Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

8/28/2012

Routine


Take a moment right now to just sit and breathe. Push yourself away from the computer, roll your shoulders back, close your eyes.
And breathe for 5 minutes.
Concentrate on breathing in and out through your nose, feeling the rise and fall of your belly.
This is all you have to do for 5 minutes.
Ignore the emails.
Tune out the noise.
Breathe.

8/27/2012

When Your Child in on the Autism Spectrum, Your Wishes are Different


A new school year means many things for different families. New backpacks line the entryway, parents are getting up earlier to make lunches and lazy summer evenings have been replaced by homework.

Another school year means educating the new staff at Logan's school on how to interact with him. Logan is a bit of a celebrity amongst the returning staff at his elementary school. The school doesn't have a plethora of children on the Autism Spectrum and I think because Logan is high functioning without any behavior issues he's viewed as the "golden child of Autism". He's affectionate, doesn't disturb classes with meltdowns and his stimming behaviors go unnoticed because he doesn't flap, or turn in circles. That doesn't mean that he doesn't do stimming behaviors, its just not a disturbance.

Every year I make a simple print out with a picture of Logan and a few tips to help them understand Autism, I place it in each staff members mailbox in the school.
This is the what I created last year.  I used most of the same wording for this year's card but added what they call in the fundraising world as the "ASK".

Logan's best friend moved to North Carolina this summer and he doesn't really have any other friends at school. He doesn't understand social cues like other children do and he has a very hard time making friends. So my "ASK" this year: Can you help me make new friends?

If only a teacher took a bit more time to introduce him to another child in his class, suggesting a game they might play together. 
If only a parent talked to their child about reaching out to Logan and asking him to play during recess because Logan doesn't understand to do it himself. 

If I could have one wish for this school year. I don't care about Logan making straight A's. I don't care if he doesn't play sports. I wish with all my heart that he makes a friend.



8/21/2012

Routine

(picture by Wendi Putzke)
All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.

-August Wilson

8/15/2012

Cheesy Tomato Sauce

Previously I posted a recipe for a One Skillet Meal using potatoes with a cheese sauce. Once you make the potato recipe you'll have leftover cheese sauce...what should you do now? Well here is dinner number two that will make your life easier!

In a skillet add the cheese sauce and one can of tomato sauce, I used Hunt's because it was recently on sale at my grocery store for only a dollar. Add tomatoes sliced from your garden, season with salt and pepper, throw in some Morningstar vegetarian crumbles and serve over pasta.

If you'd like to start from the beginning this is the original cheese sauce recipe:

8 ounces of cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe dish and microwave for three minutes. Remove and stir and continue to microwave in 1 minute increments until it is melted.

8/14/2012

Routine

Something opens our wings. Something
makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness.
-Rumi

8/13/2012

One Skillet Dinner with Potatoes

I love to cook but I hate the clean up, so I often try and create recipes that don't involve a lot of pots and pans. Most of this recipe can be made in one skillet, the cheese sauce is prepared in a microwave safe dish. This recipe will serve 4 people. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
3 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups of frozen chopped spinach
1 pepper, chopped. Or half of a red and yellow pepper for color

Begin by putting the onions and potatoes in a covered skillet with the oil of your choice, I use sesame oil. Once the potatoes are halfway done add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook covered, stirring frequently. If you notice the potatoes stickily to your skillet add more oil.

Cheese Sauce:
8 ounces of cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup parmasean cheese
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe dish and microwave for three minutes. Remove and stir and continue to microwave in 1 minute increments until it is melted.
Serve on top of the potatoes.

Tune in Wednesday to find out what to do with your leftover sauce!




8/08/2012

Summer Salad for Lunch


Remember that summer salad recipe I posted a week or so ago? Well I just wanted to share how delicious it is for lunch. Served with feta cheese, tomatoes from your garden and sliced hard boiled eggs. Don't tell your kids or spouse but it's really healthy too!

8/07/2012

Routine


Share only POSITIVE Buzz today. 
Let go of gossip and negative talk- choose to spread positive affirmations.

8/01/2012

Chocolate Pretzels


This is so easy, you'll find yourself stocking up on the essentials so that you always have them on hand in case a craving hits.
Using a cookie tray place Hershey’s kisses onto tiny pretzels; I've used squares, circles and twists- they all work!
275 degrees for 3 minutes. 
Remove, and immediately press a single m&m; on each. 
Refrigerate until they are solid, I also store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Enjoy!

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