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  • In this episode of The SavvyCast, I share my favorite store-bought frozen food items and how I use them to prepare delicious meals, appetizers, snacks, and more.

    Here is what you’ll find in this episode:

    The Flying Meatballs (My favorite kind is their Three Meat Beef, Veal, and Pork meatballs!) When preparing these meatballs, I love to combine them with Rao’s sauce, especially if I’m adding these meatballs to spaghetti. If I really want to take it over-the-top, then I’ll occasionally add burrata cheese. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit (The Cheese and Chive are my favorite). Against the Grain Gourmet Three Cheese Gluten-Free Pizza Shell To prepare this pizza crust, I spray it with EVOO and add meat. Then, I add different kinds of cheeses: shredded or pre-grated parmesan, shredded and balled mozzarella, and burrata cheese. When it comes to pizza sauce, I love to use either Buitoni Pesto, Classico Pesto, or Costco’s Basil Pesto. Against the Grain Gourmet Baguettes Drizzling these baguettes with an infused oil or spraying them with EVOO makes them taste delicious! Then, I loosely wrap them in foil and place them in a 400°F oven. Dr. Praeger's Black Bean Quinoa Veggie Burgers (Gluten-Free AND Vegan) To prepare these, I spray them with EVOO, place them in a Breville Smart Oven on the Air Fry function. (If they don’t start getting crisp, turn it up to a Broil.) Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. I love adding avocado on top of these burgers, and when I season my avocado, I use Lawry’s Garlic Salt or Everything but the Bagel Seasoning. Trader Joe’s Authentic Italian Penne Arrabbiata Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken Alexia Foods Sweet Potato Fries & Puffs and Onion Rings Realgood Foods Stuffed Chicken Diced Frozen Onions (I ALWAYS have a bag of this on hand.)

    Resources related to this podcast:

    @theflyingmeatballs on Instagram

    If you enjoyed this podcast episode, then I highly encourage you to check out this previous episode where my friend, Marie, and I discuss our favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s. We include a list of 40+ items! Also, if you don’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@family_savvy) to see my latest kitchen creations, recipes, beauty finds, and more.

  • We all want to feel comfortable in our own skin, and taking care of our skin is one way we can do that! We all want to prevent our skin from aging, and we long for beautiful, healthy, glowing skin. So, how do we achieve that? On this episode of The SavvyCast, Dr. Pearce from Reveal Beauty joins me on the podcast for the 3rd time to discuss all things skincare. We discuss how to take care of your skin on a daily basis, what products to use, how to remove sun and age spots, and the best skincare treatments and procedures.

    Topics Discussed in this Episode:

    How to Take Care of Your Skin Daily Have a cleansing system that you do at least twice a day After cleansing in the morning, use a moisturizer that has some component of SPF in it What are the benefits to using Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid? Dr. Pearce recommends buying hyaluronic acid from reputable companies such as Obagi and SkinMedica. What are the perks to using retinol in your routine? What Products to Buy While medical-grade products can have a high price tag, but Dr. Pearce recommends it because they provide stronger, more effective results. Whereas you may be spending more money by purchasing less-effective over-the-counter products at a department store. How to Treat Sun and Age Spots Dr. Pearce recommends using hydroquinone to brighten up those spots. This can be found in Obagi Nu-Derm Clear, Obagi Nu-Derm Blender, and Obagi Nu-Derm Sunfader How to Treat Under-Eye Circles Dr. Pearce recommends using SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Cream OR Obagi Elastiderm. Best Skin Treatment & Procedure Options If you’re not ready to commit to a procedure, then Dr. Pearce suggests the Obagi Nu-Derm system. Hollywood Peel is a quick treatment that is well tolerated by just about any skin types. It exfoliates the skin and gives it a nice glow. Broad Band Light treatment can help discoloration on the hands. Biggest bang for your buck? CO2 Laser Treatment. It helps remove lines and wrinkles in a one-and-done style.

    Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

    Reveal Beauty Dr. Pearce joined me on the podcast for 2 previous episodes. If you’d like to tune into those as well, then check out these episodes: Let's Talk with Drs. Clinton & Pearce of Reveal Beauty A Doctor Shares Expert Advice About the Many Breast Surgery Options Available Today
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  • Chronic foot pain can feel debilitating at times, but the good news is there are options out there to improve our foot health and rid ourselves of pesky foot pain. In this episode of The SavvyCast, my good friend (and cousin), Kristy McKinney, joins me to discuss how to fix foot pain.

