Sometimes all it takes is a hug, a touch on the arm, a kiss on the cheek, or a squeeze of the shoulders to make someone's day. So when you are with your loved ones, don't hold back on affection.
It is often said that actions speak louder than words, and nothing says "I care about you" better than a spontaneous hug. Let them know you care and be generous with your affection.
Those who give affection get as much satisfaction out of it than those who receive it. In fact, hugs have been shown to reduce heart rates, improve overall moods, lower blood pressure, and increase nerve activity, just to name a few benefits of affection.
Step It Up:
Create an "affection rule" in your house. At the same time everyday, regardless of what is going on, make it a rule that you must hug at least one other person in the house. No exceptions. If you are in the middle of doing dishes, or vacuuming, or reading, or watching TV, stop. Take a moment to give affection to your loved ones.
Keep It Simple:
Affection is not comfortable for everyone. If you aren't comfortable hugging or holding a hand, simply smile or offer words of encouragement.
From the Kitchen
SLOW COOKER MOZZARELLA STUFFED MEATBALLS
Juicy, flavorful Italian style meatballs stuffed with melty mozzarella cheese - perfect for dipping in your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce!
1 pound ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs (panko or regular, Italian seasoned or plain)
Chop each cheese stick into half inch pieces (about 6-8 pieces for each cheese stick). Place on a plate and chill in the freezer until ready to use.
Add ground beef, bread crumbs, egg and egg yolk, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to a bowl. Mush the ingredients together with your hands until everything comes together.
Remove cheese from freezer. Scoop out about 4 tablespoons of meat mixture and roll into a ball. Gently push a piece of chilled mozzarella into the middle of the meatball. Roll the ball in your hands to cover the hole where the mozzarella cheese was pushed in. Place inside a greased slow cooker and repeat with remaining meat and cheese.
When all meatballs are in the slow cooker (*see note for alternate cooking method), cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours or on low 3-4 hours until meat it cooked through (no longer pink). The cheese may start melting out of the meatballs, that's okay.
If desired, sprinkle with a bit of fresh chopped parsley or dried Italian seasoning for garnish and serve with your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
*For a quicker method, the meatballs can be baked. Follow directions to make meatballs, but instead of placing in the slow cooker, place meatballs 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until browned and cheese is melty.
**These can also be made ahead and frozen! Prepare the meatballs as instructed in the recipe but instead of putting them straight into the slow cooker (or the oven if baking), just place them side by side in a zip lock bag ( you may need two), seal and place in the freezer. When ready to cook them, follow recipe instructions and increase cooking time slightly to allow for thawing.
*This recipe makes about a dozen large meatballs. This works great for an appetizer or side dish. If you want to use this for a main dish, I'd recommend doubling the recipe to be safe.
From the Spirit:
“Prayer can solve more problems, alleviate more suffering, prevent more transgression, and bring about greater peace, and contentment in the human soul than can be obtained in any other way.” – President Thomas S. Monson
Energizer: Righteous desires* inspired by today’s quote.
How would your life be better if each ‘desire’ below were true for you? When you see one you’d like to acquire, or one that’s already true for you, add a “yes” at the end and notice how it feels.
When presented with a problem I would pray first. (yes)
I would believe God can and will alleviate my suffering and that of others after I pray. (yes)
I would give no heed to the temptations of the adversary to not pray. He is not my friend. Jesus Christ is my friend and my Savior. (yes)
When tempted to sin, I would begin to pray immediately. (yes)
When I pray, I would envision my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ listening in love and compassion to my heart-felt prayers. (yes)
I’m thankful for the power and blessings of prayer. I’m grateful Heavenly Father hears our prayers, especially on those occasions when I can’t find words to express the real desires of my heart. I know everything President Monson said about prayer is true. Of this I bear witness.
– Grandpa Tony
* “Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.” (The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles)
The “I would” format for the energizer activity above was inspired by the following lyrics of the LDS Hymn, Lord I Would Follow Thee: “I would be my brother’s keeper. I would learn the healer’s art. To the wounded and the weary I would show a gentle heart.”
If you’d like, you can think of a favorite statement above as an expression of a desire of your heart, or come up with a better one of your own. This activity is spiritually energizing for me, but only every time I do it. May it prove to be so for you as well.