12 Date Night Recipes for Staying In

12 Date Night Recipes for Staying In

It’s always fun to grab a meal at your favorite restaurant. But every once in a while, you and your partner should dine in your own kitchen. After all, what’s more romantic than a home-cooked meal? Plus, you’ll be able to save a little money and customize these meals to your heart’s content. Dig into a few of these tasty dishes for a romantic date night at home.

So, put on your aprons and take a look at these delightful date night recipes.

1. Baked Salmon With Maple Mustard Glaze

If you’re after an antioxidant-rich dinner, you can’t go wrong with salmon. It’s basically a blank slate – in other words, it works alongside any glaze or rub. But this mixture of maple syrup and Dijon mustard conquers all. It’s deliciously sweet and savory, which means that it pairs well with a starchy side. You can also adjust this recipe to your tastes. If you like a bit of heat, add a dash of chili powder.

2. Lemon Asparagus Chicken Pasta

This tasty pasta dish uses linguine or spaghetti as its base. Then, it’s topped with crispy chicken and lemony asparagus – and a creamy, cheesy sauce. What’s better than a meal that’s both healthy and indulgent? Feel free to make garlic bread or another small side to accompany this recipe. It yields four servings, so prepare to enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day.

3. Garlic Butter Steak

A romantic meal isn’t complete unless there’s a tender, juicy steak and a bottle of red wine. This recipe calls for a ribeye cut – a favorite amongst steak lovers. You’ll use a mixture of garlic, rosemary, butter and thyme to baste the meat. This step produces a delicious coat on the outside. Serve your steak with a side of roasted potatoes and glazed carrots – or whatever else you like.

4. Pizza Margherita

What’s a Friday night without a slice of pizza? Grab your significant other and flour your countertops, because you won’t want to miss this Margherita pizza. It’s ridiculously easy – but sometimes, the best recipes are the simplest. You’ll need tomato sauce, olive oil and fresh mozzarella and basil. Aside from your dough, that’s it. To make this pizza a little bit healthier, opt for a whole wheat crust.

5. Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

It’s time to whip up some margaritas and enjoy this delectable carnitas dish. Traditionally, Mexicans make carnitas from braised pork. They serve it on tortillas with diced onions, refried beans and fresh salsa. This recipe calls for a pork shoulder, which you’ll pop into a slow cooker for about six hours. Make sure to pan-fry the meat after it’s done for a crispy finish.

6. Baked Turkey Breast

If you’re after a chicken alternative, look no further. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to enjoy a yummy turkey dinner. This recipe uses a delicious rub made up of butter, plus rosemary, thyme and parsley. When you pull it out of the oven, this turkey is perfectly moist. You can prepare a side dish like mac ‘n cheese or sweet potatoes as the perfect addition.

7. Tomato Basil Soup

Once you taste this homemade tomato basil soup, it’ll be hard to return to the store-bought version. And best of all, it’s chock-full of nutrients and only takes 25 minutes to make. Use home-grown tomatoes for a more vibrant flavor – or stick with canned goods in a pinch. Either way, you’ll be able to put together a tasty soup that reminds you of your childhood.

Ask your partner to whip up a few grilled cheese sandwiches, too.

8. Easy Mediterranean Shrimp

With a few simple ingredients, you can create a yummy shrimp dish. In this recipe, you’ll coat the shrimp with several tasty spices – like coriander, paprika and cayenne. Bell peppers, diced tomatoes and lemon juice allow for a balance of fresh, citrusy flavors. Serve atop a bed of white or brown rice and enjoy! Don’t forget to reserve some of that white wine for you and your significant other.

9. Penne alla Vodka Pasta

Not much comes close to a rich, creamy vodka sauce. It’s best served atop al dente penne pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and chopped basil. And of course, it’s super customizable – so feel free to add grilled chicken or sausage to the mix. You can also include spinach if you want some greens. Pair this dish with a few slices of garlic bread

10. Roast Beef Tenderloin

Who said that you couldn’t be a little fancy at home? Beef tenderloin is an excellent way to celebrate an anniversary – whether you’ve been together for one year or decades. In this recipe, you’ll concoct a divine red wine sauce that uses a few simple ingredients. After you cook the meat, be sure to serve it alongside a heap of whipped potatoes and a glass of merlot.

11. Skillet Mushroom Chicken Thighs

There’s no better combination than chicken and mushrooms – especially when they’re doused in garlic and butter. This recipe results in beautifully-cooked, golden-brown chicken thighs. You’ll use crimini mushrooms, alongside shallots and herbs, to create a delightful dish. Delegate your partner to vegetable duty, as a side of roasted potatoes works perfectly with these flavors.

12. Homemade Vegetarian Chili

If it’s a little rainy outside, you can’t go wrong with chili. It’s a terrific choice for everyone – and this recipe welcomes vegetarians and vegans with open arms. And thankfully, it’s just as hearty as the real deal. Instead of ground beef, you’ll use a few cans of black and pinto beans. There’s a ton of flavor to this chili, which comes from the garlic, cumin, oregano and paprika.

Use These Recipes for a Delightful Date Night at Home



Why We Need Self-Care Now More Than Ever 

Why We Need Self-Care Now More Than Ever 

Few people anticipated the depth and breadth of the COVID-19 pandemic, including world leaders. You are far from alone if your anxiety level has skyrocketed during these uncertain times. Depending on your circumstances, you could slip into an understandable, yet devastating, depression.

Experts advise folks to act with more kindness during times of crisis, and this principle applies to yourself, too. During tumultuous times, people need self-care now more than ever. Developing positive habits that demonstrate self-love can help you stay healthy when life lobs lemons at you.

Self-Care Helps You Fill Time With Positive Activities

Right now, you probably have some additional time on your hands. Even if you are still working, you might have lost your daily commute. Since everyone needs to do their part to help flatten the curve, why not treat yourself to some positive activities during quarantine?

Some ideas for positive self-care activities include the following.

  • Write in a journal: Why not use this time to start a gratitude journal? You will automatically switch your thoughts to more positive ones if you focus on what makes you feel thankful.
  • Give yourself a spa day at home: Who said you had to drop hundreds at a day spa — many of which are closed — when you can produce similar effects at home? Paint your toes and let the kids help, if you have them. Take a luxurious bubble bath and add some healing tea leaves to soothe aches and pains. Have your SO treat you to a massage — and return the favor.
  • Lose yourself in a novel: When was the last time you curled up with a juicy book for an entire afternoon? If you have the time, indulge in this rare pleasure.
  • Practice a relaxing hobby: Do you like to cook? Why not whip up some new recipes? Has the afghan you were knitting gathered dust in the corner of your closet? Finish it for a unique holiday gift.
  • Try Yoga and Meditation: If you haven’t practiced before, you can find free yoga videos as well as guided meditation exercises on YouTube. All you need is a quiet space and room to stretch your body and mind.

Self-Care Helps You Avoid Addiction and Disease

Alcohol sales have skyrocketed by a staggering 243% since the coronavirus pandemic began. It’s understandable to want to hit the bottle, but doing so can lead to significant problems down the road. The substance not only gives you a nasty hangover, but it also messes with levels of neurotransmitters in your brain and can damage organs like your liver.

In the past 20 years, alcohol-related deaths have risen by 69%, so if you overdo it, now is the time to change. Substitution can help. Try replacing drinking with a healthier activity. Even during the shutdown, you can find online therapists and support groups to help if you struggle.

Self-Care Can Reduce the Symptoms of Some Physical and Mental Disorders

Stress can cause a host of health woes, from headaches and low energy to gastrointestinal distress. Long-term tension can exacerbate the symptoms of diseases as diverse as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Additionally, it can worsen depression and anxiety.

“How on earth can I avoid stress right now,” you might think. During a crisis, it is more challenging to relax. However, positive self-care activities like eating well and exercising can boost both your mood and immune system. Working out can take the edge off your panic and make it less likely that you will get sick if exposed.

Self-Care Doesn’t Have to Cost a Dime

Far too many people procrastinate on self-care because they think they have to drop a bundle to do it right. However, you don’t have to spend a dime. If you have staples like rice and beans in your pantry, you can make a healthy veggie burrito bowl by adding some fresh produce from your windowsill garden, for example. That qualifies.

If your jurisdiction allows you to venture outdoors, you can lace up your tennis shoes and take a sensory walk. You will marvel at all the birdsongs you hear with less traffic on the road. You can always indulge in a leisurely nap on your back porch hammock.

Self-Care Serves as an Anchor in Stormy Seas

Finally, self-care practices soothe your soul during tumultuous times by providing you with routines within your control. If you lost your job due to the downturn, you might struggle to find reasons to get out of bed in the morning. However, if you know that you work out when the alarm sounds, that creates a sense of purpose.

