Feed Your Soul

St. Louis Arch Turns 50!

- Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On October 28, 1965 the last stainless steel section of the St. Louis Arch was secured and a national monument symbolizing the “gateway to the west” was born. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial museum, the tram ride to the top of the Arch and the magnificent view are things you and your family won’t soon forget. The view is especially enjoyable on a clear day in the fall when all the leaves change colors. To get the most out of your visit here are some things to keep in mind.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial spans several blocks, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. Magnificent views mean great photo opportunities so you’ll want to bring a camera or have your cell phone’s camera ready.

Because the tram ride to the top of the Arch is so popular you’ll want to arrive early to avoid lines and allow 30–45 minutes for security checks. The security checkpoint at the Arch is similar to the one at the airport except you’re allowed to keep your shoes on. Remember, the lighter you pack, the quicker you’ll get through security.

Everyone who plans to ride the tram to the top of the Arch must have a ticket. Consider purchasing a Journey to the Top ticket which includes the tram ride to the top and the documentary film, Monument to the Dream. If you prefer not to ride the tram to the top of the Arch, you can purchase the Arch Entry-Only ticket which gives you access to the Gateway Arch facility and admission to the film.

Happy 50th Birthday to the St. Louis Arch!

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

- Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween is one of the best nights of the year for young children. But it can also be one of the most dangerous. Here are some vital tips to help keep you and your little trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween night.

·         Plan your route in advance. Little legs will get tired and sore, despite your trick-or-treater’s protests. That’s why it’s best to choose a route that doesn’t take you too far from home. Map your route before you leave the house and stick to familiar paths so you don’t get lost.

·         Wear comfortable walking shoes. Even if your costume is a dress, flats are much better for walking than a pair of heels. Also, double knot shoe laces to avoid tripping, especially when seeing is difficult enough in the dark.

·         Keep well-lit. Just as cars have headlights to see and be seen, the same is true for trick-or-treaters. Stick reflective tape on your child’s costume and have a flashlight to keep their path well-lit.

·         Make sure your child’s costume is the appropriate length. Costumes that are too long are a tripping hazard.

·         Avoid masks if you can help it. Opt instead for non-toxic make-up so your child can see better and breathe easier.

·         If your child insists on a costume that requires weapons as props, make sure these props are soft and resistant (like Nerf balls) so they won’t hurt other children.

·         When your child has had his fill of trick-or-treating be sure to sort through their candy, throwing out any candy that appears to have been tampered with or doesn’t appear to be in its original wrapper.

Plan Next Week's Meals and Save Money Doing So

- Saturday, October 17, 2015

There’s nothing like the feeling of a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator. However, getting them well-stocked is the challenge families face every week. Making the most of your weekly trip to the grocery store takes planning. Here are some tips that will save you time in the long run and money too.

·         For extra savings, check around for deals and coupons for the food you plan to buy. This could be online, in mailers or flyers in the grocery store.

·         Buy produce that’s in season. Many grocery stores run specials on apples in September and October because there’s more supply than demand. Look for specials on zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and bell peppers.

·         Use search engines like FoodieView to find recipes that include the on-sale produce for that week. This way you’ll have a new recipe that uses the food you’ve bought.

·         A failure to plan is a plan for failure. To get the most out of the money you spend on the groceries and eat the food you’ve bought before it goes bad, a week-long meal plan is the solution. Consider planning six dinner menus that are healthy and easy to fix in order to accommodate your busy work week schedule. Most families prefer to eat at least one meal out per week for a night off from cooking. Keep breakfasts simple and eat leftovers from dinner for lunch.

·         Once you’ve decided on a meal plan, you’re ready to make your shopping list based on the ingredients needed for those meals. Make sure you check the pantry and the fridge to see what you already have on hand. You’ll save more money when you avoid buying things you already have.

·         One final way to save money at the grocery store is to stick to your list. Avoid going to the store when you’re hungry and tossing stuff into the cart that’s not on your list. Since you’ve planned your meals, you know what you need and what you don’t.

Start Baking Holiday Gifts

- Saturday, October 10, 2015

Some of the best gifts for teachers, friends and co-workers at the holidays are treats you can bake at home and freeze ahead of time. The middle of October is the ideal time to get a head start so you’re not so rushed around the holidays. One option is this chocolate chip pumpkin bread that’s easy to make. Simply bake, double wrap in foil and plastic wrap, then freeze. Thaw out the night before you plan to give the loaf as a gift and place in a gift bag with tissue.

You’ll need

3 cups white sugar

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1.       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2.       Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9x5 inch loaf pans.

3.       Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs in a large bowl and beat until smooth.

4.       Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.

5.       Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

6.       Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.

