Tag Archives: More is More Mom

A Little Pampering; Evan Healy’s Natural Skincare at Whole Foods Wheaton


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more healthy skin care! I was pretty excited when Wheaton’s Whole Foods invited me to test Evan Healy’s line of natural skincare products. While I have never been prone to breakouts, when I was a teenager, I tried it all; the more lotions and potions the better. Now that I am a mom of teenagers of my own, I find that I spend very little time on the care of my own skin. A bar of soap and tap water is the extent of my skincare routine. How sad is that?

 

I love that Evan Healy’s approach is based on the premise that the less you interfere with the skin’s own ability to achieve balance the better. She developed her line by pairing organic ingredients with non-invasive treatment methods; straight forward and simple. It’s the perfect philosophy for me.

 

I chose the Rose Treatment line, which smells absolutely Heavenly! The trial kit lasts for about 14 days; enough time to get a real sense of the products effectiveness. The regimen couldn’t be easier;

  • In the morning, cleanse with the Rose Cleansing Milk. For someone like me who doesn’t care for a lot of fuss, the texture was delightfully light and creamy.
  • Follow up with the Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum and a spritz of the Rose Geranium Facial Tonic. It’s sooooo fresh and hydrating.
  • On days that my face was feeling a little dry, I used the Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer. I loved that all of the products smelled great, but more importantly didn’t leave my skin feeling sticky or heavy.

 

 

  • Night-time was also a breeze. After I removed my eye makeup, I simply cleansed with the Cleansing Milk and sprayed my face with the Facial Tonic. With this simple prep, my skin was allowed to renew overnight.

 

  • Once a week, I set aside a few minutes to try the French Rose Clay Mask. It exfoliates, detoxifies and absorbs excess oil. It left my skin feeling refreshed!

 

This Saturday, January 21, at 10am, Whole Foods in Wheaton is hosting an Evan Healy event. I’m thrilled to have been invited to join the panel discussion, complete with free samples for those who RSVP in advance! Who doesn’t love swag?!? Simply contact the store to reserve your spot 630-588-1500.

 

More natural ingredients, more healthy skincare, more Evan Healy, more Whole Foods……

 

To schedule an Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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We Like Pie!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more pie! A couple times a year, Chuck and I get together with our favorite hockey friends. These are families that we have spent Thanksgiving morning, New Year’s Eve and practically every night and weekend with since our boys were Mites. With their hockey careers behind us, and the boys off to college, it was time to get together and compare notes. What better way to finish off a delicious dinner than with pie!

 

There’s just something about that perfect combination; peanut butter and chocolate (Reece’s totally has it going on).

 

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie Topped with Chocolate Drizzle and Honey Candy

Crust;

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup brown sugar

 ¼ tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¾ stick melted butter

 

Pre-heat oven to 325°

In a food processor, combine;

Graham cracker crumbs

Brown sugar

Salt

Nutmeg

 

In a medium size bowl, mix together;

Graham cracker crumb mixture

Melted butter

Stir until completely well blended

 

In a 9” pie pan, firmly press crumbs to form a crust

 

Bake for 15 minutes, until a nice golden brown (do not over bake)

Let cool

 

Filling;

8 large egg yolks

12 Tbsp sugar (6 and 6)

1 ½ cups milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

¾ cup butter at room temperature

1 cup of creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar

 ½ tsp salt

 

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, combine;

Egg yolks

6 Tbsp Sugar

Beat at a high speed until nice and creamy

 

In a large sauce pan, combine;

Milk

6 Tbsp sugar

 

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan

Bring to a boil, until the sugar is dissolved

 

Remove the bean

 

With the hand mixer running, add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture

 

Once well combined, pour the new mixture back into the sauce pan

Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat

Remove from the heat and whisk for a minute until it turns into custard

 

Place custard in a bowl, beat on high using the hand mixer

Mix in the butter 1 Tbsp at a time

Add peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar and salt

Mix until well blended

 

Pour filling into crust

 

Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours

 

Chocolate Drizzle;

2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 ½ Tbsp butter

 

Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan

In a glass bowl that fits over the sauce pan, place the chocolate and butter

Mix well as the chocolate and butter melt

 

Honeycomb Candy;

1 ½ cups sugar

3 Tbsp corn syrup

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp baking soda, sifted

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In a saucepan, combine;

Sugar

Corn syrup

Honey

¼ cup of water

Stir over medium heat, until sugar dissolves

Increase heat to high and bring to a boil

Holding the handle of the pan, gently swirl the mixture until it turns a warm golden color

Quickly add the baking soda (which will get super foamy)

Whisk until just combined

Pour candy over the parchment paper lined baking sheet

Place in the freezer to set more quickly

Once very cool, break into bite size pieces

 

To dress the dessert;

Drizzle chocolate mixture over the peanut butter filling, leaving a border around the edge

Pile Honeycomb pieces on top of the chocolate drizzle

Top with peanuts

Shaved chocolate

Drizzle with some of the remaining chocolate.

 

This is one serious dessert. Serve and Enjoy!

 

More old friends, more Mite hockey players, more family trips, more good times……

 

 To schedule an Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Back to School Inspired Home Decor….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more back to school home décor! I have always been in love with the rituals of starting a new school year. Perhaps it’s my obsession with footwear, but to me, the very best part of back to school shopping is the quest for the perfect shoe. When I was a little girl, my mom would take me to Chicago’s Kotz Shoe Store at Lincoln and Belmont. I was like a kid in a candy shop; shiny cordovan penny loafers, topsiders, saddle shoes (I like retro), clogs (it was the 70’s) and sparkly white tennis shoes.

 

The next best thing to shoe shopping is finding the perfect school supplies; designed to help you stay organized and motivated in style! While Nick has always been perfectly happy with boring solid colored notebooks and folders and those standard orangey-yellow Ticonderoga #2 pencils, Amanda is much more like her mother in her desire for flights of fancy; patterned, colorful, glittery, hip and happening.

 

But why should the kids have all of the fun? With reading, writing and arithmetic as my inspiration, I was scouring the aisles of my favorite haunts for ideas for bringing the back to school experience to our home décor.

 

I think a globe is a great addition to any home. It’s perfect on a shelf, a counter or an end table. Easy accessibility is the key so the kiddies can become geographically literate. Maybe I should have spent more time at the library rather than at the shoe store!  

 

Reading is, of course, fundamental. As an Interior Designer, I’m always surprised when clients ask me what they should put on their book shelves. The answer is obvious; BOOKS! However, we can make our displays more interesting by intermingling treasured photographs, objects and bookends. I am a huge fan of elephants, which is why I was immediately drawn to these bookends in particular, but there are so many different options allowing us to express our individual personalities.

 

For the math and strategy minded, why not a little game of Tic-Tac-Toe? Even though pencil and paper is simple, a statement game goes a long way. Why not keep it on the kitchen counter or on the coffee table in the family room?

 

It’s always a good idea to get on your teacher’s good side by bringing her an apple (or to sweeten the deal, a caramel apple!). I came across this fabulous three tiered basket, which would be perfect for storing apples, amongst other things. If you are a fan of going big or going home, why not snag this apple sculpture and perch it on your kitchen island or counter to bring in a little flavor of the season?

 

Pretty fabric desk accessories will keep you organized, yet stylish. Rather than stick all of your family’s artwork and important notes on the refrigerator, why not pin them on a fabulously framed cork board or French memo board? So much more beautiful! While you’re at it, replacing ho-hum yellow legal pads with decorative and ornate paper makes all of our prose, be it a laundry list or a love letter, a little bit more important.

 

What better way to shed some light on your reading, writing and arithmetic than with sassy new table lamps? Bright colors, bold stripes and striking silhouettes make a powerful statement in any nook or cranny.

 

The most memorable addition to our back to school home décor preserves those treasure moments in time. Capture those memories with candid shots, displayed in frames on an end table, shelf or artfully arranged on the wall.

 

More reminiscing, more re-living our innocent youth, more back to school shopping, more home décor……

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Sweet And Savory Pork Chops on the Grill!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more maple pork chops! I’m sorry; nothing says summer like the beautiful blend of sweet and savory on the grill. While I’m not particularly a briner, whenever I do think of brining, Thanksgiving turkey is the first thing that comes to mind. However, these Maple-Brined Pork Chops served with Maple and Butter Glazed Grilled Peaches were to die for!

 

Brining is meant to make the meat moist, and boy did it ever! The beauty is that the meat is prepped in the brine the night before and when you’re ready for dinner, you just toss the chops on the grill, which is easy and awesome.

 

Maple-Brined Pork Chops

Maple and Butter Glazed Grilled Peaches

Creamy Homemade Risotto

 

Maple Brined Pork Chops

 

3 cups of water

¾ cup chicken broth

2 tsp allspice

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf, crumbled

2 Tbsp salt

3 Tbsp maple syrup

4 boneless pork chops

 

In a sauce pan, pour;

Water

Broth

Allspice

Garlic

Bayleaf

Salt

Syrup

 

Bring to a boil, stirring until salt is dissolved

 

Allow the liquid to cool

Place pork chops and the liquid into a re-sealable baggie

Chill over night

 

Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat

Remove pork chops from brine, discarding the liquid

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper

Grill for 3-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through

Remove from the grill and set aside

 

Maple and Butter Glazed Grilled Peaches

I chose 3 peaches and 3 plums. While the plums were very nice, the grilled peaches struck a perfect note with the pork.

3 peaches

3 plums

Slice in half and remove pits

Pre-heat grill to medium-high

 

Combine;

2 Tbsp melted butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup

 

Sprinkle peaches and plums with a little salt and pepper

Brush butter and syrup generously onto peach and plum halves

Place fruit face side down on the grill for approximately 3-4 minutes

 

 

Creamy Homemade Risotto

This is one of my favorite sides. It’s elegant and delicious!