    Kristy dealt with foot pain for almost 25 years, and after being educated about foot health, she has zero pain in her feet! Kristy received her gait guru education from Gait Happens with Drs. Conley and Perez, and she has participated in many case studies alongside physical therapists and clinicians to assess people’s feet. Since most foot pain is caused by ill movement patterns, Kristy is trained to examine your movement patterns to find a healthy way to restore your feet to health!

    Here is what we discussed in this podcast episode:

    How heels in shoes can cause foot cramps and why do certain shoes lead to cramps How shoes can lead us to be more unbalanced Why is foot health important? Turns out, 80-90% of elderly people fall due to a lack of big toe flexibility, so how can we help improve our foot health to prevent falling? How Kristy assesses people’s foot health and how she can help you

    Kristy is available to do virtual and in-person consults, so no matter where you are in the world, she can assist you!

    Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

    To schedule a virtual consultation with Kristy, you can contact her at mckinneykristy@gmail.com or call/text 256-483-2469. To schedule an in-studio live appointment with Kristy, contact hello@provisionstudio.com or text/call 256-483-2469. Follow Kristy McKinney on Instagram: @imperfectpilates Gait Happens (You can find them on Instagram @gaithappens) Want great toe separators or shoe lists for reviews on barefoot, transition, and minimal shoes? Check out these resources: Correct Toes Toe Separators on Amazon Need more help? Kristy usually refers to Emily Splichal, who also does virtual consultations.

    Check Out this Episode on Youtube:

    Not only can you listen to The SavvyCast podcast, you can watch it, too! Head on over to the Family Savvy YouTube Channel to watch our discussions.

  • Want to know tips and tricks from an experienced interior designer on how to decorate your home? Looking to revamp your house on a budget? Seeking out the newest design trends? In this episode of The SavvyCast, Laura Dockery of Laura Dockery Design joins the podcast to answer YOUR questions—both big and small—about Interior Design.

    Here is what you’ll find in this episode:

    What are the best paint colors to use in your home? If you’re home is full of natural light, then Laura recommends you should consider these paint options: Sherwin Williams Natural Choice (One of Laura’s go-to paint colors) Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White (Another one of Laura’s go-to paint colors) Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee If you’re home doesn’t have a ton of natural light, then here are some paint recommendations that will look fabulous: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace Benjamin Moore White Dove Sherwin Williams Origami White When painting exterior doors, Laura loves to use Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I took her recommendation and painted my own door this color, and I love it! Trim—paint it or don’t paint it? How to choose a grout color When it comes to countertops, which is better: Quartz or Marble? Laura’s recommendations include: Calacatta Laza from MSI Fossil Gray from MSI Calacatta Alto from MSI London Gray from Caesarstone Pure White from Caesarstone Vivid White from Caesarstone How to declutter a space while also maintaining its character What are the benefits to having an interior designer? How to give your home a “makeover” on a budget When designing your home, what are great things to “splurge” on? The best practical ways to design your fireplace Laura loves to use Rasmussen Fireballs in her fireplaces.

    Laura Dockery Design is based in Montgomery, Alabama, but no matter where you live, Laura can help you with all your design needs. She doesn’t have to be on-site in order to get the job done. Whether it’s through a virtual, in-person, or traveling consultation, she can do it!

    Resources Related to this Podcast:

    Laura Dockery Design's Website You can reach Laura and her team at laura@lauradockerydesign.com OR alexw@lauradockerydesign.com. To view more of Laura’s beautiful projects, follow her on Instagram @lauradockery_design.
  • Searching for a new mattress can be a daunting task, because it’s full of researching and testing out what suits you and your needs. Everyone wants to get a great quality mattress without breaking the bank. As many of you know, I’ve been going through the process of purchasing a new mattress, and several of you have asked me about my shopping experience. In this episode, I tell all about the highest recommended mattresses, how I chose my mattress, which mattress I chose and why. This podcast is not sponsored, and these are all my opinions that I hope help you next time you’re in the market for a new mattress!

    Here is what you’ll find in this episode:

    Four Most Highly Recommended Brands Beautyrest Sleep Number Tempur-Pedic Stearns & Foster Pros to a Sleep Number There are 100 different sleep settings. You can control your Sleep Number settings on your phone with the Sleep IQ app. The “Partner Snore” feature on the app allows you to raise your partner’s head slightly to help them stop snoring (without waking them up). Sleep Number has amazing customer service at the local and corporate level. Sleep Number has 3 adjustable base options, which include under bed lighting and foot Cons to a Sleep Number A Sleep Number Flextop mattress can limit the type of sheets you can purchase. If you’re partial to a certain brand or type of sheets, then this is a downside to the Sleep Number Flextop. However, I encourage you to look into their Full or Split mattresses.

    If you’re interested in a Sleep Number mattress, then email me at jamie@familysavvy.com and I’ll send coupons and deals your way! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @family_savvy for more Sleep Number updates.

    Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

    Jonathan Calvano from Sleep Number Follow him on Instagram @jonathan_calvano Red Land Cotton Sheets
  • Many of you asked for a Family Savvy cooking course, and guess what? YOU GOT IT! On this episode, Iris O’Brien, a culinary expert who has worked for publications such as Southern Living, joins the podcast to talk about the upcoming Family Savvy virtual cooking course. Iris has been working alongside Family Savvy to create this cooking course for people who want to have confidence in the kitchen but don’t want to spend the time or money on going to culinary school. We are bringing the restaurant into your own home!

    Here is a sneak peak of what this upcoming course will include:

    Knife Skills and Kitchen Safety- Learn the different types of knives and how to safely use them. I’ve had my fair share of kitchen injuries, and it’s almost always a knife who is the culprit. How to Make Stocks- It’s so important to know how to create delicious stocks and always have some on-hand. You will thank yourself later for this! How to Master Soups- Knowing how to make a flavorful soup is key, and you’ll leave this course knowing how to make a perfect soup. How to Make the Most Mouth-Watering Sauces- Iris is a saucier, and creating sauces is her specialty. You will have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best! Personally, this is the section of the course that I’m most looking forward to. We will learn all about the 5 “mother sauces” as well as the “daughter sauces.” For reference, here are the 5 Mother Sauces: Espagnole Velouté Bechamel Tomato Sauce Hollandaise Here are the 5 Daughter Sauces: Mornay Demi-glace Béarnaise Creole White Wine Sauce

    If this doesn’t make sense now, then that is perfectly okay! You will learn all of this and more through the course. Stay tuned for more information to be announced about the cooking course. Make sure to follow me on Instagram (@family_savvy) for any updates on when the cooking course will be open!

    Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

    Rodney Scott's Vinegar BBQ Sauce Copycat Recipe
  • Topics Discussed in this Podcast

    The one procedure that is the “biggest bang for the buck." The one thing both doctors recommend for women to “add on” while they are having surgery. The truth about neck lifts. The best laser for the face if you are ok with down time. How the Infini works to tighten skin. How the CO2 laser and the Infini are different and how they can be combined for best results. How to determine if insurance will pay for a breast reduction. The breast surgery that has the highest rate of patient satisfaction. The truth about post breast surgery nipple sensation and breast feeding. The doctors’ opinion on “tubeless” tummy tucks. What is involved in a tummy tuck. How long compression garments are worn after a tummy tuck. What about women who don’t want to look like they’ve had a facelift? The type of patient that is the best fit for Dr. Clinton and Dr. Pearce.

    Resources related to this podcast.

    To learn more about Drs. Clinton and Pearce visit:

    https://www.revealbeauty.net/

    or check out their instagram by clicking here

  • In this episode of The SavvyCast, Jamie talks with Steve Cockram and Alexis Girvan about the 100 X Leader Cohort designed to equip people to become leaders worth following.

  • In this episode of The SavvyCast, I talk with Debra Hewitt, my favorite Southern artist who creates beautiful abstracts, watercolors, landscapes, acrylic shadowboxes, intaglios, and more.

    Who is Debra Hewitt?

    A native of Oxford, Mississippi, Debra grew up surrounded by lovely homes filled with antiques and art. Debra developed a love for beautiful things at an early age. As a young girl, she watched her mother, a self-taught artist, find deep enjoyment expressing her style on canvas. Debra lives in Birmingham, Alabama, close in proximity to me. She is one of my closest friends, and I am thrilled to share her beautiful art on Family Savvy.

    How did Debra Hewitt become an artist?

    Self-taught like her mother, Debra began painting over 15 years ago and has never looked back. A graduate of The University of Mississippi, Debra studied Fashion Merchandising and Marketing and began refining her eye for color and design. She began creating small pieces, and gradually the demand for her work grew. Today, her work is in stores across the United States and available online.

    What does Debra Hewitt's art look like?

    Debra Hewitt's beautiful art combines beautiful colors and textures to create soothing landscapes and abstracts. Each piece is unique and signed by Debra with a special scripture written on the back. In addition to canvas paintings, Debra creates stunning acrylics, intaglios, holiday ornaments, and more.

    Debra Hewitt Art and J.H. Ranch Giving Tree

    Debra Hewitt Designs is now a highly successful business, but Debra attributes her talent and success to the Lord's hand. In addition to tithing at her home church, Debra supports J.H. Ranch and sponsors campers through the Giving Tree ministry. Debra truly is making an impact on those around her, one brushstroke at a time!

    Related resources

    Debra Hewitt Art Website: www.debrahewittart.com

    Debra on instagram: @debrahewittart

  • Learn how to be a perfect party host with tips from an expert - Leslie Byars Register - who shares her entertaining advice on The SavvyCast podcast.

    WHO IS LESLIE BYARS REGISTER?

    Leslie worked at Southern Living Magazine for almost a decade as a Senior Photo Stylist in the Foods Department. She has hosted thousands of guests in her own home and curated myriad themed parties and celebrations. She published her tried and true hostessing tips and crowd-pleasing recipes in Leslie’s Party Diaries, a must-have manual for the aspiring hostess.

    TIPS FOR THE PERFECT PARTY.

    In her book and on the podcast, Leslie shares some savvy entertaining tips. Here are just a few.

    Set the table a day or two before the party. Plan in stages (shopping, cooking, decorating). Chill water bottles of water ahead of time. Always serve guests water at the table. Serve new butter (never a used stick). Have salt & pepper shakers readily available. THINGS LESLIE CAN’T PARTY WITHOUT A blowout. (From our mutual friend Chris Pressley, owner of Fringe SoHo Salon.) Good wine. Good is whatever you like; it doesn’t have to be expensive. Sterling silver. Leslie uses this for every occasion. Fresh flowers. Tena Payne pottery. Cloth napkins. Ironing them is part of it; they are crucial. Candles. Unscented candles are best if near the food. Music. The #1 way to prevent “awkward silence.” Friends. The cornerstone of any good party. Her husband (Jon). Her grillmaster and biggest helper. TWO FAMILY SAVVY FAVORITES

    I love all of Leslie’s recipes, but two of my favorites are featured on the blog. Check them out below.

    Mimi’s Old Faithful Lasagna. (A favorite crowd-pleasing dish!) Leslie’s Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa. (A must at Thanksgiving). RESOURCES RELATED TO THIS PODCAST. Instagram: @lesliespartydiaries Blog: dearpartydiary.com Website: lesliespartydiaries.com (recipes, tips, signed book, and more). Books also available on Amazon. Birmingham Home and Garden: Leslie’s featured recipes and seasonal entertaining tips.
  • My friend Marie and I share this Trader Joe's shopping list of 40+ "favorite things" that we recommend and keep in our pantries and freezers.

    Podcast on Trader Joe's favorite things.

    If you love hearing the details on all of the items on the Trader Joe's shopping list, Marie and I discuss it all on the podcast. You can listen by clicking on the podcast player above or on your favorite podcast platform (iTunes, Spotify, etc...). If you enjoy The SavvyCast, I'd be so grateful if you would rate, review and subscribe on iTunes. That would mean the world to me!!!

    Video on Trader Joe's favorite things.

    If you are visual, I share the video version of my conversation with Marie where we discuss our 40+ shopping list of Trader Joe's faves.

    Two Experienced Food Shoppers

    My friend Marie and I both love FOOD and shopping for food!!! We love sharing our favorite finds at all of our local grocery stores and markets, and Trader Joe's is one of our faves. Between the two of us, we came up with a list of 40+ Trader Joe's faves that we will share in this post. Since Trader Joe's rolls out new products frequently, we will be sure to do future posts sharing all the details of what's hot and what's not.

    Resources Related to this Podcast: My yummy Tomato Lentil Soup Recipe (using T.J.'s faves). Podcast with Marie~Everything You Need to Make a Perfect Charcuterie Board. Podcast with Marei~ How an Enneagram 7 Handles Life During a Pandemic.

    I hope this shopping list and our conversation about ways we use our Trader Joe's faves is helpful!!! If YOU have some T.J.'s faves that we didn't mention, PLEASE share them in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

  • I share my best tips and techniques for roasting any vegetable to perfection so that you will ENJOY cooking at home and eating the best vegetables of your life.

    These tips, tricks, and techniques will give you everything you need to know about roasting any (and all) vegetables to perfection!!

    In this episode of The SavvyCast, I share everything you need to know about roasting any vegetables into a perfectly delicious side dish for your family!