Planning Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Season

- Friday, October 02, 2015

With all the things that have to be done, somehow the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t always feel that way. Here are some planning tips to ease the stress of the holiday season.

·         Stock Up Your Pantry – One the best ways to prepare for lots of holiday guests is by stocking up on baking supplies, snacks and wine in the next few weeks.

·         Make Your Gift List – Keep a list of loved ones and the items they want on your Smartphone. You’re more likely to stay within your budget as result.

·         Homemade gifts – Peanut butter brittle, soaps and other goodies can be made ahead and help you avoid breaking the bank.

·         Ship Gifts Early – Don’t wait until 10 days before Christmas to ship gifts to loved ones out of town. Buy gifts as early as you can so they make it under the tree in time.

·         Go Easy on Yourself – Remember you’re only one person and no one can do everything. It’s okay to donate party supplies rather than baking cookies for the school holiday party.

Preparing for a Lot of Family in a Little Space

- Friday, September 25, 2015

The holidays are just around the corner and for those of us hosting a lot of family in a little space, here are some ideas for easing the impact of crowding:

·         Consider a daybed or futon instead of a couch in your living room. Daybeds and futons can transform a living room into a guest bedroom in a matter of minutes.

·         If a daybed or futon isn’t an option, turn to a good quality air mattress. An air mattress gives you the freedom to make virtually any space, except the bathroom, into a comfortable place for your family and guests to sleep.

·         Clear the clutter as best you can so your family can stow their luggage. When out of town guests arrive they’ll feel more comfortable having a place to put their things. The clearer your floor space, the more places they’ll have for their things besides the kitchen table.

·         Make sure your bathroom door closes and locks, you have plenty of spare rolls of toilet paper and other supplies handy in your bathroom. The more you can maximize privacy for everyone, the better the visit will be.

·         Respect your out of town family’s privacy, schedule and space, especially if they are sleeping in your living room. If they typically turn in earlier than you, consider sleeping on the couch in your living room and making your bedroom the guest room so you can stay up as late as you want.

·         One way to make your living room more like a bedroom is to place a lamp next to the sleeping area, have an extra set of pillows on hand as well as towels and blankets close at hand. Keep things as cozy and convenient as possible.

Making the Most of Your Weekend

- Friday, September 18, 2015

For the Pujols Family, weekends whiz by in the blink of an eye. Here are some tips for making the most of your weekends:

·         Allow your mind and body to recover from the typical stresses you encounter during the week by doing a different kind of labor such as soccer, chopping firewood or playing a musical instrument.

·         A failure to plan is a plan for failure. Not that you need to micromanage with a minute-by-minute playbook, but sketching 3-5 activities in your planner lets you anticipate and savor the fun events you have planned for the weekend rather than succumbing to feeling tired and staying cooped up in your house.

·         Extend your weekend and dampen your Sunday night blues by making a tradition of a big dinner with your family, taking an early evening yoga class or volunteering by serving meals to those less fortunate.

·         Make the most of your morning. Consider getting up early to do your exercises or running. Getting up before the rest of your family is less disruptive to your day.

·         Create traditions of your own like Friday night pizza, Sunday morning pancakes or walking to religious services. Habits like these create traditions and memories. Comforting rituals like these boost your family’s happiness.

Save Time Getting Your Family Out the Door Each Morning

- Friday, September 11, 2015

What’s the best way to save time getting your family out the door in the morning?

1.       Pack lunches the night before

2.       Lay out tomorrow’s clothes (the entire week if possible) the night before

3.       Choose simple and healthy breakfast foods like fresh fruit, bagels and granola that don’t take long to prep

Tips for Keeping Healthy Snacks on Hand All Week

- Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Here are some quick and easy tips for keeping healthy snacks on hand all week:


1.       Gather your favorite veggies like celery, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower

2.       Wash and Cut into bite size pieces

3.       Store in air tight container

By prepping veggies over the weekend you have food that’s ready and easy to grab from the refrigerator on days when your family is more rushed.

You can also pack individual serving sizes into small Ziploc bags for on-the-go snacks or for packed lunches.

Labor Day Meal Planning Tips

- Friday, September 04, 2015

With a little planning, serving your family a big meal this Labor Day doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some tips:

Two Days Before

1.       Make a menu of your family’s favorite dishes

2.       Survey your pantry and refrigerator for ingredients you already have

3.       Make a grocery list of items you still need

4.       Shop

The Day Before

1.       Make your side dishes and refrigerate if needed

2.       Make your desserts and refrigerate if needed

Labor Day

1.       Set your table

2.       Roast or grill meat

3.       Pour drinks

4.       Get out side dishes

5.       Eat and then serve dessert

*Have the rest of the family do the dishes!



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