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Weekly Meal Plan & My Happy Things: Raw Caramel Dip, A Trip to Palm Springs, & More!

So many happy things to share with you today, including a weekend getaway to Palm Springs, the most delicious {and kinda’ healthy} raw caramel ever, and a delicious weekly meal plan too!

What have you been up to lately?  Pull up a chair and let’s chat!!!

My Happy Things…

HAPPY THING #1 Palm Springs Family Weekend Getaway

Weekend Getaway to Palm SpringsIt’s hard to believe that it was only 3 weeks ago that we took a weekend road trip up to Palm Springs for a pre-Thanksgiving getaway with our friends.  It’s been so busy, right??? Although I’ve been to Palm Springs many times before {and have not so fond memories of wearing panty hose while working there in the hot, hot summer!}, this was my first time to La Quinta, and I’ll definitely be going back!  It’s the perfect combo of old school Spanish California style decor, mixed in with semi-private pools smack dab in the middle of palm tree lined courtyards {a great way to make new friends!}, fitness activities for everyone {tennis, golf, fitness center…}, and a healthy dose of R & R.  In between all that relaxing, you’ll definitely want to hit the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway and take a trip up to one of my favorite mountain spots in Southern California, Mount San Jacinto State Park.  Once your up at the top of the tramway, amongst the pine trees and powdery snow, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re 15 minutes away from the desert {via tram}. There’s hiking and snowball fights for the adventurous types, or take in the view with a drink at the mountain top bar.  Heaven!!!

HAPPY THING #2 {Best Ever} Raw Caramel Dip

Raw Caramel Dip w/ Sliced Apples // The Spicy RDSo I made this raw caramel dip from McKel at Nutrition Stripped last Thursday to go along with our dinner, and, can I just say, I have never seen my kids gobble up apples quite so quickly?!! It’s so amazingly delicious that I had to make another batch on Friday to share at SiSis piano recital {she played beautifully BTW-proud mama moment :-)} and all the apples were gobbled up as well! Although it’s not exactly low cal or low sugar {it’s still quite indulgent}, it is made from good for you ingredients including raw almond butter, dates, and more, so do yourself a huge favor and head on over to Nutrition Stripped ASAP for the recipe.  Seriously. Seriously!

HAPPY THING #3 Family Holiday Memories

Family Christmas MemoriesSo, we finally got the tree trimmed this weekend {it’s amazing what hosting a holiday party will do to motivate you!} and, as always, my favorite part of decorating for the holidays is getting out all the ornaments we’ve collected over the years from family trips {our tradition}, along with the sweet homemade ones from the kids.  And thanks to my BFF we also have a FABULOUS collection of wind-up toys that Santa keeps adding to each year.  So fun!

HAPPY THING #4 The Big Squeeze {Coromega Fish Oil}

Coromega Fish Oil and Coromega Big SqueezeI’ve shared my love for Coromega fish oil before, along with the numerous health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, so I was thrilled to get a pouch of The Big Squeeze {don’t you love the name?} from Coromega to try.  I love the convenience of the pouch, especially if you take more than 1 packet of the regular Coromega, but I have to say the tropical orange nectar flavor that I tried, wasn’t for me, so I will stick to my favorite regular orange flavor.  Not convinced fish oil can be tasty? Give my 10 yo son, Big Tex a call, and he will tell you how yummy it is 🙂 Want to give Coromega a try? Check out their store locator for places to buy, and you can also get a $5 off coupon to try your first regular Coromega squeeze today! Disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of Coromega to try, however this does not influence my recommendations of the products. All opinions, as always, are my own.

HAPPY THING #5 Getting in to the Spirit of the Season

CookiesAs fun as all the holiday festivities are, it’s so wonderful to celebrate the true spirit of the holiday season, including giving to those who are less fortunate than us. This past weekend SiSi and some other members of my Girl Scout troop had a blast baking cookies for the annual holiday party at The Alpha Project, a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is “to empower individuals, families, and communities by providing work, recovery and support services to people who are motivated to change their lives and achieve self-sufficiency…” Learn more about The Alpha Project.  Happy Holidays to all!!!

And, now on to my weekly meal plan… {Note all meal plans are gluten-free, or have gluten-free substitutions noted.}

Weekly Meal Plan: Week of December 16, 2013





  • Baked Potato with Black Beans, Smokey Aubergine, Pineapple & Feta by Deena Kakaya {Vegetarian}
  • Green Salad
  • Fresh fruit


For more meal plan inspiration, be sure and check out my Weekly Meal Plans on Pinterest, and also check out all my Family Favorite Recipe board for tried and true meals to make over and over again, including 2 new delicious recipes I’ve added last week, Turkey Lettuce Wraps from Christy Wilson Nutrition, and this Award Winning Split Pea Soup with Gouda Crostini from Webicurean.

What’s on your menu this week? Have you taken any fun weekend getaways recently? What’s your favorite holiday tradition???

As always, I love hearing from you! Please join the conversation, and if you enjoyed the post, I’d love it {and truly appreciate it!} if you stumble, tweet, pin, or share the post.  And, if you haven’t done so already, be sure and sign up for my monthly newsletter, Delicious Newsand connect with me on PinterestTwitterFacebook, Instagram, and Google Plus for all things healthy and delicious!

8 thoughts on “Weekly Meal Plan & My Happy Things: Raw Caramel Dip, A Trip to Palm Springs, & More!”

  1. Sorry I have been so MIA!
    That caramel dip looks just fabulous!
    And I absolutely love your tree! We are the worst and didn’t put one up this year. It is so tough living in a condo so we figured once we move we will make it a yearly tradition. 🙂

    1. Oh, gosh, no worries at all Kristen! You have a wedding to plan!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for your sweet comment on our tree-we love it too, and I have no doubt you will have a gorgeous tree when you have room for one 🙂 Happy holidays!

    1. Sorry to make you jealous Gina! I think I take living only a couple of hours away from Palm Springs for granted, but it was a wonderful trip :-). I’d love to hear how you like the Brussels Sprouts. Mr. Spicy seriously got excited about me making these when he saw the Brussels Sprouts in the grocery bag. Enjoy!!!

  2. A cornucopia of delights in this post: jealous-making holiday snaps, a party with a pretty tree, Omega 3 deal, cookie-making for charity, AND a gorgeous sounding menu. Phew! You have an exhausting life, EA 😀 Fun post

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