    In this recent blog post, I shared the best ways to prepare and roast vegetables. This post received such a positive response, and many readers emailed or messaged me with more questions on the subject. I decided to share most of what was asked in podcast form. It is often easier to "talk through something" when discussing food!

    In this podcast episode, I discuss must-have ingredients, helpful kitchen tools, and cooking techniques to make your roasted veggies crispy and flavorful!

    Questions that I answer in this podcast.

    What temperature is best for roasting vegetables? How do you roast vegetables without drying them out? Which oil is best for roasting vegetables? How long do you roast vegetables at 425 F? What vegetables can be roasted together? Essential pantry items for roasting vegetables. Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil) Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil California Olive Ranch EVOO Trader Joe’s Sicilian EVOO Trader Joe’s Avocado Oil or EVOO spray (supplements the above but does not substitute for full oil) Good quality kosher salt. Morton Kosher Salt Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt Coarse Ground Pepper Kitchen Tool Essentials: Extra Large Baking Sheet USA Extra Large Sheet Baking Pan Nordic Ware Jumbo Baking Sheet Good Quality Knives 7” Cutco Chef’s Knife Santoku 7" Chef’s Knife Large flexible turner. OXO Fish Turner (fish spatula) Best Cooking Techniques for the Best Results The ideal temperature for roasting just about any vegetable is 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil/Season your veggies by putting them in a bowl and drizzle, toss, and massage. Toss and Flip Veggies when cooking. Once they are pulled out of the oven, drizzle a tad bit of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to add flavor. Use Ghee (Clarified Butter) or Pure Butter Spray to add even more flavor. Toss a handful of parmesan on top of roasted veggies.

    I hope this podcast episode helps you achieve some deliciously crispy roasted veggies that you’ll want to make over and over again. If these suggestions have helped you, feel free to let me know! I would love to hear how your veggies turned out.

    Resources related to this podcast.

    Blog post~How to Make Oven Roasted Vegetables That are Absolutely Delicious~with recipes.

  • In this episode of The SavvyCast, Emma Tarence shares how life coaching helped her navigate a difficult first semester of college. Her life coach, Alexis Girvan, joins us to share insight into Emma's journey and the difficulty many college students are facing in today's culture.

    This is a follow-up episode to the May 2020 podcast~Life Coaching, Personal Growth, and Change.

    In this episode of The SavvyCast, Emma Tarence and Alexis Girvan, Emma’s life coach, join Jamie to follow up on Emma’s life coaching experience. After being coached for a year and a half by Alexis, Emma says that 2020 was a big year of growth for her due to the guidance of life coaching. Life coaching helped Emma tremendously throughout quarantine, and it supported her through her difficult first semester of college.

    In this episode you’ll hear:

    The differences between therapy and life coaching. How life coaching is beneficial for ANY age, especially college students. The tangible steps involved in Alexis's life coaching methodology. How life coaching impacted Emma’s first semester of college at Auburn University. How life coaching has benefitted the entire Tarence family.

    ” Also, Alexis Girvan appeared on another episode of The SavvyCast that was released in April 2020 called “Let’s Talk: What is RAG and why is it important.” If you haven’t already, feel free to give both of these episodes a listen!\

    Resources related to this podcast: Part 1 of Emma's journey can be found in Life Coaching, personal growth and change Emma on instagram @emmatarence Alexis Girvan at alexisgirvan.com Alexis on instagram @alexisgirvan Another podcast with Alexis: What is RAG and why is it important?
  • In this episode of The SavvyCasst, Jamie answers questions about her exercise routine, healthy meal prep, and more.

    New Q & A Episodes with Jamie

    Once a month, Jamie will be answering reader/listener questions on ANY topic. This is the first episode of this Q & A format, and it will be hosted alongside Finlay Coupland, Jamie's Instagram and social media manager. Questions for Jamie can be submitted on her Instagram (@family_savvy), on the blog, or by emailing her at jamie@familysavvy.com.

    Questions answered in this podcast. What made you want to start your blog/podcast? Do you experience sadness after Christmas and if so, how do you handle it? What are some exercise routines that work for you and how do you stick to them? How do you stay so thin over 50 with your yummy recipes? Need tips!!! How do you organize your meals and/or meal prep? Resources related to this podcast. Some of My Favorite Easy & Healthy Weeknight Meals. (Podcast with recipes + favorite products). How Pilates Helps a Body. (Podcast about the benefits of Pilates with certified Pilates instructor Ellen Italliander). Submit questions to Jamie on Instagram: @family_savvy

    Thank you so much for listening to my podcast!!!! If you haven't already, please rate, review, and subscribe to The SavvyCast on iTunes! I would be SO very grateful!!!

  • In this episode of The Savvycast, Ellie Hiller of Vulcan Nutrition shares how she helps her clients achieve their weight and wellness goals without guilt, frustration, or deprivation.

    Ellie Hiller shares why she transitioned from being a full-time RN to becoming a personal nutrition coach with Vulcan Performance. She discusses her passion for keeping clients "out of the hospital" through prevention. Her aim is to help clients become their healthiest and best so that they will live their best lives.

    In this podcast, we discuss the following:

    Why one-on-one coaching works best for most clients. What is involved in the coaching process? How Ellie helps clients achieve wellness without deprivation.

    Ellie offers a free "vision call" to all potential clients who want to know more about her personalized nutrition coaching. She and her husband, Sean Hiller, work to help clients in the areas of prevention, rehabilitation, and overall wellness.

    How to reach Ellie Hiller:

    For a free phone consultation with Ellie visit www.thevulcannutrition.com @elliehiller on Instagram
  • Here's how to grocery shop + meal prep for Christmas day when grocery stores are closed and you want the family to "feed themselves" while you enjoy your day.

    In the podcast, I "walk you through" the grocery aisles to choose food for Christmas Day. I also share how to make my famous "peach tea" and simple syrup. I hope this is helpful to you on a day that you want to spend relaxing (not cooking).

    Food for Christmas Day

    When grocery stores close for 24 hours on Christmas day, it is great to be fully prepared with food in the pantry and the fridge. Here is my grocery list for pre-Christmas Day shopping. I also share how I instruct everyone that "DIY" dining is the name of the game after everyone enjoys Christmas morning. After all, Mama (or dad in some cases) has cooked, wrapped, and cleaned non-stop and needs to enjoy the day like everyone else.

    The following foods are on my Christmas day grocery list. I buy these things so that we will have plenty of food and snacks on hand for the 12-24 hours that grocery stores are closed. We have several "meals" that we have enjoyed on Christmas day over the years. Taco bar, DIY sandwiches, DIY salads, etc...Below is a list that encompasses most of what you need to make any of these meals available to your family on Christmas day.

    Sliced deli meat + cheese Sabra or Boar's Head hummus My Three Sons Pimento Cheese White Queso (La Banderita?) Fresh Gourmet Salsa Pita Bread or flatbread Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, washed Romaine, carrots, cauliflower & broccoli (bagged), avocadoes milk, yogurt, sour cream, Dean's French onion dip, eggs, sharp cheddar 3 lbs package ground turkey + taco seasoning Good Seasons Italian Dressing Crystal Light Peach Tea Sandwich bread + small soft rolls or yeast rolls + Carb Balance soft tortillas chips, Tostitos, Wheat Thins or Simple Mills crackers paper plates + bowls Meal prep for Christmas Day Make simple syrup equal parts sugar + water; put in the fridge. Make salad dressing from a Good Seasons packet. Boil some eggs for salad. Make tuna salad & chicken salad (or buy locally). Brown ground turkey; make taco meat with it. Put in a container in the fridge. Cut fruit and bag/refrigerate. Chop lettuce, tomatoes & all veggies for tacos. Grate cheese. Put in containers in the fridge. Place white queso near all of this. Make peach tea with simple syrup. Give everyone instructions for "serve yourself" dining. Tell everyone where all the food is located and what the options are. What foods are where. Specify paper plates, bowls & utensils. Remind them that mom (or the cook) is off-duty:-) Enjoy your Christmas day!!!
  • For an elegant holiday meal, consider one of these three beef tenderloin recipes + sides and desserts, and make a meal fit for royalty!

    In the podcast, I give details about the beef tenderloin recipes shared in the post. I also talk about the beef tenderloin that I picked out this week to serve for Christmas Eve dinner. Then I share some of the inside scoop in the best recipes and sides to go with beef tenderloin.

    What is beef tenderloin?

    Beef tenderloin is one of the most tender muscles of a cow. It runs from the last ribs of the cow back to the rear hip. The muscle is responsible for moving the leg forward, but not for lifting it. That lack of resistance work translates to amazing tenderness when cut for steak or a roast. It is also one of the most sought-after and priciest cuts of beef. Filet mignon steaks are cut from beef tenderloin.

    What is the difference between prime and choice beef tenderloin?

