Friday, September 30, 2011

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken

Yum!  This recipe is killer!  My family and I LOVE it.  I try not to make it so much, so they don't get sick of it, but I could seriously eat it all the time. I love that it has everything in it and so easy to throw together.  Nothing like throwing everything into your crockpot and forgetting about it until it's about time to eat.

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
8 oz sour cream
1 small can of mushrooms
1 small bag of broccoli
6-8 oz of cooked noodles (I like egg noodles)

Place your chicken in the crockpot and season them. In a seperate bowl mix together soups and mushrooms until well combined.  Pour over chicken.  Cook on low 6 hours or so.  When it's about done add the sour cream and broccoli.  Cook until broccoli is heated through.  Throw in your cooked noodles and stir to combine and then enjoy!

Seriously SO YUMMY!

Adapted from Allrecipes

Have a fun and safe weekend! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Halloween Wreath

I had this old crummy twig wreath on my front porch.  It had seen better days.  I was just gonna take it down and find something to replace it, but a light bulb went off (IT DOES HAPPEN!) and I thought to myself, "Hey!  I can fix this up and make a Halloween wreath out of it."  So that is exactly what I did. 

This is the wreath before.  It's kinda just blah!

I bought a can of black spray paint, cobwebs, spiders, and a cute BOO sign.  I made sure to spray the wreath down with cleaner first, because it had some dead bugs, leaves, and stuff in it.  I then took it out back on the dirt and sprayed the heck out of it with spray paint.  Make sure to turn it over and all around to make sure you get everything black.  I let it dry for awhile.  Then I hung it back up on my porch and strung some cobwebs all over it.  I let Coy put the spiders on and he really thought that was fun!!  Last, I hung the BOO sign in the center and I was so excited how cute it turned out.  I think i'll change it for every holiday.  How fun would that be?! 

This is the old wreath after!  Cute, right?!  I love it!!

So, if you have an old wreath or decoration, fix it up!  It's cheaper than buying something new and makes you feel good to create something on your own.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Digi Day

The Queen of Quirk came out with a new kit yesterday that I got to play with. I love the colors in the kit. It is just warm and cozy. Feels like home. It's called Country Mouse. You can find it here.

Pretty right? Here is my layout using the products.

Love this photo of Ben and Abi. So cute. Full credits Here.

Have a Great Tuesday!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oatmeal Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

I got this recipe from my good friend.  She said it was amazing, and she was right!  I couldn't stop eating them.  My picky toddler loved them too and he wanted seconds.  The syrup is so buttery and creamy and DELICIOUS!  Such a great combination.  It tasted like Fall to me.  What does Fall taste like to you?

Oatmeal Pancakes *This is the recipe doubled.  It made the perfect amount for my family of 4.*
1 c. flour
1 c. oats blended into flour  (I just used my food processor)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs

Mix together all wet ingredients and then stir in your dry.  Heat griddle and butter it good.  Pour in batter and cook like you would any other pancake.

Buttermilk Syrup
1 1/2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. butter
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large pan and while stirring constantly let it boil for 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and add your 2 tsp vanilla.  Make sure you use a large pan.  I didn't and it overflowed all over the place.  Good times.  ;o)  Let it cool a bit while your cooking up the pancakes.

Source-Our Best Bites

You will seriously think you've died and gone to heaven when you try this!

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Digi Day

I have three layouts to share with you this week. I love that I'm already documenting Abi's first year. I'm still working on Maggie's first year and although I wrote notes, it feels great to be documenting as I go. Hopefully I can keep up. That would be awesome.

This first layout is a template by Splendid Fiins. It's a free template done for the Template Tuesday series. You can pick it up here. Did you hear me? Free. Go get it. :)

Full Credits Here.

Speaking of Template Tuesday, this layout is done from a template by one of my co-creative team members. I love her work. You can get this template here for free. Yup, you might as well know that you can get a free template from every Tuesday.

Last but not least. I have been slowly catching up with some of my classes at JessicaSprague. This one is from Lesson 3 of Up and Running Version 2. I love how this turned out. These six photos are actually cropped from one photo. I loved how all the kids were just doing their own thing. So cute.

