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30 September 2015

Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

I love this soup for a couple reasons.
1. It's super easy, fast and doesn't ruin the clean kitchen
2. It's not expensive and makes enough for us, but easy to add more and have leftovers!


What you need
 1-2 Tbs Butter
1 Good Sized Carrot~Diced
1 Celery Rib~Diced
2~14.5 Oz Cans Chicken Stock
1/2 C Uncooked Rice  
1/2 Tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 Tsp. Dried Sage
1/2 Tsp. Thyme
1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper
1C Water
4Tbs Flour
1 Can Evaporated Milk
2 C. Cooked Chicken   Shredded, diced, pulled  you choose

*You can also add
 1/2 C chopped onion with veggies
More stock if you want a thinner soup. It gets pretty thick!
  

Directions
In a pot big enough to hold everything add butter, and veggies on medium high heat. Saute until veggies are softened. 
Add Chicken Broth, rice and spices. Bring to a boil 
Reduce heat to low and cover until rice is cooked. About 15 minutes here.
In a cup or bowl, combine the water and flour. Stir into soup
Add Evaporated Milk
Bring to a boil, 2 minutes. Stirring continually.
Add chicken and stir until chicken is heated through.

That's it! So maybe a half hour of time! Even less if you have carrots and celery chopped in the freezer!   I think you could also do wild rice, but the time would be a little longer.
Make a triple batch, throw some in the freezer and have dinner made for another time!
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28 September 2015

Meal Plan September {Week 5}


After Birthday Parties last week, I am excited for a little bit more mellow week.

Monday~Pork Burritos
Easy Meal for a busy day! Roast and green enchilada sauce in the pressure cooker and rice. All stuff I can do ahead of time!

Tuesday~Spaghetti and Meatballs
We love the Trader Joe's mini meatballs for busy nights!
I made a double batch of marinara last week, just have to pull it out of the freezer!

Wednesday~Soup
I don't know what kind yet. Something with chicken.
Maybe chicken pot pie soup, or chicken and dumplings. Making double chicken for Thursday's meal.

Using the chicken made Wednesday and prepping it all in the morning!
http://cupcakeskissesncrumbs.blogspot.com/2015/09/chicken-spaghtti.html

Friday~Mini Pizza
English muffins, toasted with the fixins and then broiled.
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27 September 2015

Chicken Spaghetti

This is a favorite around here! For all the right reasons. Good to make ahead and toss in the fridge or freezer, sneaky way to add some extra protein, warm and cheesy. Reheats SO well!

There are lots of versions of this, I tried a few but we try to avoid the cream
based soups and processed cheese. 
This is what we ended up with!

2C Shredded Chicken~ whatever kind you have/like
1lb Spaghetti~ Broken up
1 Can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chile's 
1C Cottage Cheese
1tsp+Cumin
1tsp+ Oregano
Salt and Pepper
1-2C Shredded cheese~Cheddar, Cheddar-Jack  whatever you have/like


Cook Spaghetti, Drain, then I just put it back in the pot.
Add everything but the shredded cheese and stir together well.
Transfer to a casserole dish, either sprayed with cooking spray or lined with foil if you are freezing.
Spread cheese to cover
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melty and bubbling.


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25 September 2015

Laundry Room {Organizing Friday}

We shouldn't have much to organize in here, it's a tiny little room. But it has ended up a dumping spot for so much! Today I wanted to work on tidying it, making sure there isn't stuff in the cupboards that doesn't belong. Making sure we have the cleaning supplies organized, to save time later, being real about what we need for supplies. No room to store a ton of excess.

See, it wasn't horrible to start with


I do miss our laundry sorter, it was too tall, made the washer and dryer hit the cabinets :(
Maybe your laundry room is much bigger, or maybe it's just a closet. These are some other laundry rooms that have super organization!

This whole room is just GORGEOUS!

I love these cute little organizing ideas




And these are just so smart! 


I pinned them all, and a bunch more so I can check them out in more detail!
Find them HERE

So it didn't take too long but it's still waah waaa
I sure do not love the blank walls!




I don't know exactly what I want to do in here. I will have to plan a little.
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24 September 2015

Easy Snacks for Busy Moms

I swear we are running out the door at snack time more often than not. While I would prefer a real snack, something homemade, that just isn't an option most of the time and we need snacks we can just grab and get going.

I've shared some of how we snack around here before here.
http://cupcakeskissesncrumbs.blogspot.com/2011/08/snack-and-breakfast-prep.html

It's crazy to me, that it's been pinned over 10k times. Insanity!  I only do it to make my life easier.
We also did this for our road trip last year but I know I could still take advantage of it now on a smaller scale.
http://cupcakeskissesncrumbs.blogspot.com/2014/06/road-trip-planning-food.html



 Just going to throw some of our snack options out there too!
*Dried fruit        *Trail Mix          *Dried Fruit
*Nuts       *Fruit Leather        *Granola Bars
*apples   *Somersaults (addicting!!)
*bananas   *Yogurt Covered Peanuts/Raisins
*clementines  *Pretzels  *Chex Mix
*crackers  *Popcorn/KettleCorn
*Jerky   *SnapPea Crisps *Fruit Snacks (Target organics are our fave)

We also have a small snack bucket in the fridge!
Apple Sauce
Cheese Sticks
grapes
Yogurt tubes (These are our faves) 


What do your kids grab and go?
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21 September 2015

Meal Plan September {Week 4}

It's going to be nice weather here all week! We have 2 birthday boys and 1 birthday party.
So pretty much it's going to be a fun busy week and interesting meals.