 

1 – 32 oz container of chicken broth

8 Tbsp butter

¾ cup diced onion

1 cup of Arborio rice

¾ cup white wine

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a sauce pan, heat broth and reduce to simmer

 

In a skillet, melt 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat

Add onion and sauté for approximately 3 minutes, until nice and tender

Add rice, stirring to coat with the butter

 

Add the wine, simmering for approximately 3-4 minutes, until the wine evaporates

Add the broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring until the broth is absorbed into the rice

It should take 25 minutes or so until all of the broth has been absorbed

Remove from the heat

Add 2 Tbsp of butter

Stir until well combined

Add the cheese, stirring until nice and creamy

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

 

Serve and enjoy a sweet and savory sensation!

 

More maple syrup, more summer grilling, more pork and peaches, more delectable dinners……

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Homegating; Popcorn, Peanuts, Cracker Jack’s and DiGiorno!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more Home-gating! Why head to the stadium to tailgate with the kids piled in the car, packed with everything but the kitchen sink, when you can enjoy the big game in the comfort of your very own home? My mantra is more of everything is always better, especially time spent with family and friends. What better way to re-connect than nibbling and noshing over a tasty buffet while cheering on your favorite team……

I absolutely love entertaining and Homegating provided the perfect party inspiration! As an Interior Designer, I crave authenticity, which is why I was crazy about all of the little details that went into making our Homegating party a huge success.

 

Homegating Dinner Buffet

Popcorn, peanut's and Cracker Jack's

Charming decorations strike the perfect tone; a blue plaid stadium blanket, blue and gold rooter poms, home-made felt pennants and an apothecary jar filled with gumballs in our team colors graced the buffet and bar. A picnic basket, brimming with popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jacks made for an inexpensive and delightful centerpiece.

 

Cold Beverages; soda, wine and Miller Lite....

To get the party rolling, I set up a little bar so our guests could help themselves to cold sodas, wine and long neck bottles of Miller Lite.

 

Wrigley, 92lbs of fun!

For a pre-game warm up, the teenagers amused themselves by playing running bases and Bago’s, while keeping the ball away from our 92lb Chocolate Lab, Wrigley, was the real challenge. To make the day a little more festive, we brought my homemade Wrigley Field replica scoreboard out to the yard so the kids could manually score the game.

 

 

With the concession stand serving as such great inspiration, the menu was easy….

 

Homegating Party Menu

Popcorn, Peanuts and Cracker Jack’s

DiGiorno Pizza

Homemade Nachos

Hot Dog Bar; Chicago Style, BLT and Philly Cheese Dogs

Ooey-Gooey Chewy Bars

 

It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno!

DiGiorno Pizza....

DiGiorno has so many great toppings to choose from, but my people are total meat lovers. They were so crazy for the sausage and pepperoni pizza that there wasn’t a slice left on the tray!

While nachos at the ball park are fine, nothing beats those that I make at home (and for a fraction of the price!). The beauty is that everything can be prepped in advance and tossed in the oven 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Ole!

Nachos:

Pre-heat oven to 400°

2 lbs of ground beef, browned.

2 packets of Taco seasoning, combined with the browned beef according to the package directions.

Refrigerate until ready to use. Warm up in the microwave for 2 minutes when it’s nachos time.

1 large bag of your favorite tortilla chips

1 – 8 cup bag of shredded cheddar cheese

Your favorite toppings, such as;

Diced tomatoes

Diced onions

Sliced olives

Coat a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick spray

Place a layer of tortilla chips in the baking dish

Smother with cheese

Pop into the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt

Add another layer of chips

Cover with browned beef and more cheese

Generously sprinkle with tomatoes and onions

Cover with more cheese

Top with sliced olives

Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese melts

Hot Dog Bar;

Grill hot dogs, slide into a hot dog bun or brat roll, and place on a serving tray

Offer a variety of condiments to build your favorite hot dogs

Chicago Style Dog;

Yellow mustard ~Dill pickle spears ~Diced tomatoes ~ Diced onions ~ Sweet pickle relish ~ Celery salt

BLT Dog;

Mayonnaise ~ Bacon Strips ~ Shredded lettuce ~ Diced tomato

Philly Cheese Dog;

Cheese sauce ~ Bell pepper and onion strips (sautéed in olive oil until tender, about 10-15 minutes) ~ Dash of hot sauce

 

And for dessert…….

Ooey-Gooey Chewy Bars (with Nestlé’s chips)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°

In a large bowl, mix together;

3 cans of sweetened condensed milk

1 box of graham cracker crumbs

Add;

1 bag Nestlé’s milk chocolate chips

1 bag Nestlé’s butterscotch chips

Blend well

Line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray

Spread mixture into the dish

Cook for 30 minutes, or until a light golden brown

Cool until easy to handle

Lift parchment paper out of dish, place on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper (no stick! No mess!).

Cut into bars (I prefer to remove the edges so the bars are nice and even)

Place on a serving dish and enjoy…….   

 

The only thing that beats a visit to your favorite stadium is enjoying a Homegating party with your closest family a friends! Let’s play ball…….

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style Consultation or a speaking engagement, please contact me at moreismoremom@aol.com

I’m excited to have been asked to be a part of this campaign for Collective Bias and DiGiorno; a Homegating Game Time Party! Hosting family and friends, enjoying our buffet and playing games as we cheered on the home team was a blast!

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