    Prime is the top grade of beef. Prime beef tenderloin and filet mignon steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting, or grilling. Choice beef is high quality but has less marbling (fat) which adds flavor. Choice beef tenderloin and filet mignons are also suited for dry-heat cooking. Some people are connoisseurs of beef and are willing to pay more for higher quality. I have had great results with both prime and choice. This year, I bought prime beef tenderloin from Costco that was labeled "prime peeled extreme" meaning it was completely trimmed and oven or grill ready. I found a smaller one and paid $27.99 per pound. This is a definite splurge, but it will be served for our Christmas Eve meal with guests, so I justified the expense.

    Do you sear beef tenderloin before cooking it?

    This is a personal preference. I prefer searing it, as I think it makes a prettier more flavorful crust. You can get a wonderful result either way. Julie's Montreal Steak beef tenderloin actually sears itself in the oven with high heat. The oven might be a bit messy after making this one, but foil could be used to shield the upper oven. I use these oven liners in both my ovens and would not go a day without them. They make any sticky or burned mess a non-issue.

    Three fabulous beef tenderloin recipes.

    You can link to Company's Coming Beef Tenderloin" in this blog post. This recipe was shared with me almost 2 decades ago by my dear friend Ashley Polk. It is as elegant a beef tenderloin as you'll ever make or eat. The ingredients do call for a very fine dry sherry that isn't inexpensive. If you can't find the specific sherry, just buy a good one. As for cooking wine or sherry, I never recommend it. If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it.

    My favorite beef tenderloin: Company's Coming Roast Beef Tenderloin

    My favorite side to go with beef tenderloin are these Gourmet Gruyere Cheese Grits.

    My favorite salad to go with beef tenderloin is this Easy Peasy Baby Bleu Salad.

    My favorite dessert to go with beef tenderloin is this Bellini's White Chocolate Bread Pudding.

    My friend Mikayla Delessandro served this beef tenderloin at a party she and her husband hosted. It was FABULOUS!!!! If you are a lover of Dale's marinade (as am I), this is one you will want to consider making.

    My dear friend Julie Collier shared this recipe with many of our "mom circle" over a decade ago. This recipe is NOWHERE to be found online (I searched and searched). The butcher at Julie's favorite Sprouts shared it with her "verbally" and she wrote it down for future reference. I've made this, and it is delicious!!!

    For a perfect and impressive accompaniment to beef tenderloin, you can serve the fabulous Burgandy Mushrooms in the recipe box below. In the recipe notes, you'll find instructions for making these mushrooms ahead of time. You can refrigerate or freeze them, which is GREAT for party planning!!!

    I hope one or more of these recipes will be helpful to you this holiday season or ANY time you want to serve a fabulous meal to the ones you love. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you and yours joy and blessings for this year and the years to come.

  • I share my favorite athleisure wear and how to style it for women 50+ who want to be cute, comfy and age-appropriate.

    Let's talk about athleisure.

    I decided to do a blog post + podcast on athleisure since I have gotten many DM's lately asking where I get certain items that I'll be sharing in the post. So if you were hoping for recipes, stay tuned. Lots of them are coming as we head into Christmas!!

    2020 is the year of athleisure.

    I doubt there has been any year better for athleisure sales than 2020. Comfy and casual just makes more sense now more than ever as we all navigate limited gatherings and mask-wearing. As I watched many stores close during the pandemic, one of my favorites~Athleta~never missed a beat. On my many trips to shop there, it was almost always busy and regularly getting in new styles. Now that many of us have returned to exercise studios and gyms, the studio to street style of athleisure just makes sense.

    My favorite Athleisure for women 50+

    It can be frustrating at times to find athleisure leggings, tights, and tops that fit well and look flattering on a 50+ frame. If I had to pick one store that I love the most, it would be Athleta. I can always find something there that is cute, comfy, and perfect for my age and stage of life. I just love that Athleta has so many CYA options (cover your assets). These are tops that come down long enough to cover some or all of the "bum" that many of us want to cover lol!

    My athleisure "basics" and must-haves.

    My athleisure basics include a few styles that I buy in different colors and patterns. I also have a few styles of footwear that I almost always choose to wear with my athleisure. Here are the essentials that I keep in my closet.

