10 Thanksgiving survival tips: A Life Coach meets Foodie/Cook guide to Thanksgiving

42 items I can’t live without

Don’t know if this will be a good thing or a wise thing, but here goes. I usually forget my grocery lists, and I like to shop at a few different specialty type stores. These stores are not close to my home. So going to these stores and coming home without items that I “can’t live without” or can’t get anywhere else, brings me much pain.

pinterest, aldi, trader joe's, dollar tree, saving money, grocery list

Don’t Forget

So I have developed a small system of master lists that I keep on my phone. I keep them in my notes section on my iPhone, but you could use a lists app, like Any.do or Task. You can even make a google doc and keep it on your sheets app. Wherever you want to store it, make sure it is with you when you go shopping.

My Lists

These lists are not exhaustive lists. They are lists of things that I always buy at these stores. They are items that are great deals, or items that I cannot get elsewhere. Here are my lists to give you an example of what I am talking about.

Trader Joe’s

*Dog food


*brussels sprouts

*Tuscan Pane bread



*French liquid soap


*rice crisps


*baking powder

*orange chicken

*cookie butter

*Blondie brownie mix



*canned beans

*canned cream of mushroom or chicken

*canned soup


*dog treats

*maple cookies (seasonal)


*baking items ie; flour, sugar, oil, baking soda, salt, spices

*cheeses, eggs, milk & butter (stock up items)



*maple syrup

Dollar Tree

*chicken stock

*light bulbs


*graham crackers


*dryer sheets

*greeting cards

*bar soap & body wash

*toothbrushes & floss

*mailing supplies



*over the counter generic medicines

*foil pans

trader joe's, aldi, dollar tree

I keep adding more items to these lists as I discover more goodies. So if you have something you think I should add to the list please share it with me. Happy Shopping.






What is a Life Coach?

Thought I would share a bit about what I do when I am not squeezing out a blog post here and there. I am a certified Life/Business Coach. I bet you have heard of one but you don’t really know what they do. I must say that more info can be found on my website at Brentwood Life Coach.  But here is what a life coach can do for you. 


Life Coach you will uncover hidden mindsets that are keeping you running fast but getting nowhere, identify the energy drainers that are weighing you down, be inspired and motivated to move into the beauty of balanced living. One thing is for sure is that everyone needs help along the path of life. Tiger Woods, at the top of his game, still seeks his coach to help him improve his skills and stay on his game. A similar bond exist between the life coach and the client. Statistics show that you get more results if you hire a personal trainer than trying it on your own.

The same goes for hiring a LIFE COACH, you will make huge strides towards your goal with the accountability of a Life Coach.

Here are some stats on what coaching can do for you.

  • A higher level of self-awareness: 67.6%
  • Smarter goal-setting: 62.4%
  • A more balanced life: 60.5%
  • Lower stress levels: 57.1%
  • Self-discovery: 52.9%
  • More self-confidence: 52.4%
  • Improvement in quality of life: 43.3%
  • Enhanced communication skills: 39.5%
  • Project completion: 35.7%
  • Health or fitness improvement: 33.8%
  • Better relationships with boss or co-workers: 33.3%
  • Better family relationships: 33.3%
  • Increased energy: 31.9%
  • More fun: 31.9%
  • More income: 25.7%
  • Stopped a bad habit: 25.7%
  • Change in career: 24.3%
  • More free time: 22.9%
  • Increased profitability of business: 17.1%
  • Started new business: 12.9%
  • Empowered employees: 11.0%

One more stat. 96% of people who have hired a coach are satisfied and would repeat the process.


Sprout goodness

The the other day I made the most amazing brussels sprouts ever! I coated them with a bit of maple syrup and then some salt and pepper. Then I threw the whole stalk on the grill and they were delish. They looked a bit charred but it was sweet and savory slap to momma good. Soooo yummy. Here is the before and the uber good after.



Hey pretty lady with the pretty nails

What woman doesn’t love manicures and pedicures? I don’t know about you but having my nails painted makes me feel very feminine and pampered. Many times I paint my own nails but sometimes I will treat myself to a manicure. And when I do, it is so relaxing and I feel very peaceful. I sit and let someone clean, shape and polish my nails. Ahhhh when I go there in my mind, I immediately relax. The salon I go to also gives a quick shoulder/neck massage with their manicures. This is such a treat for me.


We all love having our nails done, young, old, short, tall, heavy-set, thin, and women of all ethnicities. We all have this common desire to be pampered. I love how the brides of Indian decent will pause to have beautiful art painted on their hands. I also love to quiet my life and allow beauty to grace my nails.


And if you are lucky enough to go with a friend or two for pedicures, well that is just icing on the cake. All sitting there together basking in the warm waters, getting a scrubbing and having your feet rubbed. Heavenly.

tiny polish

So, I challenge you to take some time this weekend to get a manicure or grab a bottle of nail polish and pamper yourselves.


Soccer mom survival

I am officially a soccer mom. Soccer moms have to be ready for any kind of weather. If it’s sunny and hot you bring your umbrella to keep the rays from scorching your skin. If it’s cold you bring your parka and a blanket. Then there are days when the weather can’t make up it’s mind. Those days you layer, layer and pack an umbrella.

But the most important piece of a soccer mom’s wardrobe is of course her shoes. If you have the right kinda shoes the world is a better place.

Cold rain- rain boots (hunter)
Super cold, no rain- warm fuzzy boots(uggs)
Light rain- tennis or sport shoes ( Sport close toe flats or nikes)
Sunny- sandals (Keens)
Hot with wet field- flip flops(havianas)

Good and wise shoe wear, by yours truly.



My Texas Grocery List

Stuff I bought in Texas and brought home to Tennessee.

When it’s dinner time in Texas, you really only have three choices: Texas BBQ, Tex-Mex, or Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and cream gravy. I won’t even go into the other fix in’s unless you want to go crazy ’cause you can’t have this yummy stuff.

After consuming the above meals at least two times each, the next thing you need to do is head to an HEB grocery store to stock up on some goodies that will bring a little bit of Texas into your life until you can return to the MOTHERSHIP.


These are some spices that we cannot live without(wink).  Burger House seasoning for home fries and burgers. Really and truly, I add it to just about everything (when my family isn’t looking). Fajita seasoning from Bolner’s Fiesta. It’s made in San Antonio, in other words, it’s bona-fide good. Just add it to chicken breast, bake/grill/broil/saute and you have a fabulous tasting chicken. It’s great on beef too.



Then I found this jar of bits and pieces of jalapeños with cilantro and lime. This one is new to me so I will report back in the comment section after it has been consumed. Hell on the Red cheese dip. We Texans believe that cheese dip should be orange, just like our cheese on our cheese enchiladas. So there. Then I happened upon some single serving salsa cups that were only $1.98 for 4 servings. So I said “Yes, please.” The jar of tiny peppers in a pickle jar is my mom’s home-grown Chile Pequin (known to us as Chile del monte: wild chile).

Texas Monthly, Home-grown Texas, Texas Highways


This pepper is the same as the ones in the jar, only these are fresh Chile del monte picked from her garden. Hotter than hades, it is. I only eat one or two of these with my meal.

HEB (ok, so the only HEB I could get to was under construction and missing it’s B).


I also eat homemade tamales, mexican cookies called Hojarascas, and Whataburger burgers. Yup

So there you have it. Your Texas Grocery List.