Okie Dokie. Have a great Tuesday!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Monday

Monica's Menu
I successfully made it through a birthday week. We have another busy week ahead of us with my son's baptism and family coming into town. We are so excited to have visitors. I only have 4 days planned because I like to plan meals with my mother in law. It's more fun that way. Another thing is we have a very busy Thursday night. I am proclaiming Thursdays crock-pot day. So I'll be looking for crock-pot recipes. Anyone? Last week I didn't make Erica's Crock-pot BBQ Chicken, so that's again on the menu this week.

Taco Soup (Yum! One of my faves. I love soup season.)

Lemon Mushroom Chicken

Grilled Cheese and Soup (We have Pack Meeting this week, so another easy day.)

Crock-pot Thursday
Crock-pot BBQ Chicken

Erica's Menu
I have a few carry overs from last week.  It was a busy one, and I didn't make a few of the things on my menu.  That's ok with me, because that means less money spent at the grocery store this week.  YAY!  :o)  I think i'm gonna jump on Monica's wagon and do a crockpot Thursday too.  Sounds fun! 


Biscuits and Gravy

Taco Casserole

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken

Hamburger Gravy over Toast

Grilled Bratwurst

Breakfast Casserole

Have an AWESOME week!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Water Colors

It's been fun finding different fun things to do with my 3 year old.  He thinks it's pretty cool too.  I didn't have any water colors on hand, and he had never tried them before, so this was the perfect craft to do with my lil' man.  I let him help with stirring in the colors, and you should have seen his little face.  He was amazed!!  The cutest thing ever.  I love when i'm the one to make my babies so happy.  So, if you and the kids can't find something to do today, give these a try.  They were super easy to mix together and the end result was a work of art.  :o)

You can tell I took this picture after Coy had been painting.  He hasn't got the hang of it quite yet.  :o)


And paint!

Water Colors
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
food coloring

Mix everything together and pour mix into seperate containers.  I used an ice thing.  Worked great!  Then add your colors and mix well with a toothpick. Then start painting.  (I stirred the colors every once in awhile, so the stuff wouldn't settle at the bottom.  I'm wondering if I didn't stir it long enough to begin with, so make sure to stir it really good before pouring into your seperate cups.)

I got the HUGE piece of paper from Mr. Claude in the meat department at the grocery store.  I taped both sides to the table, so it wouldn't move around and it worked out perfect.  Plus, I have tons more for another project.  :o)

Happy Painting!! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

I love Pinterest. Every time I get on there I get giddy at all the beautiful things there are in this world. It has been a plethora of inspiration for me. Well, my husband asked if I would make cookies for a friends birthday and luckily I had just pinned a cookie. I went to the linked website and the cookie was easy plus I had everything so I whipped this cookie up in no time. Seriously, I started and finished in an hour. This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies. Really they are super easy.

I have been a peanut butter fan lately. Mixed with some chocolate, and you have my idea of a tasty treat. Not to mention the fun peanut butter surprise in the middle. Yum. I really liked these and will be making them again. :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar (plus more for dipping)
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
¾ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter until light and smooth. Add in the vanilla and egg, beat to combine. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Set dough aside.

To make the filling, cream together the powdered sugar and remaining 3/4 cup of peanut butter until smooth. (All I had was reduced fat peanut butter, so I had to add a little water for this to come together. It worked perfectly.)

To assemble the cookies, spoon a generous tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough and flatten into a circle with your hands. (I used the Pampered Chef medium scoop.) Scoop a small amount of peanut butter filling mixture and place in the center of the chocolate dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter filling, pinching ends together to seal. Roll the cookie in between hands to smooth into a ball. Roll into a bowl of sugar and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten each cook with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Do not over bake. Let cool on wire rack.

Source: Pennies on a Platter

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homemade Oreos

So...I was thinking that I was being all creative and stuff, and so excited to make these.  I knew Moni had made some previously, but there was no way it would be the same recipe!  WRONG!  :o)  It is exactly the same.  I should have looked before, but that's just me being lazy.  These were way good, but definitely rich.  And they didn't taste exactly like an Oreo.  I hope to someday find that recipe.  I love love LOVE me some double stuffed Oreos.  *drool*  So, if you want to make these...which I think you should, head on over to Moni's post and listen to her suggestions.  I'll be making these again.  My family ate them right up.  I wouldn't have posted these at all, but I loved how the picture turned out.

Monica's Post

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Digi Day

I wanted to show you this gorgeous layout I just finished. This is Lesson 8 from the Digi in Deeper class. Every time I complete one of these layouts I am in awe at the amazing things I can do with my computer. I just created a treasure. I'm excited if you can't tell. Again, if you love to scrapbook, you will love digi scrapping. I can't get enough of it.