    Turtlenecks. These are my go-to almost year round. I have them in wool, cotton, and blends in various colors and pattersn. I wear them with everything and dress them up and down. Tanks. A tank that fits well is basic. When you find one that you love, buy it in several colors. You can wear a great tank with running shorts, leggings, skirts and more. Throw a cardigan over a tank and add some fun jewelry, and you'll look great for lunch with the girls. I love tanks that can be pulled down to CYA or pulled up when I am wearing shorts. Athleta has several styles that fit the bill. Leggings. I think that I live in leggings lol! Find the style that fits and feels best on your body type, and keep a variety of colors and patterns on hand to rotate with all the tops~tanks, sweatshirts, turtlenecks, and more. Sweatshirts. There are so many soft, stylish sweatshirts today that go perfectly over a pair of tights or leggings. The blue camo sweatshirt that I am wearing with the navy shine tights is one of my favorite pieces. Tips for sizing Athleta clothing.

    I find that tanks and tops at Athleta are pretty consistently true to size (TTS). I almost always wear a small in tanks and sweatshirts UNLESS I want to go roomier. The navy camo sweatshirt I am wearing in the photo is a medium, as I wanted it to be a smidge longer and looser to pair with the tights. If the label says "relaxed fit" on anything, I usually size down.

    Shoes that look great with athleisure.

    Who doesn't love wearing cute & comfy sneakers? I do, and thankfully, they look great with most athleisure. Leggings, tights, and front zip skirts or skorts all look great with athletic sneakers and fashion sneakers. I see women styling athleisure with everything from running shoes (On Cloud are hugely popular) to Golden Goose to everything in between. Booties and platform wedges also tend to look great with the leggings and tights.

    Turtlenecks are an athleisure staple.

    I can't have too many turtlenecks. They are my go-to to throw on with a pair of tights or leggings. Even in spring and warmer months, I have a supply of lightweight turtlenecks that I pull out. My lightweight ones come in handy when nights get cool or when the pilates studio is cold when I go to early morning class. A black and white turtleneck are esssentials, but if you find one that you love, stock up in all colors.

    Here are some of my current top picks and how I am styling them.

    Below are my athleisure staples, most of which I am wearing in the photos or that are in my closet. They are my favorite leggings, tights, turtlenecks, tops and sneakers. For those of you looking for some new pieces and ways to style them, I hope this is helpful!

    Do you love athleisure? If so, please share your favorite brands/styles in the comments below! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

  • South Louisiana native Duane Donner gives us an inside look into all things Cajun, from the culture to the celebrations, to foods, recipes, and more.

    Who is Duane Donner?

    Duane Donner is the Founder and CEO of Founders Partners. His family has Cajun roots, and Duane holds fast to his Cajun heritage and traditions today. He is famous for throwing some of the best crawfish boils ever, and his Cajun cooking is second to none.

    A few topics we discuss. What does it mean to be Cajun? Turducken. What it is and how it is made. Crawfish boil 101. Roux~it's a process. Creole and Cajun~how they differ. Cajun dialect and accent. Duane shares some favorite recipes.

    Duane shares several of his favorite recipes which can be found on Family Savvy.

  • In this episode of The SavvyCast podcast, I share my recipe and tips + tricks for this Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup. It is a crowd-pleasing soup that your family will love!!!

    Some recipes are better "talked through" over the fence, on the phone, or in person. This spicy hamburger vegetable soup is one of those recipes, so I decided to talk through it on this episode of The SavvyCast. If you don't want to listen, you can jump straight to the recipe on this blogpost with the recipe.

    Soup weather is here, so I decided to "talk through" one of my favorite soups and most popular recipes~Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup. It is a hearty, savory, meat & potatoes soup that gets a spicy kick with some of my secret ingredients.

    Link to the Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup

    The Best Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup Ever!

    Tips I Share on making Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup Exactly how to brown the "hamburger meat" for the best flavor & color. How and why it is best to saute onion separately (not with the ground beef). How to make your beef broth richer with beef bouillon or beef base. My favorite potato hack for this recipe and how it keeps your from peeling & cutting potatoes. Why potatoes and carrots should always be "steamed to tender" before adding to any soup. My favorite ways to steam potatoes and carrots. My favorite way to eat this soup. Canned green beans vs frozen (I have a clear opinion). Frozen onion vs fresh? (Again, I have a clear opinion). Why long, low and slow is always best when making soup(s). Links to other soups discussed in the podcast. If you want a meatless soup that is hearty and delicious, try Grandma Grace’s Vegetable Soup. My family’s favorite soup of all time is this Brunswick stew made in a slow cooker. It is fabulous!! Zane’s mom makes this Italian Sausage & Cheese Tortellini Soup for Christmas weekend, and it is AMAZING!!!! Please rate, review, and subscribe!

    I would be SO grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate, review, and subscribe to The SavvyCast on iTunes!!!! It makes such a huge difference:-) As always, I am so grateful to all of you who listen.