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Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyPastaTime #CollectiveBias

Cooler weather is here and that means it’s time for comfort food! There is just something about when the temperatures begin to drop and wanting a nice warm casserole. Plus casseroles are the perfect thing for busy moms, they tend to be quick and easy to put together which is perfect for weeknight dinners or that holiday party that someone forgot to tell us about. I love that with a few ingredients I can have a complete, tasty dinner for my family with minimal effort, like my husband’s favorite, Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken. It is what happened when holiday party food meets dinner.

Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken | My Hot Southern Mess

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Giving Back and Easy DIY Gift Bags

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WrapGiveRepeat #CollectiveBias 

How do you give back during the holiday season? Do you volunteer? Do you do small random acts of kindness? What do you do? While I volunteer year round I do extra during the holidays to help make sure everyone has a great holiday. Each fall I figure out and develop a plan that centers around our military members and veterans and what I can do for them.  It usually revolves on small homemade or store bought goodies of all types that let them know they are being thought about.  I learned that small stockings can be hard to find and when you do, they can get expensive but making my own DIY Gift Bags were a snap! Sure I could buy them but when you are needing a bunch it is often cost effective to make your own. Plus, I could have the sizes I need with all sorts of different patterns. They are a great way to wrap, give, and repeat during the holiday season.

Giving Back and Easy DIY Gift Bags | My Hot Southern Mess

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A Veterans Story

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The Folger Coffee Company. The opinions and text are all mine. #sharefolgers #veteransday
Growing up Veterans Day was significant to me because of my grandfathers. They had both served in the US Army during World War II. They were my only connection to military life but, unfortunately, they passed before I was ever old enough to hear their stories. It wasn’t until I got married that I completely understood what the day was about and how important their stories were. Over seventeen years ago I married my husband and became an Army spouse. Since then this Army life has introduced me to so many others who have also served, each with their own story.

A Veterans Story | My Hot Southern Mess

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Caramel and Bacon Brownies

I have to tell y’all a secret about bloggers and blogging. We have to work months ahead. It is one of the things I dislike because every year it seems bloggers are pushing things out earlier and earlier. That is why you have been seeing Christmas pins for well over a month now on Pinterest. Here is something about me. I just can’t. I know I need to organize and get my Christmas stuff going but when it is 75+ degrees out, it is hard coming up with 12 things for my Homemade Christmas posts, I’m just not ready to write about Christmas and the holidays.   I have been working on new recipes, though. I have an awesome new brownie recipe that my family loves, Caramel and Bacon Brownies.

Caramel and Bacon Brownies | My Hot Southern Mess

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Ice Scream Floats

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WalmartMonsters #MiniMonsters #Walmart

It’s October and that means Halloween! We LOVE Halloween in our house and all of the spooky things that come with it. From costumes and decorations right down to food and drinks. My kids are getting older, so my family’s days trick or treating are slowing coming to an end but that doesn’t mean our Halloween fun has to end. I still try to make Halloween special and fun for my boys. Special snacks and treats are definitely the way to the hearts and stomachs. Sweet treats like Ice Cream Floats are perfect for Halloween parties and fun.

Ice Scream Floats | My Hot Southern Mess

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Fake out Take out, Kung Pao Chicken

In the days before I was gluten free if I were to go out to eat my thoughts went to Mexican food or Chinese. Thankfully I still can eat Mexican food, just not everything but my days of stopping at Panda Express for a quick lunch are over. Most Chinese food has some form of gluten in it from a source most people would not expect, soy sauce. Thankfully though they make gluten free soy sauce so I can still have Chinese food, I just have to make it myself. For that reason, I am also thankful for the many recipes out there that let me have my favorites like, Kung Pao Chicken.

Kung Pao Chicken | My Hot Southern Mess

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Training Miles: Run Holden Beach

A big part of getting ready for the Walt Disney World Marathon is submitting a Proof of Time for corral placement. Right now we are counting down the days until times need to be submitted by. We have 17 weeks until the marathon but only 3 weeks are left to submit proof of time. So like so many others I have carefully gone over what races are nearby and picked one to use as my proof of time. I chose Run Holden Beach, a 13.1 on Holden Beach, NC. I hope it will be good enough.

Training Miles: Run Holden Beach

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Training Miles : Week 20

It has been a while, and I think the timing couldn’t be better. I have 20 weeks until the Walt Disney World Marathon and I think it’s time for my training miles updates to start getting a bit more frequent. It’s also time for me to get serious.

Training Miles - Week 20 | My Hot Southern Mess

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Easy Breakfast Fruit Pizzas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EggoBTSTarget #CollectiveBias

It doesn’t seem possible but it’s that time of the year again, Back to School. While many schools have already headed back there are many more that are enjoying their last days of summer break. My kids are in that later group. With under two weeks to go until school starts I have been trying to get thing  ready for when the kids go back to school. I’m not just talking about buying new clothes, school supplies, and fresh hair cuts either. We are slowly working at getting back to our school time schedule and figuring out things like what to eat for breakfast. My boys have all decided what they want but my daughter is another story. She changes what she eats every couple weeks it sometimes so I need a breakfast boredom buster for her so I’ve come up with some Easy Breakfast Fruit Pizzas.

Easy Breakfast Fruit Pizzas | My Hot Southern Mess

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Banana, Banana Pudding

Last summer my brother got married and while the reception food wasn’t your typical wedding reception food, it was a crowd pleaser. It was Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ, a North Carolina classic. This meal also introduced my kids to a new food, banana pudding. Yes, banana pudding.

Banana, Banana Pudding | My Hot Southern Mess

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