5 Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress: Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie!
Chicken - Dinner - Food - Holidays - Musings - Salad

Simple Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Last updated on February 23, 2019 by Liza Hawkins

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

As we charge forward into the holiday season, I try to remind myself that holidays are supposed to be enjoyable — not stressful.

Easier said than done, right? Well, sometimes.

Little things like easy dinners (this post has one of my favorite 5-minute salad dressing recipes), knowing when to say No, and staying well-rested can have a big impact on your attitude.

If you enter the season with a mindset of calm, and genuinely try to keep your head in the right place, then chances are you can have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!

5 Ways To Help Reduce Holiday Stress

1. Share the load.
No matter how much you want to be the Thanksgiving super hero, swooping in with Martha Stewart’s seemingly effortless poise and perfection in the kitchen, don’t. Just don’t.


Instead, tap on family and friends to help with the food items, and embrace the idea of a modern pot luck holiday dinner! Last year for Christmas dinner, my family decided to do a Dickensian spread, and we were each tasked with one or two dishes to prepare from the era. It was SO fun, and none of us felt overly burdened by huge amounts of cooking.

Bonus points for anyone who knows which movie “Share the load” comes from…

2. Don’t over-promise things.
I’m famous for not enjoying craft projects. Heck, I even have a Pinterest board titled, “I’m not crafty, but if I was…” So, a big stress reliever for me is not over-promising things like carving ornate pumpkins. Kids, don’t you think decorating the pumpkins with Sharpies is a great idea?!?!

5 Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress

Or, building awesome gingerbread houses — even the kits never turn out to be as simple as the box claims. Maybe Gramma would like to make a gingerbread house! That’d be a fun project for you two!

Or, offering to make and bake 12 pies for Thanksgiving. Wait. I actually did that one year. With my sister. Even with “sharing the load,” it was still a feat! Lots of hard work, though I’ll admit it was also totally yummy and enjoyable.

3. Get plenty of sleep.
It’s so easy to find yourself in bed after midnight, and up again before the sun during the holidays. Do yourself a favor and try to get to bed early at least a few nights a week. Maybe it’s not possible every night (a-hem, writing deadlines, Homeland, and The Affair), but surely you can make it happen sometimes.

4. Never wait till the last minute.
Whether it’s Christmas shopping, crafting your Thanksgiving menu, putting up the Christmas tree, or deciding how much vacation time to take over the holiday break, do yourself a favor and figure it all out before the holidays are upon you. Like, in October.

Mark your home calendar so the kids know exactly when to expect the stockings to be hung (mine are already asking), and use sites like Amazon to help with your Christmas shopping (and regular shopping items, too). What’s that? You don’t have Prime? That’s crazy-talk. Get it now.

5. Give yourself a cooking break!
One of my favorite things about the holidays is dusting off some of my favorite movies and watching them over and over, like The Holiday, Harry Potter (okay, I watch these year round), Christmas Vacation, and a slew of others.

While I love making so many meals from scratch, I can totally appreciate an easy dinner that tastes homemade (but isn’t). It gives me time to do other things, like hang with my kids watching holiday movies in front of the fire.

Simple Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing and 5 Ways To Help Reduce Holiday Stress!

Like Marie Callender’s chicken and turkey pot pies. My daughter is somewhat of a pot pie connoisseur, and vows that “Marie Callender’s chicken pot pies are THE best.”

Who’s to argue with an opinionated 10 year old, who also happens to have a pretty refined palate? Not I.

5 Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress: Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie!

With big chunks of chicken (or turkey, if that’s what you like), a creamy sauce, and a super crust that I’d never be able to replicate (seriously, I’m terrible with crusts), Marie Callender’s chicken pot pies are awesome. It’s comfort in a golden, flaky crust…

5 Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress: Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie For An Easy Dinner!

I like to keep it simple and pair the pot pie with a salad. Nothing fancy (remember, the goal is an easy, unstressful meal!), just some good greenery, fresh veg, and dressing of your choice.

One of my favorites is a simple lemon vinaigrette:

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Easy homemade salad dressing!


  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil


  • Combine all the ingredients into a small container with a tight fitting lid. Shake it vigorously for 30 seconds. Use immediately on salad, and store any extra in the fridge.

  • Pot pie please! For more info on Marie Callender’s yumminess in a flaky golden crust, click here. I purchased the pot pies and some of my salad veggies at our local Walmart.

    5 Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress: Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie!

    Veggies and Marie Callender's Pot Pies at Walmart

    Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 

    Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

    2 Comments on “Simple Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

    1. 1. LOVE pot pie, SOLD! 2. Christmas Vacation Rocks.! 3. I already have my christmas cards printed and am addressing them this weekend. NEVER wait til’ the last minute. 4. Hallmark Countdown to Christmas starts this weekend! Yay!

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