Friday, August 21, 2020

Practical Tips for Resolving 5 Common Self-Isolation Issues

Please welcome Guest Writer Emma Brown from to the blog today. During this very unusual year of social distancing and quarantine, she shares with us Practical tips for resolving 5 common self-isolation issues.  Thank you Emma for your contribution!

                                                                Photo Credit: Unsplash

Practical Tips for Resolving 5 Common Self-Isolation Issues

 We’re all under a lot of pressure these days. Uncertainties and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are at the heart of these added stresses and worries, but issues at home can also cause additional tension. From adapting to a remote work set up to dealing with distractions, here are a few solutions to some of the most common quarantine issues.


My Partner Is Hogging the Television 

Relaxing with your favorite shows can be a good way to unwind. If you have family at home constantly hogging the TV, those screen habits could be causing more tension than relaxation. If gaming is an issue, you could compromise with the guilty party by encouraging them to play games on a computer instead. You could even provide a gaming monitor (there are plenty of solid budget-friendly options if you’re struggling financially). You might also choose who gets to pick the programming for each night. One person takes Monday, another Wednesday, for example, and then plan one or two nights each week without the television. When all else fails, grab a controller, and play their favorite games with them.


My Kids Are Distracting Me from Work 

If you’re working from home for the first time, getting used to a remote office can be a major struggle. That’s especially true when you have kids at home who are causing distractions during work hours. Spouses can be distracting as well, even if they are also working from home, but there are a few strategies you can employ to keep yourself from feeling anxious and overwhelmed. First, if you just picked up gaming essentials for your partner or children, schedule their gaming time during your regular work hours to help keep them occupied. You can also find other kid-friendly activities to keep your little ones busy but you may need to rely on compromise and communication when dealing with a distracting partner or spouse.


My Boss is Asking for Constant Check-Ins 

Trust can be a huge issue when it comes to managing remote employees, and your boss’s requests for frequent check-ins may be a result of this lack of trust. It’s also helpful to remember that your boss is also adjusting to COVID-19 changes. While you can’t necessarily refuse those requests for check-ins, you can take action to reduce your boss’s anxieties and build trust with her/him while you are working from home. If your boss simply wants to be able to communicate with you in real-time, you can suggest using a chat app for your remote team instead of relying on emails and phone calls. While it may seem trivial, dressing professionally for video calls and team meetings can also help your coworkers and supervisors trust you when working remotely.


De-clutter and Clean 

Juggling work and children at home can be a challenge. To eliminate extra stress, enlist the whole family to help with organizing and de-cluttering your home. Once everything has a place and is in its place, you can avoid that nagging feeling of an overstuffed linen closet that’s been calling your name. Plus, all of that cleaning and de-cluttering can make your home a more inviting, positive space.


My Schedule Is Too Busy to Pick Up Essentials 

Even if you and your spouse are both working from home, finding time to get out and get groceries can feel like a major chore. In fact, working from home can keep you even busier than working in an office, especially when your kids are at home and childcare is not accessible. So, instead of stressing yourself out about shopping for essentials, which can put your family’s health at a greater risk anyhow, consider using delivery or pick-up services. With so many people staying at home, these services can be pretty busy, so you will need to plan your orders out in advance, and the savings in time and stress will be well worth any extra effort. Also, be sure to disinfect purchases, as needed, before putting them away to keep your family protected.

Don’t let struggles inside your home add to pressures that are coming from outside. Instead, find practical solutions to these issues so you can self-isolate in relative peace.



Friday, July 24, 2020

Black Bean Quesadilla - Low Carb

black bean quesadilla
 (12 net carbs per quesadilla)
Recipe makes one quesadilla

1/4 cup black bean, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp. green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1/4 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup Ole mild queso cheese dip
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1 Ole low carb quesadilla wrap

Heat an iron skillet to medium high. Lay out flat one low carb quesadilla. Place beans on one side of quesadilla. Leave enough room to flip over to close. Sprinkle green pepper, shredded cheese and one tbsp. onion onto the black beans. Close quesadilla matching the ends as closely as possible. Spray Pam or any non-stick spray into your hot iron skillet. Transfer your closed quesadilla to the skillet. Spray the quesadilla with Pam. Brown the under side. Carefully place a spatula under the open side and roll over slowly, backward, in the pan. This backward movement instead of flipping allows the ingredients to stay inside the quesadilla. If you try to flip, it will spill. Brown the under side. Once browned, remove quesadilla and place onto a plate. Microwave the cheese dip for one minute. Pour over quesadilla. Top with tomatoes, lettuce and remaining onion. Enjoy!

