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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. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

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.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

  • Alina Gersib

BBQ Chicken Taste Test

Updated: Jul 10, 2020



Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe review and taste test 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!


This Barbeque Chicken was seriously flavor-packed. Between the Texas Rub and the BBQ sauce you’re in for a real treat. When you’re seasoning the meat, if you intend to let it sit and marinate for a bit, lower the amount of rub you add. The Salt-Grass Steakhouse seasoning we used called for a 30-minute marinade, however with the full amount added the chicken ended up quite a bit on the salty side. In fact, if you use a rub with salt, it is best to put it on right before cooking. Salt can dry out your meat. So, either pop the chicken on to the grill really quickly or lower the amount of seasoning if you’re going to let it sit and marinade.



We bought a full chicken to be able to try a variety of cuts. Both of us liked the chicken breast and drumsticks the most. The wings and thighs ended up so salty from the marinade that we’re thinking they’ll make a great addition to a big salad later this week! If you buy a pack of either thighs or wings to cook, we recommend lowering the amount of seasoning that you apply. If you buy a full chicken, when you’re washing the chicken be sure to have paper towels near you and already ripped off the roll as you don’t want to drip any chicken juice on the floor. Second, after cutting it up, instead of throwing away the scraps like the ribs and bottom you can freeze these to use as a base for stock in the future.



Make sure the grill temperature is around 400-450F before putting the chicken on or else it will cook too slowly. It will get tough on the outside while the inside is left undone. We let the meat sizzle for 6 minutes and 30 seconds on each side before checking the internal temperature. The wings and thighs hit 165F quickly, but the breasts and drumsticks took a little bit longer. Keep monitoring the chicken until it hits that magic number. Make sure you check each piece of meat at the thickest point and right next to a bone as this area takes longer to cook. After you pull them off, try them before adding BBQ sauce and then enjoy!



BBQ Chicken - July 4th Outdoor Party
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Serves 12

Preparation: 45 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


Ingredients

4 pounds, 8 pieces cut chicken on the bone (Whole chicken cut up, or your favorite cut of bone-in chicken)

1 cup Texas-Rub spice (Recommend halfling this amount)

1 cup olive oil

Kansas City BBQ sauce (or your favorite brand)

Salt and pepper, to taste (Check your dry rub flavor before adding extra)

Cilantro or Parsley for garnish

Preparation

Wash your chicken under running water, pat dry and place in a large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and mix all together until chicken is coated.

Cook the chicken on a hot grill (At least 400F) or in an oven at 375F for 30 minutes, or until chicken pieces reach internal temperature of 165F. (If grilling, let sit 6 minutes 30 seconds before flipping to the second side for the same amount of time. Then check the internal temperature)

Place cooked chicken in a clean, large mixing bowl and pour BBQ sauce to taste.

Toss well until chicken is nicely coated.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.




Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib

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