Arlene Pellicane – Christian Speaker and Author

Archive for October 2011

I am not a cook.  I am more like an assembler, heater-upper, griller, and microwaver. 

But I dream of cooking yummy meals for my family.  This is one of my new goals at 40!  And I think I’ve found something to help me!

I was in Barnes & Nobles about a week ago and noticed this book Once A Month Cooking Family Favorites by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg.  It was on the clearance shelf for $2 so I could not resist! 

Cooking meals for a whole month seemed too daunting.  Plus my freezer was in no condition to receive such an onslaught of meals.  So I tried the “Two-Week Cycle.” 

The cookbook gives you a shopping list and menu chart.  There were a few meals I opted to skip.  Like preparing a rotisserie chicken, I’d rather pick one up ready to go from Costco!

Here are the recipes I ended up preparing: 

  • Southwestern Egg Casserole
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Macaroni
  • Upside-Down Fettuccini Bake
  • Chicken Durango
  • Texas-Style Lasagna
  • Beef Pot Roast

It took me 4 hours in the kitchen to complete.  I’m perpetual so I liked getting started and just working like mad.  The book tells you exactly what order to prepare everything to save time (boil macaroni, brown sausage, prepare chicken durango, etc). 

After about 3 hours, I was EXHAUSTED.  Can’t say I’ve worked that hard in the kitchen before.  But the satisfaction of seeing my freezer filled was wonderful. 

The dishes weren’t that bad to wash – just a few more dishes than you would normally wash for one meal. 

When James came home to a hot meal out of the oven and then that scene repeated the day after, he said, “I can’t remember having so many home cooked meals!” 

Bingo!  That’s exactly the feedback I wanted to hear.   

The following two days were leftover days which was fine.  Since I’m not a cook by nature, I need the structure of an easy to follow recipe.  This cookbook has that and the recipes have tasted good so far.  Most important of all, I have HOPE!  I can cook and change my ways, even at 40.

Working hard one afternoon was well worth it because for two weeks, I know what’s for dinner!   

I think I would pay full price for another cookbook from Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg…

This morning I was interviewed on blog talk radio on CWLxPress (Christian Womens Lifestyle Express) with Deanetta Thompson.  We talked about…

What to do when you look in the mirror and feel unattractive

How to make small inexpensive changes to look younger

Why does appearance matter anyway? 

What to do when you’re tired of diets and exercising? 

You can listen in on the conversation here.  I hope you’ll be encouraged and get a few positive action steps to use this week.

I’m so glad to be a part of my friend Kathi Lipp’s military book club – one whole month dedicated to helping wives be more loving to their hubbies! 

Every day, Kathi has a guest author post and giveaway a copy of a book or other gift.  Today you can check out my post about being that trophy wife for your man.  Just leave a comment on Kathi’s blog for your chance to win my book and a baby onesie! 

Have a great start of the week.  I’m trying something new this week – I found a book on once a month cooking at Barnes & Nobles for just two bucks!!!  It was perfect timing because I was just thinking how I really need some help in the cooking department.  This week I will be trying the 2 week meal plan (cooking 4 hours for 2 weeks worth of meals).  I’ll keep you posted!

It’s been a lot of fun celebrating turning 40!  I am grateful that I am healthy, blessed with a great family, and doing something that I love in speaking and writing.  Wow, I could not ask for more!  Thank you God!

I am happy to say there wasn’t anything too elaborate on my wish list this year.  It’s funny because the things I wanted were extremely basic…

The morning of my birthday I wanted a big Costco size container of hand soap because I’ve been eeking out the last bubbles from my soap dispenser for weeks in my bathroom. 

I wanted a new box of kleenex to magically appear on my bathroom counter.  I guess just thinking about walking downstairs and pulling a kleenex box out of the garage doesn’t count.

I wanted a new pair of tennis shoes because the comfy mom shoes I wear daily desperately need a facelift (footlift?).

Okay, so what’s with the blue hair?

We had a dress crazy birthday party!  I wore my cheerleading outfit from 1988 and I’m happy to say I could button the vest and zip the skirt up mostly.  Here’s to the fabulous forties!

Here’s my cute little piggy Lucy who turned 2 this month:

In a few short days, I will turn the big 4-0!

Since my book is 31 Days to a Younger You, I’m not afraid of this milestone.  I say BRING IT ON!

Well, not with so much gusto, but honestly, I’m happy to be turning 40.  I’m incredibly grateful for so many things God has done for me in my 30s…

Having 3 beautiful, fun children

Becoming a stay home mom

Pursuing my dream of speaking and writing

Having one book published and another on the way (summer 2012)

Memorable vacations to New York City, Hawaii and Yellowstone

Meeting mentors and role models like Pam Farrel

An amazing love from my husband James

And the list goes on!

I’m so thankful to God for a decade of change and growth in my 30s.  I know my 40s will be even better! 

Any advice for me out there about entering this next decade?  I’d love to hear it!

My youngest daughter Lucy has turned two…

Look how far she has come.  Here she is at 6 months with hair that any rocker would envy:

Her hair doesn’t stick up anymore…

I have to put her hair up manually now:

We celebrated Lucy’s birthday at Corvette Diner.  Big sister likes blowing out the candles as much as she does.  Happy Birthday Lucy – we love you so! 

Last week we went on a vacation of a lifetime to Yellowstone National Park.  It’s famous for a reason!  It was the first visit for our family and also for my in-laws who met up with us in the Park.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking.  Here you see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. 

The morning between 7-8:30 am was just magical, with elk and bison roaming freely, the steam coming off the geysers, and the sun light rising on the meadows and mountains.  Here’s a picture of rush hour:

Here’s a close up…no need to rush this big guy!

At this point, our 2nd grader Ethan said, “Let’s get outta here!” 

The beauty was incredible – from Norris Geyser Basin, to Old Faithful, to Lake Yellowstone, to the Grand Tetons.  We thoroughly enjoyed it all.  Four days to see the park was perfect for our family.  Put Yellowstone on your bucket list.  It’s worth seeing for yourself!


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