Tag Archives: healthy

My Husband Loves Toys

My Husband Loves Toys

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there


My husband LOVES toys & gadgets.

Adult Toys & Gadgets  (no, NOT “those”  kind…).

He just can’t watch an Infomercial without wanting to buy whatever they’re selling.


I realize it might eventually be beneficial to install V-chip Technology to block these broadcasts from our home TVs. But, in the meantime, he proudly informed me UPS would soon be delivering a Pressure Cooker.

“Wait…. What?!?!  I don’t want a Pressure Cooker!!”, I quickly replied.


I remember those from back in the 60s.  My mom had one, and rarely used it.

It was constructed out of heavy steel and had this black plastic knobie valve that would spin and rattle as explosive steam built-up within the pot.

If you entered the kitchen during one of the very rare occasions my mother was PRESSURE cooking something in it… she would shrill: Do NOT. Get. Near. The. Stove!!! 

When it was done… we basically had to wear hard hats, and crouch under the kitchen table while my mom gingerly tried to remove the lid.


Fast forward, I told my husband my feelings about introducing this Highly Dangerous Hazard into our home kitchen and he confidently informed me that…

THIS, was not my Mother’s Pressure Cooker!!!


“This was a technological advancement in home cooking like no other.

This Pressure Cooker was fully automated, digital, and SAFE.

It sat safely on the kitchen countertop.  

You simply plugged it in, added the ingredients,

locked on the lid, pushed a few buttons & Voila.

Within minutes you had a delectable meal worthy of a Three-star Michelin Rating.”


Then my husband started to describe the great dinners we could easily make in our new Pressure Cooker.  And he had me, right there & then, with: “WE”.  


I have never, ever enjoyed “cooking”.  I’ll bake cookies all day long, but I stress-out just at the thought of having to make dinner every night.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if I could cook the same thing for dinner over & over every night… but I dread having to come up with new, different menu ideas!!  I find it torturous!!  

So, I anxiously awaited the arrival of this newfangled Pressure Cooker.  


Our first attempt was to make a recipe called Savory Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard and Sage Gravy over Potatoes. We bought all the ingredients, put them in the pot, followed all the instructions and within only a matter of minutes, our dinner was done. Voila!!

So… did the food taste better or any different than if we’d cooked the same meal in the conventional way?  

The verdict: Heck, YEAH it was Better…  it was Unfreaking Believable… melt in your mouth Delicious!!!  

AND I have to admit there were No hard hats required.  

It’s easy to use, totally digital and EVERY meal comes out tasting simply AMAZING!! The steam traps in all the wonderful flavors, nutrients and everything is cooked to the perfect tenderness.

The only (HUGE) disadvantage has been glaringly displayed on the digital display of our bathroom scale. Unfortunately, along with every newly discovered delicious meal… there also seems to be newly discovered inches to my arse.

To be completely honest, this wonderful advancement in home cooking technology is a curse!!

I LOVE food.    I LOVE to eat.  

So, I certainly don’t need food to taste any better or another reason to love food any more than I already do.  (Especially now, at the age when my metabolism has come to a screeching halt!) But, I must say, it’s great to see my husband so enthusiastic about this latest toy and I totally appreciate the help in meal planning and preparation… therefore, I find myself in quite a quandary.   

I was hoping this Pressure Cooker would just find its way into the Gadgetry Graveyard along with the “not so easy to clean” Jack Lalane Juicer…, but Nooooo, this sweet innocent looking thing is still sitting front and center on our kitchen countertop.

I have finally resorted myself to the fact this clever little devil invention is here to stay, so I better learn to live with it and adjust my lifestyle accordingly.

Maybe it would help if every Pressure Cooker came with a free 200 page easy-to-follow recipe book… AND, a free introductory membership to Weight Watchers.

I can only hope the next Infomercial my husband watches will be for a Total Home Gym.


Time Alone (When The Mouse Is Away, The Cat Has A Time-Out-Day)

Time Alone (When The Mouse Is Away, The Cat Has A Time-Out-Day)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there



My wonderful Hubster (whom I frankly Adore), recently took his son on a Snowmobiling Trip.

Not only was I grateful he has sons who can join him on those COLD Weather Adventures (somewhere up in Yukonesque Territory with below-zero-double-digit temperatures)…

I was also excited to have just a couple of days All Alone.

Okay, somewhat alone…with all the dogs.  And cat.  And goats.  And cattle…


Bottom line:  The minute they pulled out of the driveway (at the crack of dawn)… I felt like Kevin in  Home Alone !!!


But, instead of running from room to room waving my arms overhead…

when I finished cleaning up their breakfast dishes and feeding, watering, and letting animals out & in… and then out & in once again:

I went back to bed and took a Nap!


What. A. Luxury!!!


I am a Stay-At-Home-Wife (gladly)… but, contrary to what some might think,

I. DO.NOT. SIT. around with my feet up watching soap operas and eating Bon-Bons.


Quite the contrary!!!


We SAHW’s are a busy group.

As with any profession, you have hard chargers and loafers.  And I’m gonna guess most of us SAHW’s would crush your styreotype.

