Dear Single Parents: You Are Seen

Dear Single Parent: You are Seen | The Champagne Supernova

I was annoyed when I received the text.

Hey Jen. I won’t be at the office this morning. Emma woke up with pink eye and I need to take her to the doctor. I’ll see if my babysitter can watch her this afternoon. I’ll be in as soon as I can. 

I’ll admit I probably rolled my eyes.


    Entertaining Made Easy with La Terra Fina

    Entertaining made easy with recipes and dips from La Terra Fina | The Champagne Supernova

    Lemon Pepper & Asiago vegetable dip from La Terra Fina

    This post is sponsored by La Terra Fina. All opinions are my own.

    Who here gets really stressed at the idea of entertaining?

    Me! Me! Me!

    Some people are natural born entertainers and, unfortunately, that’s just not my forte.

    I stress about the idea of planning, keeping track of RSVPs and, more than anything, coming up with snacks to keep the guests’ bellies full.

    Luckily, La Terra Fina has some AMAZING fruit and vegetable dips and spreads on hand to keep every host and guest happy.

    These include:

    • Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Dip
    • Eureka Lemon Cheesecake Dip
    • Italian Style Tomato & Cheese Dip & Spread; and
    • Lemon Pepper Asiago Dip & Spread.

    All of these (inexpensive!) dips are available at your neighborhood Publix and taste good by themselves or doctored with other ingredients.

    La Terra Fina was launched in 1983 by a San Francisco area caterer who was locally famous for her dips and quiches. She created her products for grocery and club stores and now offers more chef-inspired goodies that are perfect for friends and loved ones.

    La Terra Fina is committed to the environment and long-term sustainability through it’s product sourcing, packaging decisions, and production processes. The company recycles 83% of materials and use electricity reducing programs at their plant and in their offices. La Terra Fina uses locally grown ingredients and is always looking for new ways to decrease the company’s environmental footprint.

    Check out La Terra Fina‘s website for a huge list of appetizer, dessert, main course, side dish, and snack recipes that take 30 minutes or less. (You can also find a coupon online for a buy one, get one free product.)

    Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Dip

    • One container of La Terra Fina Eureka Lemon Cheesecake Dip
    • One half of a pint of fresh blueberries
    • Five large graham crackers
    • One fresh lemon

    Mash the graham crackers into small pieces and mix them with the blueberries and Eureka Lemon Cheesecake Dip. Add lemon zest to the top (for appearance sake) and enjoy with cookies, crackers, or the fruit of your choice.

    Cheers to La Terra Fina for helping us simplify our lives and Happy Entertaining!

    Entertaining made easy with recipes and dips from La Terra Fina | The Champagne Supernova

    Eureka Lemon Cheesecake Dip, Italian Style Tomato & Cheese Dip & Spread, and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Dip from La Terra Fina.

    Entertaining made easy with recipes and dips from La Terra Fina | The Champagne Supernova

    Vegetable spread with the Lemon Pepper & Asiago dip from La Terra Fina

      A Charmed Christmas with James Avery

      A magical Christmas with James Avery charms | The Champagne Supernova

      My earliest memory of Christmas morning dates back to when I was five years old. My parents trekked from Florida to Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with my grandparents and other family members.

      On Christmas morning, I remember waking up early (so early that it was still dark outside) and tiptoeing downstairs with my parents, grandparents, and younger sister.

      The blue carpet around the tree was surrounded by all types of amazing gifts. There was a large rocking horse with my name on it.

      Best of all, the chocolate chip cookies we left out for Santa the night before were nothing more than crumbs.

      I’ll never forget my grandparents’ Christmas tree. It had hundreds of multi-colored lights and several ornaments. Some were vintage. Some were new. Some my grandmother, an elementary school teacher, had collected as gifts from her students over the years. The top of the Christmas tree had a white angel with a porcelain face. It had been in the family for several years and while the location of the ornaments may have changed over time, the angel was a constant.

      This Angel of Peace charm is special because it reminds me of the angel that sat on top of my grandparents’ tree.

      It symbolizes the carefree nature of childhood and loving memories of family and togetherness.

      For me, James Avery is so much more than jewelry.

      It’s a symbol of faithfulness and the comfort of strongly held beliefs.

      It’s a way to hold those traditions and memories close when loved ones are far away.

      It’s a way to say “I Love You” every day.

      James Avery is more than a store.

      James Avery is your story.

      Make this Christmas one to remember with James Avery artisan jewelry.

