Depression, Guest Blogger, Medical Issues

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Guest Blogger, Jenna Sherman, is writing again to help you to find ways to reduce your stress and Take Care of Your Mental Health.  Due to the subject matter of this month and the continuing pandemic of Co-vid19, self-care and reducing stress is imperative.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

How Families Can Reduce Stress and Tension During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for months, but for self-isolating households, this time probably feels much longer. Keeping up with current guidelines and information is stressful enough. Many families are also dealing with stress from being stuck indoors together. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to address household tension. This will help your family grow closer as you ride out the rest of this pandemic.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Before you can be there for your family, taking care of yourself is sometimes necessary. Prioritizing your mental health is always important, but it matters even more during these stressful times. Following Barefoot Faith Journey and other bloggers who regularly write about important mental health topics is a great way to start your journey toward better mental health.


Practicing self-care is also essential during the pandemic. Self-care can take countless forms, and it means something different to anyone. You might not be able to practice all of your usual self-care habits. During the pandemic, it still helps to prioritize simple things. Such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and eating nutritious foods.


If you struggle to cope, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has excellent resources available to help you through these times. For example, some resources can help you locate treatment options during the pandemic. In contrast, others can help you find solutions if you are overwhelmed with finances or other stressors that may have worsened because of the pandemic.


Keep in mind that your children may also find it challenging to cope well with the pandemic’s changes. Listening to your children’s concerns, providing structure to the day, and giving context to the news are just a few ways to help, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Spend Time Outside

Getting fresh air is one of the most effective ways to bond as a family during the pandemic while eliminating stress and boosting everyone’s mental health. You might not be able to enjoy the same activities you did before, such as pastimes that require you to be in large crowds, but there are plenty of other ways to get outside.


Going on a camping adventure is fun and socially distant to try something different and get your minds off the situation. Likewise, visiting local parks you haven’t been to before is an excellent way to explore your neighborhood and stay active while self-isolating. You can even have fun without having to leave the backyard. Try having a backyard bonfire, playing yard games, or stargazing.

Keep Boredom at Bay

Boredom can easily cause tension to rise despite your best efforts. Going outside is a great way to reduce stress. There are also various fun indoor activities and equally fun bonding opportunities. For example, having a weekly game night is an excellent way to pass the time. Opting for the cooperative board and video games will allow you to keep the mood light rather than turn it competitive.


If you want to get serious about online gaming with each other, make sure your internet connection can keep up. Upgrading to fiber optic internet is brilliant, especially if you plan to play multiplayer games like Fortnite and let your kids play games while you work from home.

Fiber optic internet can handle several devices at the same time. As an added benefit, a faster internet connection makes downloading or streaming movies easier. This is good if you want to have a family-friendly movie night.


Some tension is expected as your family navigates the pandemic and adjusts to the new normal. However, it’s important not to let stress get the best of you. Checking in with your mental health, getting outside, and finding ways to combat stress indoors will help your family weather whatever the pandemic throws your way.



Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style. With Co-Vid19 rearing its ugly head, I have not been out of the house. I lied. Twice. I have been out twice. Both of these times have been to take H to treatment in Nashville. So, grocery shopping is through pick-up, when my son works (at a grocery store) or my husband picks it up. Also, the school has been bringing food, for the week, for three kids. That helps tremendously.


There are some things my kids will not eat by themselves. Now, they are not picky eaters, but they prefer it to be cooked in something. So, I’ve been separating the breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks, and fruit. They eat all the breakfast stuff throughout the week. Also, they eat most of the lunch food throughout the week. Yet, there are things like raw broccoli and cherry tomatoes that they will not eat unless I use them another way.

I do not waste food.

Plain and simple. I am not a short-order cook and do not throw things away. That is how I was raised, and that is how I raise my kids. With all that being said, I stockpile the carrots. For one, my kids do eat those. Secondly, I can cut those suckers and put them in any casserole. Thirdly, carrot bread or carrot cake. Yes, please. Fourthly, soup. Put them in any soup. Fifthly (I’m starting to giggle now because what do I do when I get up to tenthly? Is that even a word?), put them in a saute pan with some butter and brown sugar. It’s a good thing.

Next up, cherry tomatoes. Once I have a baggie, I give them to one of my older daughters, who both love them. Also, I juice them for chili or soup. I chop them up and saute them in any pasta dish. You can do a multitude of things with those things.

Now, onto this recipe and broccoli. My big girls love raw broccoli. Sadly, my other five kids do not. My son-in-law calls them “the trees of the devil.” He is a bit extra. You can make broccoli soup or Chicken and Broccoli Braid. Also, you can use it to make beef and broccoli stir fry—lots of things.