From the moment my alarm goes off at Noon (LoL, JK) 6:15AM… I am off and running!!

To be honest, I don’t have time to even turn on the TV during the day and have never eaten a Bon-Bon (unless it was a high-proof liqueur infused variety).


However, I will confess to eating handful’s of M&M’s sporadically during my day as I;

Run errands, cook, clean, grocery shop, organize, vacuum, tend to laundry ‘n animals, drive kid(s) to & from school, and try to keep up with my Blog, all the while orchestrating a smoothly running family calendar and household…


Oh, and did I mention, Cleaning!?!?


I’m not bragging or being a martyr or keeping score, because I love my job and I also happen to have a very hard-charging husband.

He also does more than his share around the house (mostly all the outdoor stuff!!!) plus has a Full-FULL-time job.


I’m simply setting the stage for why a Nap was a Luxury!!!  And why being alone, provided me with a weekend full of my kind of Luxuries…


Day 1

(single-digit-below-zero temps & weather advisory snowstorm)


It was a very cold and blizzardy day.  I forced myself to get up from my cozy nap and made myself Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup for breakfast and finally turned on the TV.

I planned to watch all those Grey’s Anatomy episodes I’ve had TiVoed forever, but after watching just two I was pretty bored.  Maybe Grey’s just isn’t the same without Derek???

I scanned HBO, but nothing looked all that interesting, so I made lunch.

I made a box of Jell-O “sugar-free” Chocolate Pudding and the whole thing fit into my bowl.  It was really good.  I didn’t even wait for it to cool, it was soooo good hot!!


By now you might realize I never bothered to make the bed… or get out of my pajamas; a pair of Gap plaid flannel pants and an old Grey’s Anatomy T-shirt that says: “Seriously.”




I must say… as I took care of the animals throughout the day, I kinda felt like they were judging my attire just a little bit…




The rest of the day was unremarkable and passed slowly.

There was plenty of time to O.D. on social media: reading Blogs about life, decorating, girlie-girl things, etc…

I was able to catch-up with all my kids; via texting of course, because nobody seems to answer their phones nowadays.

And then I ended my evening, eating dinner (a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, without the milk) in bed and watching a sappy Hallmark movie until I fell asleep.


Day 2


Pretty much a repeat of Day 1!

Until about 3:00 PM, when I simply couldn’t take it anymore… I  bathed… dressed… and ventured out to Walmart in a virtual white-out-blizzard to get milk for “dinner”.

And to buy a “couple bags” of Hersey Foil Easter Eggs to replace the ones I’d been snacking on…


Day 3


For three whole days I took care of the animals, watched sappy girlie stuff on TV & pretty much did and ate whatever I felt like.  I didn’t have to think about anybody else or their needs.

I didn’t need to plan, prepare or clean-up any big meals…

I had resorted to recycling the use of just one bowl for all my meals.


And by the third day of being All Alone… I was really missing the Hubster!!!


Wise people say: Even the Sun burns when you get too much.  And the goal to a happy life is a Balanced Life.


So, after my three days of “Luxury”… I got up at 6:30AM… okay 9… and very HAPPILY (with Renewed Enthusiasm) tackled my regular SAHW routine and had everything Spic-n-Span, and a full course dinner waiting… when the Hubster returned Back Home!!!


Everybody needs a little time away… or so they say…

What would you do on your Time-Out-Day???



Surviving Winter (Drowning In A Snow Globe)

Surviving Winter (Drowning In A Snow Globe)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there



Seriously.  It’s not even February and I am already sick of winter.  


It seems wherever I’m living on God’s Green Earth… it is encased in ice, snow and freezing temperatures 5 months out of the year.  


I will admit winter’s first snowfall is magical… beautiful… I even welcome it.  


The morning I wake-up and see everything covered in a blanket of pure pristine snow, is as exciting as it was when I was a kid.  


But the older I get, the faster my tolerance for these long winters fades.



I’ve come to think of Winter as Cousin Eddie from Family Vacation.  

You know, that annoying relative (you love & hate) that comes to visit every year.  


You’re actually glad to see him when he first arrives.  He’s kind of fun and exciting…                  a refreshing change of pace from your day to day routine.


When you’re a kid, Cousin Eddie is the Best!  You can’t wait til he arrives and you can get out there and play with him.  Sometimes you wish he could even stay longer cause he’s just so much fun.


And then the older you get, the less enchanting Cousin Eddie’s visits become.  


He’s nice at first…but then he quickly gets on your nerves.  


He seems to make Everything harder.  


Having Cousin Eddie around changes your whole lifestyle. You have to bundle-up, clean off the car, scrape it off, heat it up, shovel, buy bags of ice-melt, and spend your life savings on the heating bill instead of a vacation to Hawaii.  


Suddenly you’re taking your life into  your hands just driving to the store to buy a tube of toothpaste.  A simple stroll down to your mailbox, requires you to dress as if you were setting out to reach the Summit of Mount Everest.

