Tag Archives: IL

Pork Chops and Applesauce (or Pork Tenderloin with a Sassy Cucumber and Mango Salad)

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more sharing meals together as a family! May was just the busiest month; chock full of exciting Interior Design projects and presenting my Life Style & Entertaining programs. While work is hugely fun, May brought me the happiest of moments…..my Nick came home from college. In fact, my mom accompanied me to College Town USA, where we loaded up all of Nick’s personal belongings; clothes, clothes, golf clubs and more clothes. Rather than race home, we took an overnight detour to Charleston, IL, where Amanda made it to the State Track Meet in the 100m hurdles. Yay!

While everything about Nick being home is awesome, I love when we are all together for dinner. It just feels like everything is right with the world.

As one of our first family meals, I decided to make a fabulous Pork Tenderloin with a sassy side of Cucumber and Mango Salad. Peter Brady was on to something with his, “Pork chops and applesauce.” Pork is absolutely delicious with a side of citrus.

Pork Tenderloin with Cucumber and Mango Salad

Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp All-spice

½ tsp salt

2 – 12 ounce pork tenderloins

4 green onions – white parts chopped and green parts sliced

2 mango’s peeled and chopped

1 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped…..how much you use depends upon how much heat you can take!

Pre-heat oven to 425°

Line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil

In a small bowl, combine;

Brown sugar



Set aside 1 tsp of the brown sugar mixture for the salad

Rub the brown sugar mixture all over the tenderloins and place in the roasting pan

Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 145°

Remove and tent with foil until ready to serve

In a medium bowl, combine;

Green onions (as many as you like)



Jalapeno (I used about 1 tsp)

1 tsp brown sugar mixture

Stir well

Serve with a savory side of brown rice

More tasty pork and citrus, more having Nick home from college, more sharing family dinners together again……

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

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


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Run With It…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more carpet runners! This week I was working on an Interior Design project for one of my clients, which brought me to my absolute favorite place for carpet, Superb Carpet in Wheaton, IL. I was looking for a runner and I had come to the right place. What makes Superb, superb, is the beautiful selection of flooring enhanced by the knowledge and personal attention from owners Mike and Jean Loewe.


The Foyer is an all too often overlooked space. While the function of the entryway may be particular to every family, aesthetically it should always be a reflection of the people that live there. After curb appeal, it’s the very first impression your guests have of your home.


This is the entryway to my home. I absolutely love the tiger print runner on the stairs. It's fabulously neutral with a great big pop of personality!

Though typically a small space, furnishing your foyer can pose decorating dilemmas. The foyer serves as a bridge to many other rooms in your home, and as such needs to compliment a variety of personalities. Whether neutral or bathed in color, the walls needn’t be ignored. An entryway is a great place to display artwork that resonates with the homeowner, expressing their personality.


A small space doesn’t offer much room for a myriad of furnishings, though carving out a nook for a chair or bench provides a place for your guests to rest while adjusting their footwear. A chest of drawers is another useful little item for more storage (and as the More is More Mom®, I’m always looking for more places to stash my treasures). The top of the chest is the perfect place to perch a table lamp and favorite decorative items.


One of the best opportunities for offering BIG impact is through an amazing runner that sets the tone for the rest of the home. Why settle for boring beige when you can add personality and interest through color or pattern or both? There are so many fantastic options:


A classic oriental is an interesting pattern that is extremely forgiving regarding wear and tear. As a total bonus, the variety of colors in the pattern will provide inspiration for a gorgeous color palette.


While some patterns may be symmetrical, they can still be very interesting. For instance, a smartly placed medallion works beautifully in a more traditional setting. On the other hand, a trellis pattern is stunning in a less formal home.  


I’m always a fan of a scroll pattern. I really appreciate the interest in the movement as it makes its way up the stairs. Customarily you’ll find this pattern with either a solid background (which can tend to show lint) or a strie effect (which has more depth and is significantly more forgiving of family life).


Of course, my personal favorite is a touch of animal; tiger, zebra, leopard, cheetah. These patterns are really rather neutral and add a great big pop of style. If you really want to go wowie-zowie, consider and animal print in a great color such as green or red. Now that’s daring!


The fun of Interior Design is taking chances and exploring and experimenting as you create the home of your dreams.


More welcoming entryways, more beautifully appointed rooms, more expressing your personality…..


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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Filed under Entertaining, Interior Design, More is More Mom, Personal Style

Chicks head to the Chick-fil-A…

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more afternoon snacks from the Chick-fil-A! Seriously, we almost never go out to eat; I grocery shop at least four times a week. I fill the cupboards, make a delicious home made meal every night for dinner and bake each week. While my family certainly won’t starve to death, they may die of eat-at-home boredom! When I picked Amanda up from school this week, she suggested an afternoon trip to the Chick-fil-A…..


I am a Chicago girl. Growing up, my family’s favorite dining establishments ran along the lines of Franksville (foot long hot dogs with a self serve condiment bar….extra, extra, extra pickles, please) across from the Friendly Confines, Byron’s on Irving Park and Demon Dogs on Fullerton. We liked El Jardin and Lindo Mexico for Mexican (though every time my cousin Terri would babysit my brother and me she would always want to take us to Pepe’s….ariba, ariba). Pat’s Pizza, formerly on Sheffield, D’Agostino’s and My Pie on Clark were the pizza places that called our names. Never once was there a mention of the Chick-fil-A.

Apparently, Chick-fil-A inspires cult like following in the South. I had never even heard of the Chick-fil-A until three years ago. A little girl (okay, all gymnasts are little) was new to Amanda’s gym, by way of Atlanta. She and Amanda hit it off immediately and they became fast friends. They were so enamored with one another, that when meet season was upon us, they wanted to Road Trip everywhere together. Their season is fast and furious, and for us, because of Nick’s hockey schedule, is typically a mother/daughter bonding experience. Fortunately, BFF and Mrs. BFF, were a mother/daughter duo too, as their fella’s were always playing basketball. So Road Trip we did. We went everywhere together.  
On the road, we discovered a myriad of fast food possibilities. The BFF’s however, thought we had hit the mother load when we arrived at a meet in Indianapolis, IN, to find a Chick-fil-A buried amongst the Potbellies and Noodles & Company. That same spring we were visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Atlanta, and had the opportunity to enjoy a run through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru. Those however, were our only to run ins with such greatness…..until now.

There are only 3 Chick-fil-A’s in the Chicago-land area, and we actually live near one,  which is amazing, because Wrigley and the kids think we live in the most, interminably boring neighborhood ever.   

Well, I did break down and go through the Chick-fil-a drive thru yesterday for an afternoon treat, and the kids loved it. I didn’t get anything, but I must admit a Chick-fil-A chicken breast sandwich, a Cool Wrap or a Chicken Salad sandwich sounds divine. And the Waffle Potato Fries don’t look bad either.

More chicken, more tasty, finger licking, goodness, more love and devotion to reminiscing…..


Filed under Family Life, More is More Mom