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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

Honey Poached Pears with Dark Chocolate Sauce 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!


This dessert is absolutely spectacular. The poached pear and chocolate blend together in a marvelous way to create a dish that pairs perfectly with the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine adds a crisp balance to the sweetness of the dish. On the more decadent side, my fiancé and I split one pear, and it was the perfect amount.


Make sure you read through the recipe before you begin as there are a few steps you will want to complete before starting. The pears need to chill for 2 hours before topping with chocolate so account for this extra sitting time. When it comes to making a double boiler one website suggested you can use two pots stacked, however, I would recommend a glass bowl on top of a pot so you can see how hot the water is below. I used a pot and my chocolate got a bit too hot and overly thick.



Honey Poached Pears with Dark Chocolate
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• 2.42MB

Makes 6 servings

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes + 2 Hours for chilling

Cook Time: 45 Minutes


Ingredients for Pears:

*6 Bosc pears, firm, with stem still attached (buy these firm and 3 days before you need them so they can ripen during this time).

*1 (750-ml) bottle dry vermouth

*1 cup water

*6 tablespoons honey

*1 pinch flaky salt, plus more to finish (Flaky salt is different than regular salt. You need flaky. Maldon is a good brand.)


Preparation for Pears:

*Find a pot that comfortably fits the 6 pears in a standing position (3-quart saucepan). Don’t add the pears, yet.

*Add the vermouth, water, honey and a pinch of salt to the pot.

*Set on the stove over medium heat to bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves.

*Peel the pears in big, long strips from the top to almost the bottom. Stem stays attached to the pear.

*Carefully add the pears to the simmering poaching liquid. Cover the pears with a lid that’s one size too small for the pot, so it helps to keep the pears submerged.

*Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer (boiling is too harsh for the fragile fruit).

*Simmer the pears, covered, for 10 to 25 minutes. (Mine took about 20 minutes)

*Turn them every so often so they cook evenly.

*After 10 minutes, start checking them often so they don’t overcook.

*To check: Pierce the bottom of the pear with a cake tester or toothpick; it should meet little resistance. Since the pears will continue to cook off the heat (thanks to carry-over cooking), you want them slightly less tender than you’d like to serve them.

*After you’ve removed the pears, raise the heat under the pot and bring sauce to a boil.

*Boil for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened into a syrupy consistency.

*Pour the syrup over the pears.

*Refrigerate until totally chilled, at least 2 hours.


Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce:

*8 ounces chopped dark semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

*7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

*1/2 cup sugar

*1/2 cup almond milk

*1/4 cup hot water

*1 teaspoon vanilla

*1 pinch salt


Preparation for Chocolate Sauce:

*Combine the first five ingredients in the top of a double boiler.

*Simmer on a medium low heat and stir until chocolate is smooth, about 5 minutes.

*Remove from heat and add vanilla and pinch of salt.


To Serve the Pears:

*Add each whole pear to a shallow bowl.

*Pour an even amount of syrup on top of each pear.



Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib