Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink




All content copyright Pieces of a Mom 2016. Powered by Blogger.

Weekend Dispatch

The Hubs is heading to Florida for a long weekend of golfing with some friends. So that can mean only one thing: GIRLS WEEKEND!!!!!! We'll be watching lots of movies and eating lots of heavily buttered popcorn. But that's not all we'll be doing. Here's a snapshot of how we plan to spend the weekend.

5 Fab Finds Under $50

I'm always on the lookout for fun, inexpensive items that add flair to my home, my outfit, or my life. I've tracked down five items that you need in your life right now. From entertaining to your office to your outfit of the day, any one of these items is a welcome addition to your life.

Tips For Planning For A Secure Future

photo via

No matter who you are, or what your life looks like, it’s highly likely that you’re thinking ahead to a better future. We all want the best for our families, especially our children. Whether you’re currently struggling to get by, or you’re doing okay but you know you could do more, then you may not be able to get over the idea that you want to make a positive change for a better future.

And that’s an incredible feeling to have. If you’re at the stage where you’re itching to go, there may be just one thing missing to help get you started. And that’s the confidence to do it. If you’re serious about creating a better future for your family, then use these ideas that fit into four areas of life to inspire you to get started today.

Jazz Up Your Walls With Modern Map Art

This post was written in partnership with Modern Map Art.

A person's choice of wall art speaks volumes about them. Whether someone chooses to display nothing at all or has every square inch of wall space practically covered, you can glean quite a bit of information from what is hanging on the walls.

I take a lot of pride in selectively choosing the photos, prints, and paintings that hang on the walls of my home. If you don't know me very well, and I invite you to my home, I want you to get a sense of who I am from my wall art.

But every once in a while, I want something that's unique and different. When I discovered Modern Map Art, I found exactly what I had been searching for. Modern Map Art specializes in posters which feature grids cities (domestic and international), countries, and ski mountains. With over 580 cities, 7 countries, 90 mountains, and 10 skylines to choose from, you are sure to find a poster that perfect for you. But in the event that you can't find what you are looking for, Modern Map Art features an easy-to-use custom map tool where you can search for your city and create a poster.

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Fall vacations to take right now via Condè Nast Traveler.

2. The single most important thing a true friend can do via The Girlfriend.

3. This is what happens to your body during a flight via Business Insider.

The Best Booties For Fall

Booties are a fall wardrobe staple and the perfect transition shoe from summer to fall and from fall to winter. They are versatile and can be worn with dresses, jeans, skirts, and even shorts. They are available in an array of styles, colors, finishes, and price points. Booties are truly the ideal shoe. So, why not add a few pairs to you shoe collection this fall?

Here are a few of my favorite styles this fall.

Add Tucson To Your Travel Bucket List

Last year when we were discussing destinations for a spring break family trip, the Hubs suggested Tucson, Arizona. Hmmm. When I think of spring break, I think of lounging on a quiet beach, sipping tropical cocktails garnished with colorful paper umbrellas, and frolicking in crystal blue oceans. Not exactly the mental picture you get when you think of Tucson. But when it comes to travel, I am game for anything, especially when exploring a city I've never before visited. We booked our flights and hotel and happily counted the days until our trip to the desert.

When we first arrived (btw, we visited at the end of April, which was an ideal time weather-wise), I was overwhelmed by how beautiful the mountains are. They are majestic and breathtaking.

Our hotel was located at the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, and the views were nothing short of stunning. Our balcony overlooked a golf course and faced west, so we had stunning views of the setting sun each evening as well as the city lights of Tucson at night.

I was worried that we'd be at a loss for things to do in Tucson, but I was completely wrong about that. On our first day, we had a full day planned at the Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park, so we needed a hearty breakfast. My nephew (who attended University of Arizona) recommended Bobo's. When we pulled up to the restaurant, it reminded me of a place you'd see on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you like pancakes, this is the place to get them. They are enormous and incredibly delicious. 

The Sonora Desert Museum is the place to go if you want to get a glimpse of the local landscape. The museum is a world-renowned zoo, botanical garden, and natural history museum, and it just happened to be the perfect place to become educated on all things plants and animals that are native to the Tucson area.

We saw this majestic mountain lion at the museum, just peeking out long enough for me to snap a picture. We also caught a quick glimpse of a roadrunner before it swiftly ran off.

I thought we'd end up spending most of our time at the hotel pool, but Tucson offers so many outdoor activities from hiking in the mountains to exploring downtown Tucson and the area surrounding the University of Arizona.

My favorite activity was hiking in Saguaro National Park. The sweeping views of the mountains and the cactii were spectacular.

Whether you want to relax and unplug for a few days or be active, Tucson offers it all. After exploring all morning, we were only too happy to return to our resort to spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool.

One thing I always make a point of doing while on vacation is experiencing the local food culture. Whether it's deep dish pizza in Chicago, tacos in San Diego, or bagels in New York City, sampling the foods that are native to an area is always a travel priority.

As soon as we booked our trip to Tucson, I knew I wanted to get a good taste of the local food scene. I knew Mexican/Southwestern food and fresh margaritas would be at the top of my list, but what surprised me was all the other good food we ate along the way.

Are you ready to start planning your trip to Tucson? Check out to start planning your trip to Tucson today and to get ideas for what to do, where to stay and eat, and how to make the most of your time in this dynamic city.

How I Deal With Stressful Times and Situations

This week has been a particularly rough one. Heck, this year hasn't been a picnic. But with this week's mass shooting in Las Vegas and the destructive hurricanes that have hit over the past few weeks, I've been left feeling sad and helpless.

At times like these I tend to unravel and quickly fall into a downward spiral. The fact that I dwell on the negative aspects of bad events certainly doesn't help either. I've been making an effort to catch myself before that downward spiral happens, and it has helped to keep my mood more positive and less doom and gloom.

Here are a few of the ways I deal with stressful time and situations.

The Health Benefits of Owning A Cat

Our family has two adorable and pesky cats. Jade is a gorgeous black cat, and Sam is our rambunctious striped tabby. Our lives have never been the same since we decided to adopt them. They both are little bundles of furry joy and a huge part of our family. But, owning a cat is so much more than having something to cuddle. Aside from the unconditional love, there are a myriad of health benefits when it comes to owning a cat. Cats make a perfect pet in any home. Put aside their playful personalities, the health benefits of cats are seemingly endless.

Here is what I have found to be the most beneficial health aspects of cat ownership.

Cats are Perfect Stress Busters
Did you know that stress can be reduced when you own a cat? Having a sweet little face to come home to is enough to make your heart melt. But, if you have had a long day in the office or out at work, cats can help you de-stress from the day. Their purrs can actually help soothe you if you have had a bad day. Plus, the feeling of stroking and grooming your cat is said to be good for your mental health.

Combating Loneliness
Those who own cats are often less lonely than those who live on their own. Loneliness can be bad for our emotional well being and overall health. So, if you live alone, having a cat can help you combat these feelings. They can be a positive boost to your mental health and your self-esteem.

Your Heart's Health is Increased
Cats are a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. Just the act of petting a cat can lower your blood pressure which is beneficial to your cardiovascular health. And playtime with your cat means that you are often getting light exercise.

But in order for you to benefit from your cat, your cat needs to be healthy. Feeding your cat a healthy diet is a must for optimal health. We choose only the best food, Hill's Science Diet®, for our cats. Hill's Science Diet is the #1 recommended brand of cat food by veterinarians.

Pet nutritionists scrutinize every recipe to ensure that your cat is getting the healthiest diet possible. Whether you have a cat with special dietary needs (weight control, urinary issues, hairball control, or something specific), Hill's makes a recipe to address your cat's specific needs.

When our cat Sam had urinary issues two months ago, our veterinarian recommended Hill's immediately. It's a special diet that he'll be on for life, and the veterinarian had the most confidence in a Hill's urinary formula to address Sam's specific needs.

Purchasing Hill's Science Diet formulas is easy with Amazon's Subscribe and Save program. When you join, you'll receive a coupon to save 20% off your first order and up to 15% off subsequent orders. You'll also receive free shipping on all orders. Get more information HERE. For this busy mom who doesn't always have time to trek to a specialty pet store, Amazon's Subscribe and Save is a true lifesaver. Just a few clicks, and cat food is delivered to my door within a few days.

Pets have the ability to transform our lives, so should we transform theirs by taking the absolute best care of them, starting with their diet? Cats are not just lovable companions; they are the best at keeping you healthy. There are physical, mental and general health benefits to owning a cat. They are the best companions to have, and they can truly make your family and you feel complete.

Don't have a cat? Hill's Science Diet offers recipes for dogs too.

Every little time saver counts. Will you use Amazon's Subscribe and Save program for ordering Hill's Science Diet pet foods? Check out how to join here.

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Ways to be more productive when you work from home via Real Simple.

2. The biggest song from the year you were born via Thrillist.

3. How to turn a job you hate into one you like via The Cut.