You can incorporate self-care into any part of your daily schedule. For example, after you job-seek for two or three hours, take a break and prepare a nutritious snack or stretch for 10 minutes. If you are working, wind down afterward and improve your mood by putting on a favorite song and dancing around your living room. Such end-of-day rituals are especially critical if you are new to telecommuting. They help you draw the line between work and family life.

We Need Self-Care More Than Ever — Be Kind to You Today

During troubled times, everyone needs to treat each other with more kindness. However, it is critical to demonstrate self-care, too. Comfort yourself with one of these ideas today.


Creative Indoor Hobbies to Try This Month

Creative Indoor Hobbies to Try This Month

Since most of us will be spending more time at home for a little while, Jennifer Landis (from mindfulnessmama.com) has put together a few hobby ideas you might like to try. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comment section below. Stay healthy and positive, everyone.

Learn to Cook

You’re already at home, so why not use this as an opportunity to learn how to cook? If you live on a diet of plain pasta and grilled chicken, you’re overdue for a change. The same idea goes for oven-baked sweet treats. That’s right – no more store-bought cookies for the sake of you and your family’s tastebuds, please.

It helps to begin with the basics, like how to cut and sauté an onion. If you’re able to brown ground beef in a pan, you’re already off to a fantastic start. This way, you can add several hot, simple recipes to your repertoire, such as stir-fry noodles and vegetables. You don’t have to be Julia Child to learn your way around a kitchen.

Take your time, and don’t hesitate to make mistakes. After all, that’s the only way that you can learn.

Paint a Portrait

Now’s the perfect chance to break out those watercolors and acrylics. Grab a canvas, t-shirt or mug and get to work. You could paint a portrait of your dog or your backyard. Or, touch up the trim around your windows. Paint a mural on your bedroom wall. This activity can be either therapeutic or intense – it’s up to you.

Look on YouTube for tutorials from Bob Ross and other famous artists. You’ll be able to discover a few techniques and approaches. Many websites also offer printable guides or outlines so that you can work with an example or two. Don’t expect to be an expert right off the bat, as you can’t learn a new hobby overnight. But if you practice every day, you’re able to make excellent strides.

You’ll find that you feel relaxed and calm as you paint. And of course, you’ll create beautiful art, too.

Start a Coin Collection

If you’re a history buff, here’s a wonderful hobby for you.

Take a peek inside of your wallet and see if you’ve got any change. You’ll want to focus on more unique coins, like special edition quarters, but you can start anywhere. Create separate groups for different currencies and types. You can base your collection around a time period or mint mark – or whatever else you choose.

There aren’t any rules for this activity. You should become aware of the terminology so that you’re in-the-know. But otherwise, collect to your heart’s content!

Meditate on this

Maybe you feel stressed or worried at the moment. If so, you’re not alone. But through meditation, you can turn those negative emotions into positive thoughts.

Place a yoga mat outside for a bit of fresh air. Or, find a quiet spot inside. Mindfulness encompasses meditation, so you’ll want to turn off your phone and limit other potential distractions. Then, close your eyes and follow your breath. Let your mind wander as you continue to inhale and exhale. Meditation allows you to take a pause from reality so that you feel more at ease.

You can meditate for as little or as long as you please. There’s no time limit, so enjoy yourself.

Become a Photographer

So, maybe you can’t leave your house right now. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a few pictures.

Break out your camera or phone and snap away. Shoot portraits of people and animals, or go for a landscape style outside. Once you feel a little more comfortable, you can start to use more in-depth techniques at different times. Don’t hesitate to take photos of unique objects and settings. Basically, do whatever you please. Like many hobbies, there’s no set of guidelines to follow – other than the rule of thirds.

Use this time to create some memorable pictures.

The 10 Biggest Skincare Trends of 2020

The 10 Biggest Skincare Trends of 2020

Beauty trends change every year. Decades ago, women used to focus on giving their hair as much volume as possible. Later, everyone wanted the perfect rouge or heaviest liner. It’s hard to imagine those same trends being as popular today, mostly because the beauty world has zeroed in on the landscape of skincare.

Taking care of your skin goes beyond washing your face at night and occasionally using lotion. If you want to unlock a gorgeous glowing look, discover the 10 biggest skincare trends of 2020.

