Recipe For Relaxation

My youngest daughter Miss A has always been a bit mischievous. When she was 2 she’d charm us with her big brown eyes and we’d get distracted by her cavernous dimple of cute .

I couldn’t take my eyes off her for a nanosecond, especially when out in public.

Three years ago we drove down to Florida for our summer family vacation and met my dad and stepmother for dinner at a beachside restaurant with a beautiful deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and sugar white beaches. Slipping into a more relaxed latitude and attitude, I took my eyes off our daughter for just a few seconds while talking to my stepmom and then jolted back to reality when I realized my little girl wasn’t sitting by me. I looked up only to find her toddling around the deck, wielding a fork, and headed straight for an electrical outlet on the raised platform area of the deck where local bands played under the stars each night.

During that moment of sheer panic I mustered up all my super human mom powers and swooped her up just as she was heading for the exposed outlet. I was fighting off a nervous breakdown, while she was laughing. She had no idea what could have happened. Thank God for deodorant.

Taking our kids out to dinner is no longer a recipe for disaster. Now that my girls are 8 and 5 the only super human mom powers I must conjure up involve self-restraint as I talk myself down from that huge chocolate dessert on the menu.

One of our favorite restaurants to eat at with our kids is Chili’s. Chili’s has a great new online destination called We Prep, You Play which features a Mommy’s Survival Guide with all sorts of great practical tips to ensure dining out with your family gives you a well-deserved break, not a nervous breakdown. We love their appetizers, from skillet queso to Southwestern eggrolls, their healthy entrées and salads, and their amazing selection of burgers and sandwiches.

Do you need a vacation from cooking this summer? Visit and join in on this conversation: “What’s the MOST fun you’ve ever had with your kids?” Just for commenting you’ll be entered to win a $200 gift card to Chili’s!

Disclosure: This post is the last in a three-part series this summer sponsored by Chili’s. They provided my family with a gift card so we can enjoy a relaxing dinner out on them and take a break from cooking.


  1. jos says:

    oh gawd, if i have a kid who does that, i might just pee a little in my pants let alone require deodorant. cheers to you Super Mommy! you deserve the chocolate cake

  2. Lisa says:

    Just came across your website, and hope to visit often.
    Love your articles. Keep up the great work, and all the best!

    Lots To Learn Children’s Videos

  3. Jenny from Mommin' It Up says:

    Taking my daughter out is still a disaster…can’t wait til she’s older! Of course now I’m having another one, so….it might be awhile. But I LOVES me some CHILI’s! Gotta get back there soon!
    .-= Jenny from Mommin’ It Up´s last blog ..Immersion =-.

  4. James says:

    When I’m out with my family I like to try and share foods that the entire family enjoys. This creates more conversation and usually but not always less miss behaving.

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