Wednesday, January 30, 2013

~slow cooker chicken tortilla soup~

I get mailers from my local grocery store(Smith's)
that have recipes along with coupons.
 I've been looking for
a good tortilla soup recipe for awhile now
and I think I finally found THE ONE
when I got one of their mailers a couple weeks ago.    
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 onion, chopped
4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
2 (4 oz) cans chopped mild green chili peppers
1 can (15 oz) mild red enchilada sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 tsp each.....CUMIN, CHILI POWDER, SALT
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Place the chopped onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer the frozen chicken breasts on top. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice, green chiles, enchilada sauce, garlic, chicken broth, spices and bay leaf. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove bay leaf. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Return to slow cooker. Stir in corn. Continue to heat until corn is hot. Add a handful of chopped cilantro. Top with anything you like....we did avocado slices, shredded cheese and sour cream.
Serves 6-8.

Monday, January 28, 2013

~wearing dresses in the winter~

Back in the day before I had kids I had
a closet full of nice, dressy clothes and 
only TWO pairs of jeans.
No kidding. Two.
I never wore jeans.....not even on the weekends.
That feels like a lifetime ago.
I probably own about 7 or 8 pairs of jeans now
and wear jeans the majority of the time.
But you know what?
I still love dressing up and I LOVE wearing 
dresses and skirts. Now that I'm not nursing
anymore I've got back into the practice
of wearing dresses. (It's much easier to
wear a dress when you don't have to lift
up the whole damn thing in order to get
to your boobs. NOT A PRETTY SITE!
I pretty much stop wearing 
dresses all together when I nurse for this reason.
Here's two dresses that are on my wardrobe radar
right now:  
      This orange and white striped halter dress is 
super light and comfy......two different ways to
accessorize it. One with black accents and
the other with silver and leather accents. I actually
wore the black version with black leggings
because it has been bitter cold in our neck of the woods.    

I haven't actually worn this yet but when I do
this is how I'll do it. Again, the little denim jacket
with my 'ol cowboy boots. 

Even though it seems as if you can only wear
a dress one way, I actually feel like they
are quite versatile..... depending on how   
you style and accessorize them.
I will wear both these dresses in the summer
with sandals and my big sun hat. 
 Throw some boots and a jacket over your dresses gals!
Just because it's winter doesn't mean we have to 
look like a "Stay Puff marshmallow" in our winter gear.    
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

~memory book with old valentines~

Are you one of those people who saves cards
for sentimental reasons but you never
really know what to do with them other
than stash them in a box?
 If's an idea
for a Valentine or anniversary gift.
 Each year I try to top the Valentine I made the year prior.
After nearly 20 years of this, it's getting difficult and I'm 
running out of ideas and energy. Last year I
couldn't figure out what to make for Valentines so
I got to looking thru all the Valentines we've
exchanged over the years as inspiration. 
Yes......we have kept them in a little box along with
other cards and letters we've exchanged thru the
years. After that much time, it's become
quite a collection. Rather than make a Valentine
for him last year, I decided to make a memory book
with all of the Valentines we have exchanged over
the past 19 years. This is how it turned out.   
I used this hand made binder that my aunt (who's really
my 2nd cousin) gave us a couple years ago .
It's made from wood that she stained and constructed
herself. This was just the project I was waiting
for to fill this monogrammed binder!   

I gathered up all of the Valentines we've exchanged
over the years and put them in chronological order.
I bunched a few of them together and tied with
ribbon or tulle and placed that in pockets I 
sewed onto the page (cardstock).
Each page is a little different and you could
design them to your liking.      
 This folks, is the first Valentine I ever made him.
19 years ago......1994. We were so poor and the only
supplies I had were pictures, yellow legal paper,
crayons, tape and pink toilet paper (remember when they
used to make colored toilet paper?). I think they
stopped making it because it turned out the dyes
in it were a bit too "harsh" for some people's 
who ha's and nether regions.    

I decorated some of the "pockets" with smaller sized
Valentines I'd made. If the Valentine was double sided
I made a color copy of the back in order to see
both sides and the message.   
 Once I had the pages done, I put them in thick
plastic page protectors so the cards won't fall out.
 I always make my Valentines and write a simple 
message. My husband on the other hand, buys
the most beautiful, sappy and love sick card
he can find......and I absolutely love it!

 Another way to display them is to place them
on your cardstock and make a slit in the page
protector to slide the card thru. That way you
can actually open the card and see the message.  

 For those years when we had a long distance 
relationship and had to mail our Valentines....
I used the actual envelope as the pocket and stuck
that right to the cardstock with a bunch of 
Valentines in it.  As you can see, I also scattered
a few pictures of us together througout the years.  
 It's a bit thick and bulky but it's just fine for where it 
sits, on display in our window ledge.  

I will add a page to it each year with our Valentines.
You know what that means now......
I gotta figure out what the heck type of Valentine
to make this year.    

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Sunday, January 13, 2013


It's been awhile since I've done a
"Pinspiration" year?
Trust me, it's not because I haven't spent
much time on Pinterest.
That site is a TIME SUCK TUNNEL....
I go for one idea and two hours later I'm sitting
in front of my computer trying to remember what
the hell I was looking for to begin with.
To answer your question from one of my pins
this morning Megan, "YES! I was pinning that early."

I was browsing Valentines ideas and boy did 
I find what I went looking for!
Click on the pictures to be 
re-directed to their sites.

  Susie.....I pinned this tutorial for Z...I 
know she loves owls and thought she might
want to make these for her friends.
This is from "joyfully jensen" blog.

I was mainly looking for ideas for my son's class.
I want to do something besides candy.
I'm so sick of fighting my kids about candy
and how much they can or cannot have.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only momma who
feels this way.                

From "like a pretty petunia" blog-
 I love these crazy straw valentines.
From one "crazy" kid to another..... 

 From "dandee" blog-
Friendship bracelets.....what a great idea!
These would be easy to make but I think it might
work better for kids a little older than my guy.

From "JacO'lyn Murphy" blog-
my little guy's favorite one.
Isn't it hilarious?
I think I will put on it,
"love is a battlefield....let's just be friends."  

 From ""-
Valentine message pencil toppers.
It's in the running too-my son loved these.

  From ""-
Another favorite of my son.
Looks like he may have a hard time choosing, No?

   From ""-
This will be fun if he wants to do something
different for the girls in the class-which would
totally be do-able because there are only 4 girls!
That would have been my idea of a dream class
when I was a kid :) Yes-I was boy crazy!

  Bubbles by ""-
Cute and inexpensive alternative to candy.

  From "sheekshindigs" blog-
Do pop-rocks count as candy?
This fits our style I think :)

    From "repeat crafter me" blog-
monster push pops valentines.....
My resolve to not give candy totally goes 
out the window when I see these. 
I would do these for my kids....would be too
pricey to do for the whole class I think.

From "Rook No. 17" blog-
luv bugs......
my little guy would have fun making these too.  

And just because I'm the "room parent" for my
son's class, I went ahead and pinned this:
   I know the picture quality isn't great but you 
get the idea right? A bag for the kids to put
their valentines in.  
This is from "apples 4 the teacher" blog.

I think this is going to be a hard decision.
I'll let you know what we decide on.   

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