Monday, October 26, 2015

Cooking for two...three...four....or more!

As we begin this week, it's time to work on "dinners".  Whether you are a mommy or not, life is hectic and no one truly has the time they WANT in the kitchen.

Here is a post I made a while back about cooking one main ingredient but getting a few meals out of it.  Truly the way to go!
cooking for two...meals and it talks about creating just a couple of meals out of chicken breasts that I slow cooked.  But in reality, there is SO much more you can make.

From cooking a few pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker on low for about 7 hours, you can easily make the following:

MONDAY:  Chicken tacos (crispy, soft, however you like....)
TUESDAY:  Chicken taco salads (you can make your own shells using large fajita shells on a taco shell molding pan).  This time I add in avocado, black olives, salsa...and make a little "bar" that the kids can choose their own toppings.  They love it!
WEDNESDAY:  Chicken Enchiladas (I have used a few from and they've all been successful).  a winner from for chicken enchiladas
THURSDAY:  Chicken Pitas  (just buy pitas from the store if you don't want to make your own and steam up cut tomatoes, similar to what you would get with this dish at a restaurant).  Here's my recipe for raita:
--1/2 cup of plain fat free yogurt
--peeled/seeded and shredded cucumber
--very thinly sliced onion
--1 tbsp of lime juice
--about a 1/4 tsp of cumin
Refrigerate for at least an hour or so for the flavors to "mesh"

FRIDAY:  Chicken Tortilla soup (great slow cooker meal)--recipe in post link above
SATURDAY:  Chicken quesadilla  (grab a couple of tortillas--spray the pan with oil and get it hot--put a tortilla on--add chicken/cheese/etc--add another tortilla on top-- cook--flip--voila!  Great to dip in guacamole or sour cream.  The kids will love it, too!

As you can see, the list is endless.
Here is another great article about using the slowcooker weekly from Passionate Penny Pincher.
reasons to use your slow cooker weekly by article

Sunday, October 25, 2015

What's on YOUR list?

What a great article I found the other day on Huff Post Parents about the "things I've learned after three and a half decades of life".  And of those 35 reasons listed, I'm not sure I can truly choose my favorite.  They all truly are right on point.  One that stuck out though is #22-- which talks about Monday being just as important as Friday-- and that it's 1/7 of your life--don't waste it.  How true is that sentiment?!  How often do we "wait" all week for Friday--- allow the weekend to fly by--and already hate the week ahead as we approach Monday?  What if that's the last Monday you ever saw?  Wouldn't you want it to be the BEST MONDAY EVER?!  

#24-- HAVING A PHONE AFFAIR-- how did it resonate with you?  I admit, I spend WAY too much time glancing down at my phone to check all kinds of stuff--but in reality, what's the most important in my life is NOT on the phone...well, maybe just a hundred or so of their pictures.  

Check out the article here and challenge yourself to come up with your own "list".  I will challenge myself to come up with the "top 40" things I've learned in the 4 decades that I've been alive as I approach my 40th in just a few months.  I'll be back to update :)

Check out the HUFF POST article here

Friday, October 23, 2015

Potty train or not to potty train......

So who doesn't LOVE potty training??!!!  
Most moms...dads....daycare providers....the carseat....the bed....the washing machine.....oh, the couch....the carpeting....

The BIGGER question is what is the best method and WHEN to work it??  
For me, I think it truly depends on the age of the child and their personality type.  What motivates them?  Is training important to THEM or just important to YOU?  Just because YOU don't want to buy diapers anymore doesn't mean it's motivation enough for them to hault usage.  But I will be the first to say, bribery with M& the bomb diggity!  And almost every parent I talk to ends up at the bribery route and loved it.  So don't judge til you try it yourself.  

We personally did the 3 day method for our oldest son, however due to his dyspraxia and verbal apraxia, we didn't train him until just over 3 yrs old.  Not that we didn't try--but we weren't in the best daycare environment that was eager to "help" on their end.  Once we made the switch, it happened very quickly.  Of course, it wasn't "perfect"---and NOTHING will be 100% in only 3 days, but it was a start.  I'm not so sure that method would work for those who want to train at 18 months...but maybe....I'd love to hear from you!

I came across this great article (link below) about different methods--- take a look for yourself.  I highly recommend this BEST POTTY CHAIR EVER BY PRINCE LIONHEART (click for link to it).  It's a seat that goes on top of your toilet seat so no extra "chair" in the bathroom (great for those with tight spaces or who don't want to "dump" the contents.  Just get a little stool like those they sell at Ikea for a few bucks and voila--- instant potty chair.  And trust me--we tried 'em all.....froggy chairs....elmo chairs.....go diego go seats.... and this was a true winner.  So that's what I recommend to my friends =) 


prince lionheart potty chair

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Poison control anyone??

The day started out by calling poison control about 15 minutes before I would be taking my oldest son to school.  NOT exactly how I planned my day.  But thankfully all was ok, however I kept him home from school since I wanted to keep an eye on him and didn't know what the extra dosage of medication might do later in the day.  It was also one of those moments that make you realize that it could all be gone in an instant.

The day was actually WONDERFUL!  I got special, very much needed one on one time with my oldest while my toddler was in preschool and then later on got one on one time with my toddler who told me "it was the best day ever"!  

So wonderful that I found this poem later in the day--a great reminder that I needed to hear since today I didn't get much done on my "to do" list, although it was a mile long...and that was totally ok.  Somehow I'm at peace for once, even the the floors desperately need cleaned.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Weather: 80 with a chance of snowmen.....

So although it's 80 here in Chicago today, I find it a "must" to post this adorable idea from's website for an Olaf snowman.  Oddly enough, this is the costume of choice for one of my boys this year and we literally just saw Frozen a week ago (loved it!!!).  

I'll post our "after" pictures once we complete this project but thought it would be a good one to share as we get ready for the long, cold winter in the midwest.  


Olaf sock snowman tutorial from OneCreativeMommy.Com

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

She's Baaaaaccckkkkk!!!!!

Oh look who's back!!!!!!   That's right....the crazy one.  Mom of 2 little boys.  Wife.  Homemaker?
So where did I leave off?  Hmmmm...from the looks of the blog photo, it's been a while.  I'm pretty sure my oldest is now driving.  Ok ok....maybe it hasn't been THAT long, but it's been a while.

The latest in a nutshell is that I lost my corporate job last fall after being there for over 10 years.  And I'm pretty sure I did a "happy dance" on the way out, but they won't turn over the video.  Last year I got in "better" shape, started running and losing weight and finished my first half marathon in September of 2014.  Yeah, you read that right.

Of course, fast forward a year and a few pounds have found their way back and I lost my map to the gym....BUT I'll get back....within this decade...I'm pretty sure of it.  Life has certainly gotten crazy.  I used to think that I would get "so much more done" if I wasn't working and my stress level would be nothing---but wow, was I wrong!  Guess what??  While at work no one can mess up the house.  Home 24/7 and crap happens.

Anyways---glad to be back.  I'll be posting some new recipes, craft ideas, stories..the latest bargains and more!  Don't miss it.....  :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Popcorn party!!!!

Do you really want to impress the kiddos?  Pop popcorn in a bag, in the microwave. 
Here's how it works:
  • All you need is one brown "lunch bag" size paper bag

  • Put about 1/4 cup of your favorite popping corn inside
  • Fold down the top a bit so it doesn't pop all over your microwave
  • Place in microwave---I use the "popcorn" button and listen for it to stop popping.

The kids are absolutely amazed that they get to make their own popcorn and can even eat it out of the bag if you'd like--just sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Otherwise, it pours out great in to a big bowl.