The Best Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches You’ll Ever Eat

I’m not usually prone to drama, but let me tell you – you’ll never want to eat another chicken biscuit sandwich after you eat these. I promise. They’re going to change your life.


This is a recipe that Mr. Garland came up with one night when we both were craving Chick-Fil-A but didn’t want to go get it. He whipped up an amazing homemade honey mustard that is better than any restaurant I’ve tried, and the chicken is perfectly crispy and moist. I can’t get enough of these!

read more »

Finding Balance

Hello old friends! It’s been a while, but that’s because we have had some big changes around the Lion household. This week was my official first week as a full time working mom!

I have been wrestling with this decision for a long time, and in December the perfect job appeared and I decided to go for it! While it is only a part time position, it is a perfect mix of using my previous experience as an educator, and learning a new skill set managing grant programs in the non-profit world. It allows me time to do the things I love, but I also have the flexibility to work some from home, which is a huge benefit! Paired with the writing from home I was already doing, I am working full time hours now!

And while this seems like the perfect solution, it is not without its challenges. I thought I might share a few of the hurdles we have encountered, and how we are dealing with them as we transition to a totally different way of life!

1) Household Balance – Going from having one parent at home full time to two working parents means a big shift in the way we manage our household. Since I am working from home I still take on a little more of the home maintenance. It is much easier for me to manage the laundry and some of our other day to day chores. There has definitely been more shifted onto Mr. Lion’s plate, as I need a lot more help with cleaning and such, but overall we seem to be handling this pretty well. It helps that the kids aren’t here in the mornings tearing everything apart…the actual amount of cleaning has decreased quite a bit!

2) Managing Childcare – Fortunately, with my flexible schedule, we are able to only have the kids in part time daycare. They go from 7am until 12:30 pm each day, and then come home for their afternoon naps. We are splitting drop off and pick up, with Mr. Lion dropping the kids off in the morning and me picking them up. This has worked out really well so far! Since Mr. Lion takes them in the mornings, I get a pretty solid 7-8 hours to work during the day, and we pay a little less for childcare. So far so good on this plan, but there is definitely room for disaster. If we have a rough nap day, that means my workday gets cut short, which means I have to make up hours elsewhere. Fortunately my kiddos tend to be pretty consistent nappers, so hopefully this will work for the foreseeable future. A big change for Mr. Lion, however, will be that he will need to take over when the kids are sick. This is something I have always handled in the past, but because I am an independent contractor for most of my work, I don’t get paid time off. Mr. Lion, on the other hand, has plenty of PTO, so he will be the go-to sick baby caregiver.

read more »

A different sort of time capsule

There is a lot going on in our house these days…literally. We pulled the trigger on an extensive remodel which will encompass the kitchen, the adjacent office, the adjacent laundry room, and the basement. Additionally, the project will involve a new electrical panel and updating of the remaining knob-and-tube wiring (probably 50% of the house) as well as updating the remaining galvanized plumbing (probably 50% of the house). There was the briefest of moments when I thought maybe just maybe we could stay in the house during the four month ordeal, but Missus Scooter saw to it that I had lost my mind. Alas, we moved out to a rental about 10 days ago.


We have done lots of home improvement projects in our 1912 farm house since we moved in about 3 and a half years ago (Ohana was just 6 weeks old). Mostly we used a handyman that I have used for years who does an excellent job at a very good price. But being that this was by far the largest remodel we’ve ever tackled and the fact that it involves the place we spend A LOT of our time, we decided to do this the right right way. We hired a designer/architecture firm and started having initial discussions with them about 7 months ago. When our plans were solidified, we interviewed three general contractors. Bids were submitted, jaws hit floors, big girl panties were put on and contracts were drawn. This thing was legit.

read more »

Felt Heart Cake and Cupcake Toppers for Valentines Day

Hellobee - Felt heart cake and cupcake toppers for Valentines Day

No celebration is complete without cake, and no cake is complete without a cake topper. These Valentines cake toppers are great for a number of reasons:

  1. They’re made of things you probably have around your house already.
  2. They’re super cute.
  3. You can re-use them over and over again.