I love the photo treatment on this layout. The focal photo has been "brushed" and softened to blend into the "watercolor" paper. It looks amazing and I can't wait to see the print. Also, we used some real life scanned items. The lace was scanned in and I extracted it from it's background to put on my layout. Cool, right? The burlap was done this way too. For the scallop and the flag, I made clipping masks and clipped scanned in images of fabric to them. It's awesome because I get the fun texture from the fabrics.

If you feel like trying a new craft. Check out Jessica's website and look at all the fun products and classes. If you want to know Photoshop and learn some techniques, you can start here. I will always plug this stuff because I love it. Did you see my documented photos above?

Also, Scrapping Simply is doing a buy one get one free sell with their gallery wraps. I'm thinking Christmas?

Check out the sale here.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Monday

Hi, Everyone!  Can you feel and smell Fall in the air?!  I sure can!  And I am SUPER excited about it!  It has to be my favorite season.  I love the smells, the foods, the change of colors, the weather...everything!  What is your favorite part about Fall?  I put a couple of my favorite cooler weather recipes on the menu this week.  Let's hope the weather stays the way it has been. 

Grilled hotdogs and homemade mac and cheese

Taco Salads

Ham and Cheese Bagles  *These are Justy's favorite.  She has a soccer game that night, so I thought i'd do something easy.*

Chicken Strips and Oven Fries

Taco Soup with Fritos

Biscuits and Gravy


And there you have it! I'm hungry now, just from looking at the pictures.  :o) 

Monica's Menu
So I finally made those Chickpea Stuffed Shells. They were yummy. I'll have to share the recipe some time. This week my goal is to make my stir fry. :) Life has gotten busy again. Now that school is in full swing, all our exra curricular activities are too. We have soccer, dance, scouts, and raquetball. Busy, busy. Okay, here's the menu


Tofu Stirfry (This time for sure!!!)



Dinner Out

Blackened Chicken w/ Fettucine Alfredo

Chicken Rolls

Oh lovely Monday. Make the most of it. Have a great day!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Another great recipe in my collection of family favorite crockpot dinners.  We love this chicken.  It's so moist and perfect.  This is my kind of meal, especially this week.  My 3 year old is finally interested in potty training, my baby cut his first tooth, and my 11 year old is crazy busy with school and soccer.  It's been pretty eventful around here.  So the easier the dinner, the better. 

Crockpot BBQ Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts (I had the little tenders, so I threw in 12.  I also used frozen, but fresh works great too!)
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a meduim bowl mix together, bbq sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and garlic powder.  Stir until combined.  Place your chicken in the crockpot and pour the sauce over the top of it.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Stir maybe once in the middle of cooking time.

Hope you all had a fantastic week.  Have a fun and safe weekend.  See you Monday!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I had an Epiphany

I told Aaron and he just rolled his eyes. Pfff, whatever. I've always struggled with papers. You know what I'm talking about, all the millions of papers that seem to stream into your home day by day. You get paper in the mail, stuck to your door, from school (so much paper!), from church, etc. etc. Right? Well, my paper gets piled into piles and every once in awhile gets "organized" into better piles and somewhat filed. Blah. It's never worked for me.

So, this is where the epiphany comes in. I realized while going through my papers that if I put all these papers in a binder with tabs and pockets pertaining to finances, school schedules, important dates, meal planning, etc., I would be better organized, find things quicker, pay bills more promptly, and not forget what color shirt Maggie is supposed to wear or when picture day is! Sounds glorious, right? No eye rolling people, that's what Aaron did.

Okay, so I realized about 2 minutes after my epiphany, that this probably isn't a brilliant idea and that there are probably other people that have already done this. Come in, Pinterest. Oh lovely Pinterest. I typed in "Family Planner" and whala, a whole page of ideas. Darn smart people out there, I'm always just a little behind in my brilliance.

My favorite link was to the I Heart Organizing blog. She did a whole challenge last March on making a Family Planner and had links to other blogs who followed along. Jackpot for me! Here are some photos of her amazing binder.

Cute and functional. I like it!!

A cleaning checklist. Nice!

I'm excited for this part. I've always wanted a better method for remembering important dates.

She goes over her whole binder and offers her printables from her Etsy shop here.