Odds and Ends

Today, however, I had a 1/2 bag of many things. N had brought home some leftover hamburgers and cooked bacon from work. I had a couple of bags of this and a bag of that. Then there was a 1/2 a bag of another thing. I put all those together, and I made 2 casseroles. Honestly, I didn’t think it would make that much. I’m cooking one casserole for tonight and freezing the other for another night. We also have leftover breadsticks from the pizza we ordered last night, so that is a side dish. I think I have a couple of cans of corn. Voila. Dinner is served.

Beef, Broccoli, & Extras Casserole

Two # ground beef



seasoning mix

Worcestershire sauce

Brown all of this together, drain if needed.

In a 13×9 dish, grease it (preheat the oven to 350). On the bottom of the dish, place the meat mixture.

Step 2

Now, this is what I had on hand. Tweak this to what you have. Just have fun with it. If it sucks, you will remember what not to add!

2 c. chopped fresh spinach

carton of fresh mushrooms, chopped

fresh broccoli, chopped

cooked bacon, chopped

Cheddar cheese

Layer each of these components on your meat mixture.

Step 3

In a bowl, add 2 cans of cream of mushroom (can use chicken or celery) and 16 oz sour cream. Once combined, spread over casserole.

Next up, add cheddar cheese (any cheese will do, this is what I had).

Lastly, I had a 1/2 bag of leftover tater tots. I lined them on top. I wanted to get rid of the bag, mainly because I had no potatoes to cook up.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, cover, and uncover for another 12 minutes until your tater tots are done. Now, I did not pre-blanch or steamed my broccoli. I was afraid it would get mushy.

On freezing this dish, I did not cook it first…again, the broccoli issue.

Other Options

Now, you can change up your cheese. Also, you can add in zucchini, squash, cauliflower, or carrots. You can change up your soups. Instead of tater tots, use instant or regular mashed potatoes to put on top. If you don’t want to do that, add egg noodles or rice at the bottom of the dish. The sky is the limit.



Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

I will weigh a thousand pounds by the time this quarantine is lifted. Cooking is something I enjoy doing. It brings me peace. So, with that being said, I haven’t made a pound cake in a month of Sundays. Here is my Traditional Pound Cake Recipe with a powdered sugar glaze. Forgive the “angel food cake” look because I couldn’t find my bundt pan.

The Traditional Pound Cake is a cake that you have to “baby,” but I’m telling you, my KitchenAid mixer made all the difference. You can use your hand mixer, as well. My mixer died a long, long time ago, bless its sweetheart.


1 pound butter, softened

3 c. sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. milk

1 tsp. almond extract

Vanilla extract, 1 tsp.


In a bowl, place the pound of butter and mix the crap out of it. It should be a pale yellow, whipped look. On a medium to high speed. Why am I singing the song “Whip It.” Good grief, now it won’t leave my head. Dangit.

Where was I? Oh, and a PSA, do not try and “sip” the almond or vanilla extract. My son-in-law learned a lesson on that one. I am just passing along the kindness to everyone. God love him. He’s a special boy, LOL.

Quarantine. Bunny trail. I cannot focus.

Cheesecake…no…Pound cake. I can do this.

Once the butter has been whipped, add an egg one at a time. Whip it till the yolks are blended. Next up, get your milk and flour. Go in this order: a bit of milk, whip, a cup of flour, whip, repeat ending with flour. Mix it until it is smooth. Lastly, add in the extracts. You can leave out the almond extract, but it was good.

Grease a bundt pan (yes, I used an angel food cake pan). After you grease it (spray or Crisco), you need to get some flour and swirl it around there. Add your batter—Bake at 300 for about an hour and 40 minutes. I started checking it at 1:30, but I did up it to 1:40. It was done.


Eyeball this part. I think I did 2 c. powdered sugar, a tsp of vanilla, and enough heavy cream (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 or milk) to thin it out. I made WAY too much, so Big Daddy drizzled all the leftovers over each slice he ate. My daughter put it on the cake.

For the love, people, it is good.



Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

I went to make Tater Tot Casserole tonight and realized I had no Lipton Onion Soup Mix. What does one do during quarantine? I concocted a Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe. The recipe is enough for 2 packets, so if you are using this, 1/2 of it if you need the equivalent to one packet.


1/2 c. minced onions

4 T. beef bouillon granules

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 T. parsley

1/4 tsp. paprika


Put it in an airtight container or a Ziploc baggie. Use immediately or store for up to a month. You can also double or triple this recipe and keep it in a mason jar. I don’t use this often. Always, though, I put it on a roast. Also, I put it in my Tater Tot Casserole, which I will post the recipe for tomorrow.


I’ve been cooking up a storm during the quarantine. Well, who am I kidding? I cook all the time. Honestly, I feel like that is all I do: cook, clean, or educate. The highlight of my day is driving down the road to see Kevin, the pig. He is my neighbor’s pet pig that lives in the front yard. If you want to join in on the fun, I post daily on my quarantine log with my crew on my Facebook page. Come on over and “like” my page and join in. Let us all know what you are doing during this bizarre time in history.