Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Holly& Heather’s Helpful Hint: Happy 40th Dancing School!

 

This month marked our mom’s 40th dance recital for our dancing school!!! She opened her dance studio when we were just babies and is still teaching (as are we) today. She is an amazing teacher and dancer – her kicks are higher than ours and her splits are flatter! Along with instilling her love of dance to many over the years, she has the joy of dancing deep down in her heart. We are so proud of her for all of her accomplishments in running her business for 40 years, back in a time where there weren’t many female business owners, let alone working full-time while raising a family.  We were always by mom’s side, growing up doing our homework in the waiting room of the studio and taking dance classes.  Eventually we began teaching as well and here we are 40 years later celebrating!  We wish mom the happiest anniversary: 40 years of dancing school!

 

*Photo circa 1974

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Keep Your Chin Up

We have experienced a few losses this past year with loved ones in our immediate and extended family. As time marches on, the void is still there with every social gathering and celebration. But it is perhaps the little moments, when something will spark a memory, that seem to hit the hardest. They bring to mind that that person REALLY is gone and we will never see them again in this world. We have hope that their spirit surrounds us and watches over our lives as we continue on. And sometimes we receive signs that their presence is still here: a knock when no one is there, ambiguous things like lots of coins showing up or butterflies close by. We know this may seem “out there” to some but they say when something out of the ordinary happens, the first person’s image to pop into our heads is the loved one we’ve lost saying, “Hello, I’m here.”  If it gives you comfort to share an experience here, please do so.  We are all in this world together.  We understand that everyone has different ways of dealing with loss so lets help each other.  Keep your chin up and walk on.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Make Summertime Volunteer Time!

Summer is here and there are lots of ways to spend the days:  going to the beach, relaxing with a book, vacationing - all great, fun stuff. Many people are still working over the summer but if you get a chance to take a block of time off and are looking for something rewarding to do, try volunteering with your kids.

While it is personally fulfilling for adults, summer time is a great time to get your children involved in a charitable endeavor. Lots of volunteer activities take place outside and they can spend time with like-minded kids their own age, helping and having fun in the fresh air!  Most kids in their teen years not only need community service hours to comply with graduation requirements but also to guide their morals and values while growing. Learning that there are others outside of their “bubble”, or usual environment, it is also very important toward giving them empathy and knowledge of the world around them.

There are so many different causes and needs that can enlighten teenagers.  Have them help you choose what cause they would like to donate their time to.  Our kids have been picking a week each summer for years, volunteering at a camp helping younger children with crafts, handing out snacks and assisting with cleanup.  Whether it is reading to the young or elderly, cleaning up a park, donating old clothes or making cupcakes for a nursing home, doing something to help others is an important part of making this world a better place.  Kids are biologically wired to think “me, me, me” until their early 20′s, lets help them think of others too!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Happy 4th of July!

 

Tomorrow America will be celebrating Independence Day and so will we! The bbq will be going, we will be with our family & friends all weekend and of course we will be watching fireworks at night. Along with our celebrating we’ll be remembering all of those who fought for our freedoms. Please be safe and have fun!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Healthy Summer Recipes!

Last Saturday was officially the first day of summer. There’s something about the warmer weather that makes you want to eat lighter fare. When it’s hot & sticky outside the last thing you want is a heavy stew heating up your house. In addition to that, we will be wearing bathing suits, shorts and t-shirts which reveal more of us to the world than a bulky sweater and jeans! We are trying to eat healthy but tasty food, to feel satisfied and satiated.  Here are a couple of recipes for some great summer dining!

Heather’s Bean Salad:

2 cans of beans (I prefer a mix of garbanzo & dark red kidney beans)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. pear infused vinegar (you could also use apple cider or balsamic vinegar)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Drain the beans and put them in a bowl.  Add olive oil to coat, onion powder and vinegar.  Stir to combine.  Add crumbled feta cheese and stir lightly.  Easy & delicious!

 

Holly’s Light Lemon Chicken:

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in strips

2 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped

1 lemon

Lightly dust the chicken in 1 1/2 Tbsp. of flour.  Brown the chicken in a large pan with the olive oil, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove chicken to a plate.  Add the garlic to the hot pan and 1 cup of the chicken broth.  Cook for one minute.  Add the broccoli and cook for another minute.  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. of flour and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Add to the broccoli pan and stir.  Add the chicken to the pan and zest of one lemon.  Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and cover/cook for 5-10 more minutes.  Serve with rice, cous cous (my favorite) or Heather’s Bean Salad (also my favorite) and enjoy!

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