Al Fresco with Autumn: Spiced Chicken & Butternut Squash Salad

We took this flavorful concoction to an Oscar Party awhile back – you know you have a winning recipe when it’s the first empty dish at a buffet table – and guests are asking for more. This recipe is super healthy. Plus the sweet flavors of the pepper, cranberries and squash, combine with the creamy texture of the cheese and tangy zest of the dressing to make a veritable taste fiesta. Although I have yet to witness my toddler eating salad of any form – I did spy the grade school kids enjoying this one. This is another recipe I like to serve with pita chips or crusty bread. Enjoy!


Time: 45 min
Serves: 3-4


  • Roasted & spiced chicken – 2 cups chopped
  • Roasted butternut squash – 1 cup diced
  • Roasted red bellpepper – 1 cup diced
  • Feta cheese – ½ cup crumbled
  • Dried cranberries – ¼ cup
  • Avocado – 1 cup diced
  • Toasted almonds – ½ cup sliced
  • Winter or Mixed Greens – ½ lb
  • Olive oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Rice wine vinegar – 1 Tbsp
  • Honey mustard – 1 tsp
  • Salt & Pepper – to taste

Recommendations for roasted items:

  • Chicken – buy one at the store – it’s just way easier.
  • Butternut squash – cut in half and cook at 375 degrees for 45 min, or until knife pierces skin and meat easily.
  • Bell pepper – cut in half and cook at 375 degrees for 20 min, turning at 10 min mark.
  • Almonds – toast “dry” in sauté pan for several minutes until golden brown, gently shaking pan continuously to prevent burning


  1. Soak cranberries in hot water for 10 min. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  2. Thoroughly mix olive oil, vinegar and honey mustard in separate bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and slowly toss in dressing until evenly coated.

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Tie-Dye Cupcakes

Tie-dye cupcakes are perfect for any occasion! Whether its a birthday party or a holiday you can’t go wrong. You can change the colors to go with any theme. With Easter right around the corner and Spring in the air these adorable cupcakes are perfect!


  • Cake Mix
  • Frosting
  • Food Coloring


  • Divide the batter into 6 bowls (or however many different colors you would like!)
  • Add one color of your choice to each bowl and mix
  • Add a layer of each color on top of each other & bake!

For the frosting:

  • Divide frosting into 6 bowls and add food coloring to each
  • Add a spoonful of each color in the bag & your set!

Images: 1 & 2

To see this recipe & more visit Delightfully Dowling


Kristen is a wife, mommy-to-be, and blogger for Delightfully Dowling. She loves DIY crafts, painting, reading, and cooking. Visit her for more adorable and delicious recipe ideas!

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Trend Alert: NEON Nail Polish

Spring is in the air and we love it! We love wear dresses, sandals and only a cardigan for the warmer weather! What better way to add a pop of color than on your nails? Huge trend alert this season: NEON NAILS. That’s right. Check out these celebs as they go bold with color.


FERGIEwith a bold orange.

GWEN STEFANI shines with yellow.

ANNALYNNE MCCORD goes bright blue.


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How To: Use Nail Polish on Everything But Your Nails

There’s nothing I love more than a product that has multiple uses. It saves money and time. One thing I always have on-hand is nail polish. There are also many uses for it as well. Keep reading to find the many uses of nail polish.

  1. Color-Code Keys – If all your keys look the same, use a different nail polish color to differentiate them.
  2. Get Rid of the Cheap Jewelry Look – Brushing clear nail polish on cheap, costume jewelry will prevent tarnishing. Beware, do not use on valuable jewelry as this will ruin it.
  3. Pantyhose Run – Stop this by dabbing clear nail polish on the stocking run to prevent it from running further.
  4. Stiffen Thread – I hate threading a needle, but learning this trick has made it so much easier. Dip the end in nail polish and it will stiffen; making it easy to pull the thread through the eye.
  5. Frayed Laces – Dip the ends in clear polish and roll them between your fingers. Let it dry overnight. This will stop that frayed, worn-out look (unless that’s what you want).
  6. No More Rusty Screws – Coat screws, bolts, etc in clear polish to prevent them from rusting – especially if these screws are in damp places.
  7. Heal Warts – This might sound weird but plantar warts need oxygen to live. Brushing nail polish prevents it from getting any. Just make sure you throw out the bottle when you’re done so germs don’t spread.
  8. Use as a Band-Aid – If you can’t find any lying around, using nail polish will have the same effect. Make sure it is non-toxic polish. It will work as well as the more expensive liquid adhesive band-aids.
  9. Touch Up Chipped Glass – For any chipped corner of glass or mirror, prevent future cuts by brushing the corner with nail polish for a smoother surface.