So this has been my project this week. I've just started to gather things and work on my own printables for my binder. I'm hoping to have this done in a week or two to show you. I'm picturing a more streamlined organized way to keep track of all my papers. Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Heaven in a cupcake liner.  I made these for my Daddy's birthday yesterday.  They are his favorite.  I was worried, because last time I made something similar it didn't turn out.  But these were absolutely WONDERFUL!!!  They were pretty simple to throw together.  I got most of them done during nap time which made it 100 times easier.  My Dad had 2, complimented me a few times, and took a bunch home, so they were definitely a hit!

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Cake mix-
1 box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. buttermilk (If you don't have buttermilk than you can make your own by using a little less than 1 cup milk with 1 Tbsp of distilled white vinegar)
1 c. sour cream

 German Chocolate Frosting-
1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Chocolate Buttercream-
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. milk (If needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.  I got 24 cupcakes. 

In a large bowl combine oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix gently until well combined. Stir in 1/3 of the cake mix until well combined.  Add buttermilk, stir til combined.  Add another 1/3 of the cake mix, stir til combined.  Add sour cream, and last of cake mix and stir until well combined.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

German Chocolate Frosting-In a medium saucepan on medium heat, constantly stir evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks until it starts to boil and thicken.  About 15 minutes.  Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans.  Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

Buttercream-Beat cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes, scraping sides of bowl.  Add cocoa, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Beat for another 3 minutes, scraping bowl. If it's too thick add milk.  (I didn't have to add any milk to mine.)  If it's too thin add more powdered sugar.  Put icing into a pastry bag and pipe it onto cupcakes to create a barrier to keep the german chocolate frosting in the middle.  Scoop a small amount of cooled german chocolate mixture into the middle of the cupcake.

And there you have it!  It looks a little intimidating, but it was seriously pretty simple.  My pastry bag broke, so I had to use a ziploc bag to finish the job.  Worked out great!

Source-Your Cup of Cake

Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Digi Day

I have two things I want to share with you today. First is Spraguefest. It is an all out scrapbooking party hosted by This year it is in no other than Las Vegas. There will be fun, food, shows, late nights, classes, and lots of scrapping!!!!

They have Carina Gardner, Heidi Swapp, and Jessica Sprague on the schedule to teach. What a great way to enjoy some "me" time!! I really really really (did I say really?) want to go, but alas my husbands school schedule and a little thing called money prevents me from doing so.

One more incentive, if you book your room by today Sept. 6th, you will be entered into a drawing to have your entire room paid for by You can find all of the hotel info HERE and then can register for the fun right HERE!

Okay, I also wanted to tell you about Red River Paper.  I was lucky enough to get a sampler pack from them. I am mainly a full digital scrapper so I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do with my samples. Well, my good friend Adrianne at Captured by Adrianne took my babies newborn photos. I had these gorgeous photos that needed to be framed and displayed. Perfect. :)

I was really excited to use the 66 lb Polar Pearl Metallic Paper. Can I just say gorgeous? Have you seen photos printed on Metallic paper? Oh man. I can't stop staring at my framed picture. Gorgeous baby, gorgeous photo, gorgeous paper.

I wish you could see the metallic sheen on this photo. It's so so pretty.

I also printed some photos on the 75 lb. Arctic Polar Luster. Again, the photos are beautiful. The paper picks up the color very well and also drys quickly so no smudging. If you are looking for great photo paper check out Red River Paper. You get quality papers for a great price. Oh, they also have pre-scored greeting card ready to be printed on. I may play with those soon. :) Check them out.

Okie Dokie, have a great day!!

P.S. I didn't get paid for saying any of that, just my honest opinion. :) Did I say that metallic paper is gorgeous? Seriously.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Monday

Last week was a little nuts but so fun to have my honey home. We had a good time and he is back to school tomorrow to start his 5th quarter. Wish him luck, we hear it's a real doozy. Again, you will see some repeats this week. I'm bound and determined to make those darn stuffed shells!

Chickpea Stuffed Shells (Please tell me you have menu items that get carried on for a few weeks.)

Tofu Stirfry

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos (I'm excited for this one!)

Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken

BBQ Chicken


Chicken Rolls

Alrighty, there it is! Erica has a lot going on today so you just get mine. If you ever want recipes, let me know and I'll pass them on to you in exchange for one of yours! :) Have a great day!
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