1. Reusable Facial Cloths

People around the world are starting to go green and live more sustainable lifestyles. They’re changing the companies they buy from and how they live their daily lives, including their beauty routines.

In 2020, more people will leave one-use makeup remover wipes in the past and instead opt for reusable facial cloths. You can already find many eco-friendly products available to clean your skin and remove makeup, such as gentle organic cotton. Try it out for yourself to compare which is better for your skin.

2. Charcoal Facial Cleansers

You may have seen charcoal masks before, but facial cleansers will be the next big trend. Charcoal is a natural element that purifies skin by attracting pollutants, naturally whisking them away from pores. Lather your hands up with a facial cleansing bar or liquid to feel the immediate effect of charcoal detoxification.

3. Whipped Cream Moisturizer

Add a dollop of whipped cream to your desserts and skincare routine. Whipped cream moisturizers will become popular because they contain ceramides, an oil-based substance that locks in moisture to heal skin, which constant dry patches need badly.

4. Light Brightening Serums

Heavy brightening serums have turned people away in the past, but lighter versions are on the market now. Light serums contain hyaluronic acid, which minimizes redness and tightens skin, alongside other beneficial ingredients like vitamins C and E.

5. Plant-Based Organic Deodorant

Rumor has it that antiperspirants cause cancer, and while studies have failed to definitively link the two, beauty gurus want to try out organic deodorants. Look for options that don’t contain aluminum or parabens to maximize the purity of what you buy. Test it out when you’re not around people to see how it mingles with your natural body odor and switch brands a few times to get the best blend if necessary.

6. All-Natural Glycerine Toners

Old toners can make your skin feel sticky, but not modern blends made with glycerine. When you apply a glycerine-based toner to your face, it will reduce acne and moisturize skin without requiring you to spend money on extra supplies. If you tend to reach for two-in-one products, glycerine toner is about to become your new best friend.

7. Rose Petal Facial Toner

Rose petal-based toners might be the most-significant trend so far in 2020. When you use this product on your face once a day, it balances your skin’s pH levels to reduce oiliness and inflammation. Opt for an alcohol-free option if you tend to have dry skin and want maximum moisturization.

8. Beauty Sculpting Bars

Many women want tighter, brighter skin, which is where sculpting bars can help. If you use one across areas with wrinkles, dark circles or puffiness, it’ll stimulate your blood flow. Your skin will naturally produce more collagen, tightening fine lines and smoothing out discoloration.

9. Honey Hydration Masks

Beauty gurus in 2020 will start using more honey hydration masks because they want something all-natural and healing. People have used honey for antibacterial purposes for centuries. Now that same power can heal acne, abrasions left by psoriasis and blemishes faster than before. It also lifts dead skin cells, allowing hydrating ingredients to absorb into the layers of your skin more effectively.

You can find honey hydration masks at beauty supply stores, but you can also make one on your own with what’s already in your pantry. Before you start mixing ingredients, ensure you have all-natural honey, not the kind made entirely of sugar.

10. Lip Treatment Kits

It’s easy to forget about your lips during your skin care routine, besides the occasional use of a moisturizing balm in the winter. Now people want entire kits dedicated to lip care. Look for these products as they start becoming more widespread. You’ll find moisturizers, balms and even lip masks. They’re fun to experiment with, especially if they come in different flavors. With the right routine, you’ll never have to deal with cracked lips in winter again!

Test Out These Top 2020 Skincare Trends

The most well-received trends aren’t always what’s right for your skin. Approach each new product or kit with caution, noting any before and after differences. With time, you’ll discover a new routine that’s great for your face, no matter what kind of solutions you’re looking for.

12 SoCal-Inspired Brunch Recipes for a Weekend at Home

12 SoCal-Inspired Brunch Recipes for a Weekend at Home

12 SoCal-Inspired Brunch Recipes for a Weekend at Home

Aah. There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday when you can take your time getting out of bed, then rock your PJ’s all day long. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rainy day indulgence or a planned Netflix binge day for you and your SO. You’ll eventually need to eat!

When your stomach starts growling, it’s time to whip up a to-die-for brunch. You don’t have to bother with pants to look restaurant-appropriate. You can design a spread worthy of the Four Seasons with these recipes.

  1. Eggs Benedict

The trickiest part of this recipe is making the homemade hollandaise sauce, but it’s no more complicated than making mayonnaise. If you have a partner in crime, one of you can poach the eggs while the other handles sauce duty. The result? A decadent dish rich enough to star on many exclusive brunch menus — including the one served at Casa de You.

