud of him for making light of what could have been very frustrating combined with the realization that as adults, we are way too hard on ourselves. In that moment, I felt that there were a lot of life lessons I am continually learning from my son has he grows up.


Binge Worthy Shows

I found a new obsession.  Binging.  Binging on shows!  It happened while I was on maternity leave.  I would put on a show when I was nursing, and I soon became addicted to this “me” time.  But let’s be honest, when you are a working mother of 2 there isn’t usually a lot of time to dedicate to watching your favorite shows, let alone new ones!  

So thanks to Miss Olive, I found a new few binge-worthy shows worth checking out! Here’s my top 5 to get your started:


Spicy Black Bean Dip: Recipe of the Week


Spicy Black Bean Dip

My mother gave me a new cookbook for Christmas called Clean Start: 100 Recipes to Inspire You to Eat Clean and Live Well by Terry Walters. Technically, it wasn’t really new; she bought it for herself and then realized exactly what Terry meant by “Clean” and never used it. All of the recipes are vegan or close to it, and generally gluten-free. It’s organized by season in order to maximize use of in-season ingredients. I think it is a lovely cookbook, and I have used several recipes already. This recipe for Spicy Black Bean Dip is in the “Spring” section but could be used any time of year. As Terry says, it can be served with chips or veggies for dipping, or inside tacos, quesadillas, etc. 

Spiced Pecans: Recipe of the Week


Shhhh… I have a secret!  

The holidays may be over, but there is no reason not to enjoy these delicious spiced pecans year round. You may be asking why this is a secret, it’s because of my husband.  Aaron loves these pecans.  During the first holiday Costco run of the season, Aaron proudly presents me with three 2 lb bags of pecans and an adorable smile.These pecans are an indulgence, and if I made them for Aaron year round, he might put on an extra hundred pounds.  In short, Aaron knows these as our spiced Christmas nuts, the rest of you now know the truth.


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