Below are the items I use to make these delicious, super quick and easy, quesadillas. They are a real family pleasing lunch or dinner. My daughter Sloane brought this recipe to me from college. I've made it ever since, about eight years now. Please comment to tell me how much you love them! 

black bean quesadillablack bean quesadilla

black bean quesadillablack bean quesadilla


Friday, March 20, 2020

How Corona Virus Helped Me Understand My Parents

The picture above is my Mom, Juanita, age 79. Her birthday is just ten days away and she'll be the BIG 80! Happy Birthday Mom! My dad Clyde, beside her, is 82. Those beautiful little ladies are two of their three great-grandchildren, Lisette (l) and Milisende (r). My parents, born in 1940 and 1937 respectively, were reared by parental by-products of the Great Depression. I'm 56 years old. I didn't live the childhood they experienced and probably neither did you. I've never lived through a Pandemic either. While trying to stay socially distanced from everyone because my husband is high-risk, I had an epiphany of how Corona Virus helped me understand my parents.

I understand why my parents don't waste anything.

My Mom always says to me "Tammy, I could live on what you waste". In my mind, I don't waste THAT much money. She is referring to my behavior not aligning with hers.

She shops the grocery sale papers. I walk in and buy groceries.
She saves everything. I throw stuff out.
She is not an impulse buyer. I am.

My parents have fared well leveraging my mom's budgetary bones and my dad's side hustle of selling and trading. My dad's 5th grade education has not stopped him from making good life decisions concerning money.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Corona Virus is not my First Scare of 2020

Corona Virus (COVid-19) is not my first scare of 2020. The deadly virus seems pale in comparison to aiding my 34-week pregnant daughter during her horrifically scary placental abruption and subsequent birth (Please stay tuned for the video). Corona also seems very distant compared to the recent phone call I received from the Murray County Hospitalist explaining my husband needed a transfer to an intensive care unit capable of intubation and his subsequent six night hospital stay at Emory.

Amid the panic and public outcry over COVid-19, my heart is still rooted in the faith that brought me through the first two months of this new year, and the last

Thursday, January 2, 2020

3-Ingredient Southern Biscuit Recipe

biscuit recipe
3-Ingredient Southern Biscuit Recipe
1 1/2 cups White Lily Self-rising Flour
2/3 cup or more buttermilk
1/2 stick frozen butter
Preheat oven to 425. Place flour into a glass mixing bowl. Grate butter into flour and combine. Pour in buttermilk to form a ball with dough. All flour should be in the dough ball. If too dry, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk. 
Turn dough onto floured wax paper. Knead with hands. Roll out with rolling pin, fold back over, knead and repeat the process again. Knead and roll precisely six times, this creates layers in the biscuits. 
Roll out dough. Cut out biscuit with biscuit cutter. Place onto baking stone or pan with sides touching for best results. Bake for 18-22 minutes until desired browning is achieved. 
Makes 6 biscuits. Recipe can easily be doubled.
Cook's Tip: Grate butter with a Pamper Chef or other brand cheese grater.

Here's to your kitchen 365,

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Our Unforgettable Decade: An Honest Review

unforgettable decade

2009 - The first year in my life without a public job. 
Quitting my job was the last thing I envisioned for our lives. I loved my job and the people. Leaving employment without a backup plan was one of the scariest and most faithful things I've ever done. God had a plan. I followed it. His plans always work out.

2010 - I published a book and Sydnee graduated college.
I knew from an early age writing a book was to be written into my life. I just had no idea