  1. Lobster Hash

What says decadence more than lobster? Guess what? This white meat isn’t only for dinner anymore! By adding eggs and potatoes, you can create a tasty hash that will fill you up all day long. This dish is a snap to make because the potatoes primarily cook themselves. And because you’re getting a dose of lean protein, you’ll fuel your muscles. You know, in case you do something vigorous later on — like returning to bed.

  1. Herby Everything Cheddar Swirl Buns

Brunch isn’t complete without bread — why not make your bun a rich and savory indulgence with this recipe? If you feel a cold coming on, the thyme in this meal may help ward it off — the herb contains a potent mix of vitamins and minerals to boost your immunity. The cheddar cheese keeps these buns moist, even if you don’t add a pat of butter when they finish baking.

You can prep these the night before and leave them in the fridge overnight. Then, when the morning comes, preheat the oven, and enjoy fresh-baked goodness in minutes.

  1. Whole Grain Waffles

Waffles are a classic breakfast staple for a good reason. Because this recipe contains flax seeds, it’s ideal for shiny hair and supple skin. If you have a sensitivity to the gluten in wheat, you can substitute an ancient grain, such as quinoa or amaranth. You can freeze the leftovers — making this dish perform double-duty as a quick weekday morning snack. You can top these with maple syrup or any variety of your favorite fruits.

  1. Smoked Salmon Smorrebrod

The horseradish sour cream steals the show in this recipe, which you can modify to include nearly any type of meat. If you have allergies or a sinus infection, the heat from this meal will open swollen passages. The lemon juice helps to detoxify your body, as do the fresh herbs. Radishes add a refreshing crunch and help balance out some of the heat.

  1. Easy Frittata

If your response to “cheese” is “yes, please,” then this dish is for you. The blend of ricotta, mushrooms and spinach elevates this recipe well beyond your basic omelet. In approximately 15 minutes, you’ll have a brunch delight fit for a king or queen.

  1. Curry-Avocado Crispy Egg Toast

Nothing says So-Cal more than avocado, but this isn’t your mama’s standard toast. The curry powder adds an exciting flavor, and the turmeric contained in the spice is a potent anti-inflammatory. Plus, the vitamin E in avocados supports healthy joints, so if you have arthritis, make this dish a brunch-time favorite.

  1. Healthy Banana Bread

Banana bread is delicious at any time of day, but it adds a hint of sweetness to your morning meal. Plus, because this recipe uses no animal products, it’s friendly for the vegan in your life — or yourself, if you follow the lifestyle. The coconut sugar won’t spike your glucose levels as significantly as ordinary cane sugar does, helping you ward off a mid-afternoon crash.

  1. Paleo Pumpkin Waffles

Paleo is all the rage these days — but who wants to live their life without waffles? Indulge without blowing your diet by whipping up this recipe. The coconut flour lowers the glycemic load of this meal, making it safe for your eating plan. Topping it with a low-glycemic fruit like raspberries reduces the sugar level.

  1. Strawberry Parfaits

Who doesn’t adore parfait? You can whip up this dish in a jiffy with no need to heat the oven or stove. Layer granola, Greek yogurt and strawberries in a glass. Add a drizzle of honey, and you’re ready to indulge!

  1. Hellfire Club Bloody Mary

Lazy weekend brunches make it okay to do a bit of day drinking. Plus, if you overindulged the night before, this recipe serves as the ideal hair-of-the-dog. It has the precise amount of spice to open your sinuses, although you can go heavier on Tabasco if you like to sweat.

  1. Sweet Sunrise (Virgin)

Hey, you don’t have to include alcohol to have a fun, foo-foo drink with your weekend brunch! Skip the tequila and enjoy this flavorful mocktail that won’t leave you craving a nap by noon. You’ll get heaps of vitamin C, perfect for battling off any cold or flu germs.


Hey there! I’m Jennifer. I’m a writer, mother, and healthy living blogger living it up in Central Pennsylvania.

I am a fan of food (obviously), distance running, and almost every type of tea there is (except red tea…which is gross).

I’m also excited by yoga and setting new fitness goals.

Toddlers are a challenge but, my family is the cutest, so that makes up for all of the crazy.

Interested in a weekly dose of mindfulness – sign up for my newsletter!


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