      For more inspiring James Avery stories and the jewelry that helps tell them, such as the Angel of Peace charm, visit the website here.


      James Avery charm collection make great holiday gifts | The Champagne Supernova

      What is your story?

      Cheers and Merry Christmas.

        Bealls Outlet: Your Affordable Holiday Destination

        Get your holiday shopping done with great brands at Beall's Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

        My kids’ wish-list from Santa is a mile long.

        They want everything.


        An electric car.



        Play make-up.

        Jewelry and accessories.

        Fortunately, buying great brand name toys and gadgets for your friends and family doesn’t have to break the bank this holiday season.

        Mosey on over to your local Beall’s Outlet for a great selection of toys and electronics available at competitive prices.

        My girls and I went there for a morning of shopping for other family members- including young kids- and had so much luck.

        Beall’s Outlet offers high-quality brand name toys such as Melissa and Doug, Disney, and Fisher Price. These toys are available at prices that are significantly lower than retail. We walked out of the store with so many goodies and I wasn’t worried about having a terrifying credit card statement at the end of the month. (Who else has been there before?)

        Get your holiday shopping done at Beall's Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

        Beall’s Outlet also has a large selection of electronics with big name brands like Magnavox, Sharper Image, and SoundPro.

        I was able to grab noise-canceling headphones for my brother-in-law, computer speakers for my dad, and a karaoke machine for my friends. Again, at significantly discounted prices.

        While you’re knee deep in holiday parties, keep in mind Beall’s Outlet also has a great selection of bath and beauty products that would make great hostess gifts.

        These include decorative hand towels, organic bath bombs, and scented candles.

        Be sure to keep Beall’s Outlet in mind as your holiday shopping destination for great products at an even better value.

        Cheers and happy holidays!

          What Childhood Poverty Really Looks Like

          Being raised in poverty in America | The Champagne Supernova

          My grandmother was an elementary school teacher in Cambria County, Pennsylvania (Read: poor!) for over 30 years before she retired. One of her more noteworthy memories happened at Christmastime nearly 40 years ago.

          Her students participated in a “Secret Santa” gift exchange. While all of the other students were opening up neat presents like baseball cards, knock-off Barbie dolls, and Silly Putty in the middle of the class party (schools were allowed to have Christmas parties back then), one kid, John, gave his assigned pal, Donnie, a small bag of potato chips because that’s all his mother could afford.


            You are Where You’re Supposed to Be

            I was sitting in the Courthouse cattle-call room waiting for a hearing to begin when my colleague’s casual statement left me hurting for days.

            There’s a group of ten of us going to dinner over Labor Day weekend since Lauren Strickland and her husband will be in town. Any idea where I can rent a party bus to drive us around?

            “Wait, what?” I thought.

            As background, I went to law school with Lauren and we were close friends (in my mind) before she and her family relocated to Houston to accommodate her husband’s job in the oil industry.

            Until she moved three years ago, Lauren and I spent a good amount of time together. I hosted her son’s first birthday party at my house when her own home was under construction and arranged a meal train when her mother was in a car accident.


              What an Eighty Year Old Wished She Knew in Her Thirties

              My grandmother turned 83 years old in May. She was born in the bedroom of a small house in Minersville, a lower-income neighborhood of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, highly populated with workers of the then-thriving Bethlehem Steel mill. Despite her own parents’ lack of education, my grandmother and her brother went on to earn college degrees and both of them subsequently became elementary school teachers.

              My grandmother served her local community as a teacher for three decades before she retired in 1993. Always passionate about politics and making a positive influence, she was on the local Housing Authority and served as the Johntown’s Deputy Mayor.

              Despite all of her successes, my grandmother also faced many hardships. Raised a devout Catholic, my grandmother has been married three times, which was taboo for her generation from a religious and social standpoint (although it is worth noting that she and my step-grandfather have been married four decades- third time’s the charm!) Her first husband, my biological grandfather, left her with year-old twin daughters on Christmas Eve in 1957 when he told her he was heading to the grocery store to purchase cream soda and he’d “be right back.”


                Make Thanksgiving Preparation Easy with Beall’s Outlet

                Thanksgiving brings many things to mind.

                Pilgrims and Indians.

                Cooler weather and colorful leaves.

                Time off from work and school.

                Hanging out with family and friends.

                Having to hit the gym twice as hard to make up for all the turkey, trimmings, and libations that will be consumed.

