Ask Amanda: How To Tell If Your Marriage Is On Track


Some days I worry that my husband and I are headed for a divorce. We argue and disagree on a lot of stuff. I worry that we’re growing apart and that when the kids are gone, there won’t be anything left between us. How can I tell if things are okay?


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Chicken Strips: Recipe of the Week


Chicken Strips

Nothing hits the spot quite like comfort food. We had some leftover cheesy potatoes, whipped up some sauteed green beans with mushrooms, AND the store had a great sale on boneless chicken tenders.  Voila, fried chicken strips that satisfied every family member!

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Butternut Squash Soup: Recipe of the Week


Butternut Squash Soup

I try to pack my lunches most days. In the summer, that usually means salad. In the winter, soup. It may not feel like winter, but I have definitely been on a soup kick. This is one of my all-time favorites. My husband refuses to eat any kind of soup, but thankfully my daughter will scarf it right down.

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Circus Starring YOU


Circus Starring YOU...now 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.

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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.


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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.


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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!  


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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.


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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).

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BRICS-Birthday Parties for all Seasons



What seems like a very long time ago, my pre-child self would have scoffed at the idea of a birthday party for a one-year-old.  Why go to all that trouble for someone who won’t even remember? Several years later and all logic drowned by mothering hormones and a perpetual parental daze, I find myself planning my second first birthday party. So not all of my pre-mother cynicism is gone, I don’t believe in spending a small fortune or throwing an over-the-top shindig for someone who will be none the wiser. But I do understand now the importance of celebrating parents who manage to keep a human being alive and thriving for a year, and it’s quite nice to mark the milestone of your baby becoming a toddler. In fact, I get a little teary just thinking about it. And let’s be honest, there are quite a few pages in the baby book dedicated to that first birthday, so party time it is.


My ground rules for a first birthday party:

  1. It has to be affordable.
  2. It has to be easy.
  3. It has to be fun.
  4. It has to be cute


So, when I started brainstorming what to do for my Christmas baby’s first birthday, I thought of a local place that meets all of these rules—BRICS Indy in Broad Ripple. If you haven’t been to BRICS yet, I highly recommend you stop reading immediately and go get a tasty treat at BRICS. It was one of my family’s first local discoveries in Indianapolis, and it has a sweet spot in my heart (cheesy pun intended).  And although we would be celebrating right in the peak of winter, BRICS offered an option that was seasonal and definitely met all of my criteria.

Affordable: BRICS allowed me to rent their space for a very reasonable fee. Although we didn’t have exclusive use of the shop, the fact that we partied in an ice cream shop in late December really minimized the foot traffic. I had about a dozen adults and half a dozen children, and the space was definitely adequate.


Easy: I did not have to clean my house before or after this party. Enough said. We brought balloons, a few choice decorations, and that was it. BRICS has really cute décor, and they provided everything else we would need. They even offer birthday cakes, but I chose to make my son’s smash cake because I wanted to exercise my Pinterest muscle.


Fun: BRICS set up an adorable s’mores bar for our guests, featuring bunson burners, graham crackers, marshmallows, and a delicious array of goodies such as bananas, Reese’s cups, and chocolate bars. It was really cute to watch the kids make their own S’mores. We also had pitchers of coffee, hot chocolate, and tea, and guests were free to order ice cream or any of the other delicious treats on the BRICS menu.


Cute: Children with chocolate smeared faces. An ice cream parlor with vintage charm. S’mores fixings. My baby boy turning one surrounded by some great friends. Cuteness overload.


All in all, we had a great day celebrating my little man. We didn’t spend a fortune. We had a lot of fun. We supported a fantastic local business, and we enjoyed some really tasty treats. Ashley Greeley, the General Manager, of BRICS was so accommodating and responsive during the party planning. She and her staff worked hard to make the party a success and were incredibly patient with the sugared up children running around their establishment.  BONUS—City Moms receive a perk at BRICS Indy, which can be applied to birthday parties.  BRICS is located right on the Monon and features a spacious outside patio, so it would be really perfect for this lovely Spring weather we are starting to enjoy.  So, whether you are planning a birthday party or just hankering for some delicious ice cream and sweets, head on over to BRICS Indy and check out their Website for more information:





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