Empower Hour with Kara Norman -Let’s Travel in 2018!

Happy New Year Empower Hour Kings and Queens!

I was blessed to bring in the New Year on the sandy white beaches of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  My hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in December and took the opportunity to get away.  It was one of our best vacations and we loved exploring a new country together.  It is so important to travel relax and get away from our everyday lives.  My husband calls our trips, “investments in our marriage”.  I think that trips in general are investments in our selfcare and wellbeing.  Even if it’s just a day trip to a new city we should always make time to explore.


Need a little inspiration? I love following this Instagram hashtag #essencetravels!  There is a whole world out there to see folks!

Is money an issue? Here is a great link I found that gives tips on how to travel on a budget! #teamnoexcuses


Here is a photo of a picture of a beach that I put on my vision board December 3, 2016.  I did not pay attention to the location just put the photo on my vision board.  My husband picked this place in March of 2017 and my toes were in the sand on this very beach in Punta Cana December 2017 it works!


Cheers to amazing adventures in 2018!

Kara Norman – Founder of Empower Her Inc. 


Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty- Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

We are excited to bring you this cheesy delight! Smarty Marty take on Macaroni and Cheese is sure to delight your family with this quick delicious sensation.

What you’ll need for this dish :

Creamy Mac & Cheese

1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted n white pepper
3 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper; cook and stir another minute, then whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.

Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.



Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta. Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.


Recipe By Chef John

Styling and Food Preparation By: Smarty Marty