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Afternoon Inspirations and Pick-Me-Ups

A New Day

My days begin with a few minutes in the morning for “me” when I try to connect that stillness inside me with the universe- when all I can hear at this hour are a few chirping birds and maybe a garbage truck out in the distance.

And then it begins- another hectic day.  After getting the kids dressed, fed and off to school, I jump right into emails, chores and errands.  I juggle multiple jobs throughout the day.  I’m a recipe creator, meal designer, food photographer and blogger one minute, co-founder of a local charity to build a school for the blind the next minute, and parent volunteer for Kindergarten class after that.  And somewhere in between I squeeze in laundry and grocery shopping.

The Afternoon Crash

The day flies by at lightning speed and then… afternoon hits.  Like a steam engine that just ran out of coal on its way up a mountain, the afternoon crash hits me from out of nowhere.  I’m the little choo-choo that begins to fall backwards down the hill just before reaching the peak.  This is the time of day I need a “pick-me-up”.

The Pick-Me-Up

I find the only way to regenerate and keep going to pull my freight car load over the mountain is to grab an afternoon beverage and change scenery.  Whether I’m indoors all day working or arriving home from driving around for hours, the mere act of changing scenery helps shift my perspective and revive my body and mind.

Inspiration can come with just a few minutes of stillness while connecting with what’s much bigger than my day and my schedule.  Inspiration can be right outside my door- literally.

Today, a package arrived with a sample of International Delight Iced Coffee– and Mocha flavor at that (my favorite)!  All I had to to do was pour it over ice and “head for the hills”- or in this case, my backyard.  With only a few minutes to spare, I needed to regenerate.

Everyone who knows me, knows that I do the majority of my shopping at my local Sam’s Club, which is why I’m happy to discover that this refreshing afternoon beverage will be available at Sam’s Club this next week.

International Delight iced coffee

Mocha flavor


My advice for an afternoon pick-me-up- no matter how much you have going on, taking a few minutes to regenerate will make you even more productive- those dirty dishes and that unread email will still be there in ten minutes.  Have a beverage on-hand that’s easy to prepare, like International Delight Iced Coffee, and most importantly- find somewhere close by that inspires you.  Then chill.

Find a quiet spot to sit, be still and refresh.  Oh, and have a notebook handy because it’s amazing how much creativity can come out of a few minutes of inspiration and stillness.



Made it through another day.

Join the afternoon pick-me-up buzz with International Delight on Twitter, Facebook or at

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. All opinions expressed herein are very much my own.

#CBias #SocialFabric


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Smart Breakfast Idea

Sunrise Breakfast Bowls

My smart breakfast idea for Sunrise Breakfast Bowls is made with First Street Eggs from Smart & Final, and is simple to make by following the photo tutorial below.

Sunrise Breakfast Bowls Recipe

Sunrise Breakfast Bowls made with First Street Eggs

Sunrise Breakfast Bowls Recipe


  1. First Street Eggs- 1 dozen (on sale for $.99 this week at Smart & Final)
  2. Whole grain bread- 12 slices with crust taken off
  3. Pre-cooked or slightly undercooked bacon- 12-24 slices
  4. Butter

Photo Tutorial:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Smart & Final First Street Eggs

Smart & Final First Street Eggs


2.  Grease a muffin tin with butter and place one slice of bread into each hole pressing down in the middle.

Mother's Day Sunrise Breakfast Bowls

Press bread slices into each hole of a greased muffin tin


3.  Crack one egg directly onto each slice of bread.

Mother's Day Sunrise Breakfast Bowls

crack one egg onto each slice of bread


4.  Place one or two slices of bacon into each egg.

Mother's Day Sunrise Breakfast Bowls

place one slice of precooked bacon into each egg


5.  Bake until egg is just cooked, or until desired consistency- yolk runny, about 10 minutes; slightly runny, about 13 minutes and cooked thoroughly, about 15 minutes

Mother's Day Sunrise Breakfast Bowls

Cook until desired egg consistency


Enjoy!  And for a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Sunrise Breakfast Bowls from The Organized Cook

Sunrise Breakfast Bowls made with First Street Eggs


First Street Eggs are on sale this week April 25-May 1 at Smart & Final.

First Street Eggs

First Street Eggs on sale this week only for $.99 at Smart & Final



For more great deals and recipe ideas from Smart & Final, you can follow #sfsmarties on Twitter!


This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, all opinions expressed here are my own.


Cracked Eggs by Toni Spilsbury, The Organized Cook





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Tasty Veggies


This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Healthy Choices

Nutrition is always a key factor in my meal planning and recipe creations, which is why my grocery shopping lists are produce-heavy with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit.  Vegetables are on our table for every family dinner, either cooked or fresh.

Getting kids to eat vegetables is not always easy, especially if you have a “picky eater”- which I do.  I have one daughter who loves vegetables more than any other food, and will choose a fresh salad alongside baked salmon over pizza any day.

And my other daughter- not so much.  I’m always looking for fun, creative and delicious ways to get her to eat more vegetables.

Picky Eaters Meal Planning from The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

Meal Planning for Picky Eaters

I find that having my kids involved in shopping and cooking is a great way to expose them to all the vegetable options out there.  One time, Brooke (my picky eater), grabbed a bundle of radishes in the grocery store and said, “Look how beautiful these radishes are!  Mommy, you need to get these and make a salad.”  “Great,” I said.  “Will you eat them?”  She replied, “no.”  I

still have a ways to go with her, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made.  She enjoys making salads on her own, and loves it when I saute vegetables.

Today, I came across this inventive recipe for Flag Pizza from Clare Crespo’s Cookbook for Country Crock.

Flag Pizza Recipe

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe for Flag Pizza, click here.  Otherwise, enjoy my photo tutorial below for this fun meal that kids can help prepare.

Flag Pizza Ingredients:

Flag Pizza recipe

Flag Pizza Ingredients

  1. 6 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese slices
  2. 1 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread
  3. 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  4. 1 frozen pizza dough, thawed
  5. 1 cup Ragu® Pizza Quick Sauce
  6. 2 plum tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into slices or 1 sliced red bell pepper or a mixture of the two
  7. Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Flag Pizza Directions:

  1. Take two slices of mozzarella cheese and stack together.
  2. Use kitchen scissors or small knife to cut a few star shapes out of the cheese. Slice remaining cheese slices into 1-inch strips.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°.
  4. Melt Country Crock® Spread in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Stretch pizza dough to fit a rectangular pan. Spread Ragu® Pizza Quick Sauce evenly over dough.
  6. Sprinkle spinach over top left corner of dough. Place stars on the spinach. Lay tomatoes (or peppers) and cheese strips in alternating strips on rest of the pizza.
  7. Bake 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to turn golden and crust is starting to brown. Remove from oven and serve with crushed red pepper flakes (if using).

star cookie-cutters from Pampered Chef


melt Country Crock in large non-stick skillet


place fresh spinach in pan to saute


spinach is ready when it is completely reduced and tender


arrange spinach, tomatoes and cheese over sauce


Flag Pizza Recipe

the kids are going to love this... even my picky eater!


Simple and Delicious Vegetable Recipes

I find that there’s no need to hide vegetables from my family.  In fact, vegetables can be delicious and fun with a little imagination.  For more healthy and tasty vegetable recipes from The Organized Cook using Country Crock, check out:

carrot recipe

Escalloped Carrots


Are you looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun? Download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!

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