Some days Cousin Eddie’s presence is so obtrusive, he’ll even makes it impossible for you to leave the house.


He’s supposed to leave by March….but NOOOOOO…. Eddie just can’t seem to pack-up and go that easily.  He delays his departure a few weeks and before you know it… he’s still hanging around in April.  And then it seems like, just as quickly as he arrives… he’s gone.  


One day you realize Cousin Eddie left. WOOHOO!!


Then you panic and worry for a moment that he might return….

but no, it’s good…

he is G.O.N.E.!!  


Or at least until his next visit.


Whew, what a relief.  Your life returns back to an easy breezy lifestyle.  Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the warm air never smelled so fresh and sweet.


After a couple months Cousin Eddie seems like a distant memory.  And you’ve forgotten how awful and annoying he was.  You just remember his good points… after all, he is a refreshing change.


Here’s some Bridges to help you during Cousin Eddie’s visit this winter:


  • Stay Healthy

Eddie is 100x more annoying if you’re sick.  So, eat well, get rest and remind everyone in the house about the importance of good handwashing!



  • Ignore Him

Eddie doesn’t need to run the show, or ruin your day.  Remember you’re in charge of what you do and how you feel.  


  • Embrace Him

Eddie’s not leaving for a while so try to make the best out of it.  Learn to do things with him like; skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, etc…

Get Cozy…Drink Hot Toddies in front of a roaring fire!



  • Have A Party

Invite some friends over to meet Eddie. You can plan a fun party on one of the special days during his visit: Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter.  Have plenty of great food and drink, play some great music… Everyone loves a party!!



Before you know it, Cousin Eddie will be gone!


And next year when Cousin Eddie shows up on your doorstep, he’ll be looking pretty good and you may even decide to bundle up and go out and play with him for a while.


What are some bridges you use to tolerate Cousin Eddie’s visit???




Miracle Soup (coveted Italian family recipe)

Miracle Soup (coveted Italian family recipe)

Welcome Back !!!


Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there


Some of us in the Northeast are facing changes in climate with subzero temps.  Even though I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York… I’m still not a fan of Looooong, cold & snowy winters.
There are days the snowscapes can be breathtakingly beautiful… But, my happy place (my Back Home) is to view it from afar.  Preferably wrapped in a warm blanket, inside my warm cozy living room while enjoying a comforting cup of steaming hot Miracle Soup.  Here’s an easy recipe you can make for yourself, your family, or share a batch with your coworkers & friends.


My Nani came from Sicily and brought with her the best healthy and wholesome recipes.  Make a big pot and trust me…
It will keep you warm and cure whatever ails you!!


My kids LOVED it so much they’re the ones that called it Miracle Soup.
My 27 year old son stills call me from California for the recipe!!


Nani’s Miracle Soup ( a Bridge to get you through the cold winter months)

  • 1 whole cut up chicken (∗ I use skinless, boneless breast, it’s the easiest)
  • 3 boxes (32 oz) Unsalted chicken soup/stock (I use  Swansons )
  • 1 packet sodium free chicken boullion- optional for flavor boost
  • 1 whole medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 containers of grape tomatoes
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 bags (8/10 oz) shredded carrots
  • 1 large bag fresh spinach
  • 1 bay leaf
  • some snips of green onion- optional
  • salt & pepper- optional
  • 1 box small pasta (I grew up on Pastina , my kids prefer Orzo)
♦ Put all your ingredients (except pasta) into a large stock pot and bring to a boil, stir regularly


♦ Cover with a lid and turn down to simmer until chicken is tender


♦ Remove the chicken onto a platter and allow to cool.    Then deskin, debone the chicken & cut meat into bite-sized pieces.  ∗ This is when it’s much easier to use boneless, skinless chicken.  Less mess!


♦ Add cut-up chicken back into soup


♦ Cook pasta according to box directions, in a separate pot (turns out, the presence & proportion of pasta in ones soup is a very personal option)


♦ Remove bay leaf


♦ Serve HOT, garnish with grated Parmesan/Romano cheese


Everyone likes very different ratios of   soup : pasta : grated cheese 
One of my kids prefers  5 : 55 : 40
another likes theirs 10 : 90 : 0
another likes theirs 45 : 45 : 10
How do you like yours?? Leave a comment!!


You can also add little bite sized Italian Meatballs.  If you’re interested in that recipe, just ask for it in a comment and I’ll get my Mom’s delicious recipe for you!!


This is such an amazing soup, I am so excited for you to try it!!!



Now we’re cookin!! 






Welcome to Bridges Back Home!!!!

My name is Lorilyn Bridges and I started this blog,  FB page and website to help people.


Life is forever changing. 

Changes = Challenges


These changes can be big or small, made by us or for us…

Controlled by us, others, or nature/climate and they can happen randomly.


Life is one amazing and wild ride.  Our journey is filled with many hills and valleys.  

 And the good news is we’re all in it together.


Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there


Identify your Back Home and the Bridges you use to get there!!


At BBH we are a community where you can celebrate your successes and failures, to help others along the way.  

And hopefully be enlightened as well!!


Welcome aboard!!