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Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Alina Gersib

Bananas Foster Pancakes with Cinnamon Butter Taste Test



Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe comes courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

www.thefrankincensetree.com

info@thefrankincensetree.com

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!


If you are looking for an absolutely decadent dish, this is it! I am not exaggerating when I say that this bananas foster topping is one of the most delicious treats I have ever tasted. The combination of maple syrup and bananas creates an almost caramelly flavor, if you are a lover of caramel, this topping will be one of your new favorites. Not only is it delicious with the pancakes but it could also go well with a bowl of plain greek yogurt for an indulgent tasting dessert that would be on the healthier end! The tanginess of the yogurt would pair delightfully with the sweetness of the topping.


Growing up each year for our birthdays my mom would cook me and my siblings a special breakfast of our choice. My go-to was waffles with whipped cream and peaches, but if I knew this existed back then, I think my choice would have been different. If you have kiddos at home, this would be a great special birthday breakfast dish!


Bananas Foster Pancakes with Cinnamon Bu
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• 1.88MB

Makes 12 mini pancakes

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients for the Pancakes:

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

*3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

*1 teaspoon salt

*1 tablespoon granulated sugar

*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*11/4 cups milk

*1 egg, room temperature

*3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preparation for the Pancakes:

*Sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and ground cinnamon twice into a large mixing bowl.

*Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

*In a separate bowl add vanilla, egg and (slightly) cooled melted butter. Beat lightly until blended.

*Lightly beat in milk.

*Add the wet ingredients to the well of the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

*Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium to medium high heat.

*Pour batter onto griddle in approximately 1/4 cup increments.

*Lightly brown on both sides and serve warm.



Ingredients for the Bananas Foster Topping:

*1/4 cup butter

*2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*1/4 cup maple syrup

*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

*2 firm, ripe medium bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices

*1/4 cup pecan halves


Preparation for the Bananas Foster Topping:

*In 10 inch nonstick skillet, toast pecans over medium low heat until fragrant.

*Transfer pecans from skillet to a cutting board.

*Coarsely chop pecan pieces. Set aside.

*Using the same skillet, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and vanilla extract over medium-high heat.

*Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick.

*Lower heat to medium.

*Add banana slices, gently spooning sauce over each slice. (I recommend tilting the pan to the side in order to pool the sauce, this makes it easier to spoon over the bananas)

*Cook about 3 minutes, or until bananas are glossy and coated with sauce.

*To serve, place 2 pancakes on each individual plate.

*Spoon banana slices and sauce over pancakes.

*Garnish with chopped pecans and whipped cream, if desired.

*Serve immediately.



Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib