Ducks 'n a Row

28 July 2017

Chicken Guacamole Roll Ups Recipe

This easy to make roll up is low-carb and ultra THM-S friendly! I often have it for a snack or light lunch. It is delicious!

Trim Healthy Mama, S meal, low glycemic

I just love eating now that I found Trim Healthy Mama. Very low-carb friendly, this healthy eating plan also allows for good carbs. I can even have fruit! So far, I have lost 11 pounds in 7 months with LOTS of interruptions (Details in my "crisis post") It may sound slow but I have actually lost 75% of the weight I set out to lose. Best news, besides the variety, is the sustainabililty. I know I can do this forever and be very happy, trim and healthy!

So, I came up with this light lunch / snack idea and love it so much that I make a point of having all of the ingredients in the house.  That way I can throw it together anytime.  

Wanted share it with you ...

Chicken Guacamole Roll Ups

low carb snacks

3 slices deli chicken
Wholly Guacamole Spicy Guacamole Minis (1/2)
Shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese
1 - 2 T. sour cream
chopped tomatoes

Lay the chicken slices out flat on a plate
Top on one side with 1 tsp guacamole
Add a pinch of cheese
Dollop sour cream on top
Add a piece of tomato
Fold over or roll up each chicken slice
Grab it
Eat it 

More about: Trim Healthy Mama

More THM Recipes:

This is NOT a sponsored post. I am, however, an Amazon Affiliate⇒ what that means.

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27 July 2017

Ways To Streamline Your Responsibilities In The Midst Of A Crisis

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." 
Henry Kissinger

Can I get that line engraved on a plaque? I will put it over my desk, and in my kitchen, in the bathroom ...and in the car! As Mr. Kissinger implied, if you are going to have a crisis, it really would be nice to be able to schedule it. Crises are unwelcome, unannounced intruders. They just muscle in the door at the wrong time and stay for way too long. 

This has been an interesting year - one emergency after another. It started in January with my husband in the hospital with heart trouble. He came home with lots of instructions and not as strong as he had been - but he was getting better. Next, a wind storm came through the region so big that it actually knocked over the boxcars on a freight train! The power in the whole community was out for for days. Power came on and then over 20 inches of snow fell in a day - blizzard!  After that was over, life became normal, for a while. 

At the end of May, we were back in the thick of it. A number of times in the hospital for hubby. Changes in medications. Loss of mobility for him so almost everything became mine to do. While trying to work everything out as best I could, it became apparent that truly we were in survival mode. 

There is a breaking point. This week I finally admitted that I have battle fatigue. I need a mom ... or a vacation ... or both!  Anyone have a mom they can spare for a little while? LOL 
So, today I just took the morning off. No blogging. No cleaning. I just went out on my deck in the sunshine with my cup of coffee and an inspiring book filled with scripture but mostly I prayed. I started with thanksgiving. There are still lots of things to be glad for. Being thankful brings the not-so-good things into perspective. Next, I poured out my requests to the Lord. Then I gently thought about what can be done to minimize so that I can do the things that really need to be done better.

I say "gently" because I wasn't ready to think too hard about anything so I took my big yellow lab dog, Sadie, for a long overdue walk. Afterward, I came up with some simple things to concentrate on:

1. Recognize what REALLY must be done and what can wait till later or be abandoned forever. 
The prioritization would look something like this:
     a. paying bills MUST happen
     b. balancing the checkbook can wait a few days
     c. building my blogging business gets delayed till sometime in the future

2. Accept that some things may need to be done in a smaller way. My house needs cleaned BIG TIME! I absolutely cannot do it. No time. No energy. Not now. So, I picked just one thing I could do. I vacuumed the carpets. I needed some exercise and knew I would feel so much better after they were done. I was right. But I kept the promise I made with myself and stopped cleaning after that was done.

3. Enlist help. I have reserved this for the more important times when I cannot be in two places at once. At those times I will call my kids or my brother and sister-in-law. 

What I really need is a maid or super-assistant. That isn't going to happen (if it does, first thing she does is clean my house!) 

At the risk of sounding all salesy, I am sincere in saying that getting Amazon Prime has lightened my load. I order all sorts of supplies that normally I would go to the store to purchase. 

For instance, I needed a couple of long sleeved shirts (our summer has been unusally cool) so I bought them through Amazon. There "how does it fit" feature was perfect. Each top is a keeper! Dog food? Amazon! They brought that big 24 bag right to the door in 2 days - FREE shipping! Office supplies? Of course! No traveling for toner again. Groceries? Yes, I have started buying food supplies through them, as well. Amazon Prime is not a maid but definitely like having a shopping assistant! 

4. Conserve energy. Minimize the places you go and the things you do. Pick the most beneficial. Besides going to work and taking hubby to doctor appointments, I made going to a two hour family get together as one of my times out. I needed it!  We had such a good time. It was refreshing.

5. Think happy thoughts. Crisis situations can lead to negative talk. The problem is screaming for attention all of the time. We do need somebody to talk to but the tendency can be to repeat the situation over and over again. 

A little bit of sharing can be therapeutic but dwelling on it - giving it constant attention - can lead to depression. I totally stopped going on my personal Facebook page and I've reduced how many people I share with. I'm believing for this man to be healed. I have to keep my thoughts positive. I stopped watching the news, too. Oh, I keep up-to-date on the basics but I do not feed on it anymore. I'd rather talk and think about good things and I feel much better for it.

Note: this writer is an Amazon affiliate. What that means is that if you first click on an Amazon ad, link or use the Amazon search window on Ducks 'n a Row and then buy something from Amazon, which is at NO extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission. Thank you so much! Do you know that I have some lovely friends who make a point of coming here to go to do all of their Amazon shopping? Wow!

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25 July 2017

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #236

mom bloggers

Most Viewed
Three posts share the spotlight for most viewed this week!

8 Swimming Must Have Items - My Life Abundant

Blackened Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad - Karly's Kulinary Krusade 

Summer's Best Guilt Free Mint Chocolate Chip Popsicles - Candace Woesch

Editor's Pick
Best Bakery Buttercream Frosting - Kleinworth and Co.

So let's get this party started!

This week, if you haven't already, please follow our hosts on Pinterest!
Eclectic Red Barn Pinterest

Here are our simple party rules...
  • Please follow our hosts on this week's social media. 
  • Please TWEET our party   
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like to. No Etsy shops, adult sites or blog parties, please. 
  • Visit others. Let them know you've been there! 
  • If you are NEW,  let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥  Help us find your posts - tell us what number they are? 
  • NOTE: party entries appear in REVERSE. i.e. the most recent entry goes to the top! That way all of our guests will have a chance to be seen no matter when they arrive :)

Don't miss anyother party ... sign up for our email list


Follow our Pinterest board? 

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Twitter Party TONIGHT! #WeekendGetaway

Summer's in full swing, so let's share weekend getaway plans. Have you already taken a summer getaway? Are you still looking for ideas? What do you have in mind for the rest of the summer? Will your weekend getaway be with friends, for couples only or will you bring the kids? 



For all updates including new TWITTER parties and BLOG HOPS ... join our email list ⇒

Email Format

Tell us what your planning and get great ideas during the #WeekendGetaway Twitter Party TONIGHT Tuesday July 25th 8pm.

blogging gals

Come to the #WeekendGetaway Twitter Party

When:   Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 8pm-9pm 
Where: #WeekendGetaway on Twitter 
How:     To participate follow your hosts and panelists:
Learn more about Twitter parties here!

Tweet an invitation to the party here!


Planning on joining us? Let us know here by adding your Twitter URL below ( 

Note: this author is an Amazon Affiliate

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24 July 2017

Help Your Aging Parents The Most By Working As A Team

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone #ConquerInco #Collective Bias 

It is to be expected that as our parents age their need for our assistance will increase. Sometimes we recognize it. Sometimes we do not. From experience, I can say that the more frequently you check in on mom and dad (or grandma and grandpa) the more likely it will be that you will recognize when things have changed.

My mom was the first to decline. That was a surprise to all of us since she had been a "force to be reckoned with" in her younger years. She was the planner. She was our "life guard." She was an in-charge kinda gal. When she was no longer able to care for herself,  Dad did most of it for her.

After mom passed away, Dad started losing ground.  Each of us took up parts of the job of taking care of him, according to what we were able to do. My brother and his wife did the lion's share of the work in the beginning.

Happily, when dad needed us most,  there was so much more I could do. As a writer my work can travel with me, so I was able to spend lots of time with him. We went on fun outings to the zoo, the Erie Canal, the lake, ate many lunches together and one day we even went to the mall! I loved it and dad did, too.

Team work makes caregiving easier and more enjoyable Here are some planning tips and 2 free printables, too! #Conquerinco #ad

When you step into the role of caregiver, planning is your best friend. As you divide up the work load among your team members remember that good communication is key. Get together over a cup of coffee and discuss who will do what.

  1. Make a list of what needs to be done. Dependng on the person's needs these things may include: household chores, shopping, paying bills, setting appointments, transportation to appointments, organizing medications, doing their laundry, help with meals. 
  2. Decide which duties each one is able to perform and when.
  3. Select a leader to be the point-person. (i.e. if you are unable to get things done on time or are running into other difficultes, that is the person who you will call.)
  4. Keep in touch with each other. (ie. if you took grandpa to his dental appointment, call or email the team to let them know how it went and what the next step will be.)
  5. Plan some fun times with your loved one and each other. Watch a movie together, play a game of cards, scrapbook or just visit and catch up on old times. 

Keep things as simple as possible and be sure to write things down. I love my smart phone but having had a few glitches with it has taught me that an old fashioned checklist can do a person a world of good! 

Here are two lists that I have created that you can print out. One is a "Keeping On Top Of Things" list that is meant to help you remember things that will need to be done. The other is a shopping list that will help jog your memory to get things that  you are running low on.

aging adults, incontinence

Two Pieces of Advice to the Caregivers:
1. Save yourself time and energy wherever possible. Don't go get it if it can come to you. 
2. If you do have to go, find a place that has everything you need!

aging, senior citizens, incontinence products

That's why one-stop shopping at Sam's Club is a dream come true for caregivers. Your Sam's Club membership opens the door to all kinds of help. Everything you need is right there in the club to conquer inco. Their adult care products, such as the Member's Mark Total Protection Adult Adjustable Briefs, are top quality yet the price is so much better than the other highly advertised brands. I found the briefs on the aisle nearest their pharmacy.

Sam's Club

These briefs with their super absorbency will give you confidence that your loved one will stay dry and comfortable wearing them. Member's Mark Total Protection Adult Adjustable Briefs have all around breathable zones to keep the wearer dry as possible with cool comfort and adjustable side panels for secure fit. They feature odor-guard technology, too.

Now, you will love this for saving time and energy ⇒ Sam's Club members can place their orders online by 5pm and pick it up at the club anytime the next day! Be sure to look into all the benefits of the various memberships. There are special member features and discounts including extra value drug list for hundreds of prescriptions for their plus members. 

adult briefs

Above all, make the most of this special time with your loved one, creating fond memories for them and for yourselves. We did and we'd gladly do it again. Here is a picture of our most recent trip to see the boats at the canal. It was such a beautiful day.

senior citizens, aging, caregivers tips

Do you refer to the online reviews before buying? Well, it will be a great help to the next person if, after you or your loved one has tried the Member's Mark Total Protection products, you go to the Sam's Club website and leave a review! 


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23 July 2017

Happiness Is Homemade Blog Party FUN!

Welcome back to this week's Happiness is Homemade Link Party!

This week's party is all about  summertime drinks! From chilling frozen rosé slushies to two of the most refreshing teas you'll see all season, there's a little something for everyone this week. So be sure to check out this week's features and the other awesome new posts from your hosts and fellow bloggers and have an awesome week ahead! Welcome to this week's Happiness is Homemade Link Party 180!



To visit the other blogs in our party, just click on the host's picture!
Image Map
The rules are really simple! Make sure you visit a few other blogs and make some new friends along the way. Feel free to link up your favorite recipes, crafts or your latest DIY project. We want you to share it all! As always, please make sure to follow your hosts and co-hosts! Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured at Happiness Is Homemade Link Party! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to all 12 Hosts, along with any co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Happiness Is Homemade, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to your original source. Therefore, linking up you agree to allow us to use your images on each of our blogs in features relating to Happiness is Homemade Link Party.

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19 July 2017

Bored With Your Routine? Here Is Something New And Fun To Do!

art, artwork, family fun

Do you ever get in a rut when it comes to planning family outings? We all do from time to time. We know what we like so we keep on doing the same thing over and over again ...but that can grow old. 

Then, also, families outgrow activities as their little ones grow up. Tastes change and it gets harder to find things to do together. That was why I was so excited to try Painting With a Twist. 

MacKenzie is almost 12 years old and lots of the "little kid" dates are, well, for LITTLE KIDS! What can you do together that an almost-teen will enjoy? Thankfully, Kenzie loves art and when I asked if she'd like to go out with me for a painting class and lunch to follow? Wow! She was in! She was so happy and so was I. 

art, artwork, family fun, party

Our day at Painting With A Twist was so much fun. When we arrived at our class and checked in, we were directed to help ourselves to an apron and pick the easels where we would sit. Had we been meeting a group of friends, they were ready to reserve several easels so that we could all sit together. Painting With A Twist looks out for your every need.

art, artwork, family fun

The particular class we signed up for was a daytime class which only had 6 students. Carly, our instructor,  started us out using chalk to draw our basic outline and then we began to paint. There were times that we needed to let the paint dry before we moved on so we took that opportunity to roam around and enjoy the "scenery" as we waited. (You know what they say about paint drying. Well, PWAT is smart. Hairdryers work wonders!) 

Someday I would love to bring a group of friends to a class. PWAT can accommodate lots of people at the same time and this location even has more than one room. 

family fun

The class is all about enjoying art and the experience, not becoming a professional artist. Interestingly enough, when you walk out with your finished product you kind of feel like a pro - and you want to go back again soon to do it again!

art, artwork, family fun, painting lessons, painting class

Our Painting With A Twist instructor, Carly, made us feel right at home. And, as I said, no prior art experience is needed. She walked us through it step by step. The theme picture for our class featured large colorful flowers. Here is what our finished products look like⇒

family fun, mother - daughter, painting class

Each guest is invited to create their masterpiece as they see fit. Some people will want to make theirs as close to the original as possible. Others will go off on their own imaginative tangents. That is what MacKenzie did. She has a style all her own. I took a road much closer to the example we were given. 

Both of us had loads of fun and have our pictures displayed at home. I needed something bright and colorful on the wall in the kids' bedroom so that is where mine hangs. I love the display of artwork at Painting With A Twist and I plan to go back for another class real soon so that I can start my own "gallery."

home decor, artwork, decorating

art, artwork, family fun

Take a look at the beautiful gallery wall. There must be hundreds of sample pictures there to choose from. You can either enroll in a class for a specific painting that you will do (take a look at their website for your area for  the currently scheduled classes) or you can meet with them to select one for a group that you will be bringing in.

art, artwork, family fun

Painting With A Twist has daytime classes for all ages. In the evenings, there are adults-only classes so that those who wish to bring in their own adult-beverages for their special night may do so. (Check your local PWAT's for exact beverage policies on their website.) 

art, artwork, family fun, nature, painting class

There are so many kinds of parties you can plan for Painting With A Twist.  Here are the themes that I can think of: 
          • Bachelorette Party
          • Birthday Parties
          • Bridal Party Get Together
          • Church Groups
          • Clubs or Associations
          • Date Night
          • Double-Date Night
          • Engagement Party
          • Evening Out With Your Friends
          • Family Reunion
          • Girl Scouts* (There are PWAT art badges to be earned!)
          • Girls Night Out
          • Graduation Party
          • Interior Decorating Party (Start your own gallery!)
          • Mother/Daughter (or mother/son, daddy/daughter, daddy/son) 
          • Teacher Orientation Getting-To-Know-You Party

Did I miss anything? What kind of party would you have? 

The date-night plan can include painting a 2-part picture. You paint one half of the image and your date paints the other. Put them next to each other and you have one big work of art! Here are two that they had on display that I particularly liked but there are many, many you can choose from.

art, artwork, family fun

art, artwork, family fun, date night idea

Did you know that Painting With A Twist has over 345 locations across the USA? Look here to find the nearest location to you ⇒ Painting With A Twist

What FUN!!!⇒ One of the co-founders of Painting With A Twist was just on the UnderCover Boss TV show! The story with links is on the PWAT website including a photo of her in her disguise

Just a few more photos of our girls' day out...

art, artwork, family fun

art, artwork, family fun, mother daughter day out

art, artwork, family fun

art, artwork, family fun, painting class

You are going to have such a great time at Painting With A Twist! Find a location near you and register for a class today⇒ PAINTING WITH A TWIST


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