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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

From cutie-pie kiddos to a Kevin Bacon Christmas song, here's this week's roundup of joy.

joy, kids, camel

Kids and camels and Kevin Bacon in this week's roundup of joy.

With another year almost in the bag, it's a natural time of reflection for a lot of us. What did we learn this year? How did we grow? What are we grateful for?

Some might be thinking about loss, grieving loved ones who have passed away. Some may have gone through big transitions this year and are reeling from the change. Some might look back with a realization that they want next year to be different, feeling resolved to take the steps necessary to build the life they envision.

In any year, there are moments we want to cherish and moments we don't want to relive. It's all part of the complex reality of being human—the ups and the downs, the good with the bad, the yin balancing the yang.


But what we focus on matters. When we celebrate the good, we nurture a mindset of optimism that can spill over into all parts of our lives. It's easy to point to everything that's bad and become a cynic. But when we shift our focus to the good, we find hope and faith in humanity again and again. And that can make a world of difference.

Here's a sampling of good to get you going:

1. Mom gets an unexpected expression of love from her sweet son with a speech delay.

@jaylabrenae5

It’s an even sweeter moment for me knowing I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me due to him being speech delayed. I’m in awe right now😭❤️ #momlife #sahm #mommoments #sweetestboy #toddlertalk #beautifulmoments

"It’s an even sweeter moment for me knowing I used to pray for the days my son could tell me he loved me due to him being speech delayed," wrote Jayla. "I’m in awe right now.😭❤️" We are right there with you, Mama.

2. Baby tries pho for the first time and his reaction is 100% relatable.

@brookestersandmommy

10/10 recommended by Hendrix 🤣 #babyboy #pho #firsttime #baby

Pho for the win. Every time. (And baby named Hendrix? Also 10/10.)

3. This Army vs. Navy drumline battle is just nonstop awesome.

Drumlines are fun, but drumline battles are epic. Read the full story and watch last year's battle as well here.

4. Kevin Bacon and Old 97's have gifted us with the Christmas song of the season.

Kevin Bacon has been entertaining us musically throughout the pandemic, even singing Beyoncé with a bunch of goats. "Here It Is Christmastime" from "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is just icing on our Kevin Bacon cake.

See the scene from the special and learn how the song came about here.

5. She looked worried searching for her family, but when she spotted them it was pure joy.

That wee one's face lit up like a Christmas tree. A sweet reminder that showing up matters. Read the full story here.

6. Liquor store employee sees a man without shoes and immediately gives him the Jordans off her feet.

Ta Leia Thomas is known in her community for her kindness, but this spontaneous sacrificial act is just the best. Read the full story here.

7. Baby gets glasses for the first time and her reaction is priceless.

@kaseysimpson6

#trend #foryoupage❤️❤️ #blind #littlesister #firsttimeseeing #blowthisup #blindnessawareness #tikkok

Anyone who wears glasses can understand that moment of WOW. I remember thinking, "Wait, people can actually see blades of grass?" when I got my first pair of glasses. Clear sight is something we simply can't take for granted.

8. Throwback to this 3-year-old drumming prodigy who wipes his nose and drops his stick while barely missing a beat.

The kid is Russian drum prodigy Lyonya Shilovsky and the video is from when, at age 3, he impressively led an entire orchestra in a part of Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld" called "Galop infernal"—better known as "the cancan."(Shilovsky is now 13 and still playing percussion.)

9. A little girl asked L.A. County Animal Control for approval to keep a unicorn in her yard. They responded with an official unicorn license and more.

Click the arrows to scroll all the way through. Absolutely delightful response to an adorable young citizen.

10. May we all be as joyful about the weather as Albert the camel is when seeing snow for the first time.

@ranchograndeojai

Snow camel walks with the goats #ranchograndeojai #ranchoojai #ojai ##ranch #camel #goats #snowdrop

Didn't even know a camel could hippity hop like that. Yay, Albert.

Hope you found some smiles here! Come back next week for more! (And if you'd like to get these posts delivered to your inbox so you never miss them, join our free Upworthiest newsletter here.)

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.


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Weddings bring up all kinds of emotions. These photographers knew exactly how to celebrate that.

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Neighbor does an amazing act of kindness for father of 3 who lost his wife

“I see him doing the absolute best that he can with what he has.”

Colin McConnell surprises his neighbor with an incredible amount of gifts.

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