                And let’s keep it real… stress.

                While I love the overall feel of the holidays, all the little details that go into it can get stressful.

                Do we have enough sheets and towels to accommodate overnight guests?

                What about dinnerware- do we have table settings for everyone?

                Can Martha Stewart (or my Fairy Godmother) come over and make my house look festive?

                Do we have sufficient bakeware or should we just make reservations?

                Fortunately, Beall’s Outlet has really helped me get ahead of the eight-ball when it comes to planning for the holidays. In fact, it’s a one-stop shop for everything I need to make hosting Thanksgiving a great success. From measuring cups and baking pans to home decor, bedding, bathroom necessities, and table sets, Beall’s Outlet has enabled me and my family to get ready for Thanksgiving without spending valuable time and money.

                With products discounted as much as 70% off retail, the value is unbeatable. 

                We bought everything we needed to get us ready for Thanksgiving by making one simple shopping trip to Beall’s Outlet. This included serving dishes, pie platters, festive salt and pepper shakers, holiday decor, and a scented candle (pumpkin spice) to boot.

                How to decorate for Thanksgiving at Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

                Decorating your home with Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

                Fall themed kitchen decor | The Champagne Supernova

                Below are photographs of me and my girls making our signature Banana Bread dish for a Thanksgiving appetizer. All of the cooking utensils featured in the photograph were purchased at Beall’s Outlet.

                How to simplify your holidays with Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

                Here is the recipe:

                • One box of banana nut bread mix from the grocery store (you could do this from scratch, but #aintnobody got time);
                • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil;
                • 3 large eggs.

                Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the vegetable oil and eggs with the mix. Stir the ingredients and pour them in a 9 x 5 bread tin purchased at Beall’s Outlet. Place the tin in the oven for 40 minutes.


                I even created a tablescape with items I purchased at Beall’s Outlet.

                Spreading Thanksgiving cheer with Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

                Wow, I never thought I would ever be able to get my act together and actually create my own tablescape!

                Want to enjoy even more savings on top of Beall’s already low prices? Then sign up for their One Card loyalty program. Becoming a member is easy and literally took two minutes- you can sign up directly in the store with a sales associate at the check-out counter. It’s FREE and will save you a lot of moolah in the long run. What are the rewards?

                • A $5 coupon for every 200 points you earn. That’s 1 point for each $1 you spend at Beall’s Outlet.
                • 15% off your entire purchase on Monday for those 50 and over or on Friday for those 49 and under.
                • The best customers receive exclusive offers and promotions throughout the year.

                Cheers to a great Thanksgiving, everyone, and cheers to Beall’s Outlet for making Thanksgiving easier on my mind, time, and wallet.

                Thank you to Beall’s Outlet for sponsoring this post. Although they gave me money to shop at their store, all the thoughts, styling ideas, and tips in the blog post are my own.




                  Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market 2017

                  Funny Santa Pictures at the Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market 2017 | The Champagne Supernova

                  He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…


                  The Junior League of Tampa‘s 14th annual Holiday Gift Market presented by Publix returns in 2017- and it’s better than ever before. (I mean, how do you top something consistently amazing?)

                  via GIPHY

                  Last year, I provided tips for how to hide all of your Holiday Gift Market loot from your husbands. This year, we are relishing in how to torment treat your children to photos with the Big Man Himself.

                  via GIPHY

                  Great News…


                    Attention Parents: It’s Okay to Bribe Your Kids

                    It's ok to bribe your kids | The Champagne Supernova

                    The cutie pie in this picture is my friend’s son, Andrew. He is five years old and in Pre-Kindergarten. My friend told Andrew’s older sister she would buy her a $50 toy if she got all 300 of her sight words correct. Andrew asked if that counted for him as well, so my friend agreed. Andrew worked really, really hard to achieve his goal and got all of his 300 sight words correct. Look how proud he is in this picture. Go, Andrew, Go! And go, mama, go! You gotta do what you gotta do and figure out what works for kids.

                    It’s not every day I get inspired by the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.

                    For those of you who have never seen it, it’s a reality show that follows privileged fifteen year-old girls and their friends as they obsessively plan their Sweet 16 parties.

                    These parties are often over-the-top and are the equivalent of hosting a wedding. Ornate invitations. Hundreds of guests. Famous DJs providing the entertainment. Hoochie mama gaudy dresses. Hairdressers and makeup artists. Behind-the-scenes drama.

                    More often than not, watching the show is like watching a train wreck.


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