Hellobee - DIY felt heart cake and cupcake toppers for valentines day

read more »

Painted Heart Cut-Out Valentines (and 3 ways to up-cycle kids art into cards)

Hellobee - painted cut-out heart valentines (and 3 ways to up-cycle your kids' artwork into valentines)

We have an artistic gene on my dad’s side of the family. I definitely don’t have it, but it seems like my three and a half-year old Louis does! This weekend Louis and I decided to make some valentines cards. Valentines Day isn’t as big in Sweden as in the States so children don’t hand out valentines cards to their classes. But we thought it would be fun to give some cards to grandparents and close friends.

I think with smaller pre-schoolers it’s a good idea to keep art projects relatively simple, so that there is lots of scope for artistic expression instead of having to follow instructions too closely or go through too many steps. I wanted Louis to feel free to paint what he wanted, so we made these simple heart cut-out cards to turn his art into valentines. Léonie (21 months) was also in on the fun – she painted with edible finger paint.

Hellobee - painted heart cut-out valentines (and 3 great ways to up-cycle your kids' art into valentines)

read more »

Our Favorite Dr. Seuss Style Books

Growing up, I read a lot.  Reading was probably my favorite activity and as a grown up, I still have a true love for books and reading. I was super excited to start reading with LeLe and Little Bug, so much in fact that I have asked on multiple occasions for family and friends not to bring toys or clothes for gifts on Christmas or birthdays, but instead to bring books. My baby shower asked guests to forego cards and instead write a message to LeLe in their favorite children’s book.  This was super special because she now has a collection of books from people who love her and left her a little message in each book.

Some of our favorite books now are Dr. Seuss style books.  LeLe loves the repetition and Little Bug loves the voices I make while I am reading them.  I love that they are silly, easy to read, and they remind me of my sister reading them to me as a child.


Happy Birthday To You! Super sweet story with this one… Mr. Cereal brought this book to the hospital with us when LeLe was born so he could read it to her on her birthday. For that reason alone, this will always be on my favorite books list.

The Ear Book. LeLe requests this one often. I think she likes that it is silly and pretty short. I like it because it is a body part book, and it helped her identify ears after reading it a few times when she was younger.

Big Dog Little Dog. Another childhood favorite for me. I was a big dog fan and so is LeLe so this one is perfect for her.

read more »

Back to Bikram Yoga

I am probably one of the least athletic people on the planet, but every winter I get this idea into my head that I’m going to try Bikram yoga again.

If you’ve never heard of Bikram, it’s a 90-minute yoga class that takes place in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with 40 percent humidity. Every Bikram yoga class goes through the same 26 postures, so no matter where you take it, you go through the same exact poses in the same exact order. Lots of yoga studios and gyms have “hot yoga” classes that take place in a heated room, but Bikram yoga is different because it has to follow these specific requirements.

A couple weeks ago, in the middle of our depressing Chicago winter, and being inspired by another mom friend who was actually waking up at 5 a.m. to exercise every morning (even while traveling!), I decided I needed to try doing yoga again. I found a studio that had a introductory special for a month, dusted off my yoga mat, and found my way to the first class.

The first thing I noticed was that there was a wide range of abilities and levels in the class. This was comforting, since it had been such a long time since I had done Bikram. You have the amazingly fit and flexible students in the front row, and in the back like me, some people who were struggling to make it through the class.

Unfortunately, about halfway through the 90 minutes, my mom who was supposed to be picking up my daughter from preschool, left a voicemail saying that her doctor appointment was running late and that she might not be able to get her on time. Yes, I had my phone in class, which is a total no-no, and even worse, I had to leave in the middle of the class, which I think is pretty much prohibited. To be fair, I think this is because they just want to make sure you don’t faint as you leave, or have any other medical issues, but in this case, I had no choice. So embarrassing as it was, I packed up my mat and towel and tried to leave as quickly and unobtrusively as I could. I’m sure it looked like I was just booking it out of there because I couldn’t take the heat anymore!

read more »

© copyright 2011-2014 Hellobee