You can read more here on

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Baby Snooze Strategies

Your little one’s sleeping schedule may be throwing yours into a loop. To get your precious sleep back try some of these sleeping strategies for your baby.

  • Your baby already knows your voice when they are born. In a soothing tone read them a story. The tone of your familiar voice will help them get sleepy.
  • The womb isn’t exactly the quietest place in the world. Your baby was use to your heartbeat and noisy stomach. Silence while they are trying to sleep might scare them. Try a fan or white noise machine.
  • While in the womb, babies are tightly packed. Swaddling will help your baby fall asleep because its like being back in the womb.

  • Avoid eye contact if your trying to get your baby to sleep. Having eye contact can excite your baby, which is opposite of what you want.
  • Routine is a important. Having consistency will help your baby understand when its bedtime. Naps are equally important and contribute to their mental and physical growth. No naps may lead your little ones to NOT sleep well during the night.

Images: 1, 2

For more snooze strategies visit

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Dine With Diana: La Condesa Spring Salad

Howdy y’all and yee haw! That’s right, I’m reporting live today straight from Austin, TX and I’m lovin’ every minute of the perfect, dine-outdoors weather down here. Yesterday’s first stop from the airport was to an amazing downtown restaurant called La Condesa.

The salad I ate for lunch inspired today’s post. I’m sure my version doesn’t quite nail the essence from this amazing establishment, but it’s a decent attempt, so I hope you love it! And, if you’re lucky enough to experience the real thing for yourself, go immediately to La Condesa yourself-



Austin, Texas Inspired La Condesa Spring Salad


  • Red beets
  • Yellow beets
  • Hearts of palm
  • Pistachios
  • Strawberries
  • Kale
  • Frisee
  • Horseradish Mayo


  1. Super easy preparation – chop beats and hearts of palm into chunks
  2. Cut the kale and frisee into bite-sized pieces and slice the strawberries.
  3. Throw the pistachios on top and for elegance, drizzle horseradish mayo sparingly over the top the side of the salad dish.
  4.  Add margarita and smile 🙂

Image: 1

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How Many Kids Do You Want?

My husband and I vow not to talk about the kids when we have time to ourselves but inevitably our discussions always revolve around the kids. I am sure you can relate if you have kids.

My personal dilemma is that my husband is set with having two kids. His logic is we have two healthy children, a boy and a girl, so what more can we ask for in our lives. He feels that having an extra child will be more than we could handle both financially and physically. Twins are prevalent in my family, so that leaves the possibility of child #4.

While I don’t want another child this year and perhaps not even next, I do want that third child. I actually long for that third child. I blogged previously about my fear of having a second because Hayley was a TERROR as a baby. However,  Zane rolled around and he assured me that all babies are not as difficult as my Hayley was. I now believe that I would be more prepared if we were presented with the challenges of raising another colicky infant. Having a second child to me, was so much easier than bringing my first child in the world. My whole mentality and outlook at raising the second child was more scaled back and relaxed.

So, the real problem I foresee in the future: My husband is completely done with having kids. I don’t feel done at all- I want to go through pregnancy again! I want to have a squishy newborn again! I want a third child! My question for all is: Can you relate to my dilemma? Did you and your husband see eye-to-eye on how many kids you would like? What was the outcome?  How did you know you were done?

Images: 1, 2,

To read more about the-mommyhood-chronicles check out her blog!


My name is Melissa and I have two kids. Hayley is 3.5 years old and Zane is almost 1 years old. I am a part time children’s dentist and full time mommy. I write fabulous reviews for sites, such as Totsy, and host giveaways. I also write personal posts about my kids and information/advice posts that I think all moms would enjoy! I hope you visit me and say Hello!

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