Monday~Pot Roast
Just been sounding super good lately!
I am going to try THIS recipe from The Organic Kitchen. It's a little different but looks SO pretty and tasty!
http://www.theorganickitchen.org/blog-tutorials/slow-cooker-pot-roast-with-shallots-and-carrots/

It's Hawkins first birthday and double practice day's.
I need something everyone will eat without complaint so we can celebrate our big 1 year old.
And who can say no to 10 minutes TOTAL time to homemade Mac N Cheese?! Total Mom Saver!

Wednesday~ No idea!
It's Finn's Birthday and he is old enough to choose what he wants to have for dinner.
This sweet faced baby will probably ask for Starbucks banana bread and ice cream!
 
Thursday~ Ravioli and Salad
I am picking up some ravioli at Trader Joe's and making some sauce at home. Making extra sauce to freeze and thicken up for Pizza's next week.

Everyone loves them!
 
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18 September 2015

Organizing for 6 {The Sports taxi}


It's Fall, that means Fall Baseball, Football, Cross Country, Volleyball, Soccer and probably some others I am forgetting. It also means the "Soccer Moms" of the world are out in full force. We all know 1, or more, maybe you are 1 of us. With your trunk stocked, time sacrificing cheering heart full of love for our little athletes? Well after the last week of insanity and crazy and not finding anything, I knew it was time to get my car ready! I should have done it weeks ago.

But first, last Friday was the garage, and getting everything unpacked. Got that done! It's not organized or clean but everything is unpacked! I will take it!
Yes that is a bin full of bins, boxes and containers! 

Still a lot to do as far as sorting seasonal bins but there is MUCH more room in here now!

I'm starting with a clean slate today, it feels like a small clean slate but it's got to work! 

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17 September 2015

Are you a busy mom?

 Of course you are! I think all moms are busy! We all have different things that make us busy, eat our time and attention. I'm sharing how I am making it (barely) through our chaos, the things that help me keep my sanity as a *Busy Mom*.

Being honest and real here, I am exhausted every night and barely have time for home stuff. I don't think we will be choosing to be this busy again anytime soon. My head hits the pillow about 2 seconds before I am out. Now I know I can't be the only one with multiple kids in multiple sports and having to be at 2 places at once every weeknight, so if you have more pointers SHARE!
I'm not going to talk about the obvious Coffee and Wine, I think those are a staple for a lot of moms :)



For me, the days I don't get my Greens in I can feel it by about 10AM! I'm sure we all have a regimen we intend to follow to get our vitamins in.

SLEEP! I am not getting enough, I doubt I ever will. I've just stopped expecting to get any. I try to get 3 hour increments, that seems to work best for me. 6 hours is better than 7. There is a neat app you can get to show you your sleep pattern/cycle. It's called Sleep Cycle.

Cut stuff loose, and don't feel guilty!  When I sat down and entered in all our appointments, practices, games and open houses and events for the next 3 months I had a small panic attack. That planner was FULL. I needed to make some more space in there for LIFE. I cut some things that aren't necessary and are a drain. Not appointments or stuff we have committed to, things that I probably put too much effort into for ME and no one else notices.  Less electronics (that is a big one!)

Friends, making my mama friends as much a priority as I can helps me stay afloat in this little storm that feels huge while it's happening. Nothing huge, a quick phone call or text chat. Just a few minutes everyday to help keep my sanity.

Keep as much of a whole day as you can for family and quiet! That day to recharge is SO important. I know that day is Sunday for a lot of families. It's crazy to think about it just 1 day a week is only 52 chances every single year to unwind and recharge and keep on chugging. That hardly feels like any!

If you can't have a whole afternoon or morning to do your thing, schedule 1 hour, just 1 hour a day if you can to just focus on you. Mine is usually in the morning before the kids are up. I like to drink my coffee in the quiet and read a little and just be alone ! For me, I like my devotional. I know you mama's can relate!

And even with ALL this knowledge of ways that *should* help me chill and just survive I still am in tears a couple times a week! I know when this is over I will think how silly it was to cry over having to be 2 places at once but while it's happening it is HARD!

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14 September 2015

September {Week 3} Meal Plan


We are about to enter a crazy time in our lives with multiple sports going on at the same time!
Chances of us eating all together are going to be slim for a while, will be taking advantage of crock pot, pressure cooking and grab and go meals. Don't have a pressure cooker? I would say they are a busy moms best friend! This is the one I have, and love. Has paid for itself already, in just a few months. 
http://amzn.to/1UQhQPJ



Monday~Chicken Tortilla Soup
No canned soup in this recipe!




Tuesday~Tacos
Just throwing some ground beef in the pressure cooker, saute for a few minutes, then adding some seasoning and a little beef stock. Pressure cook for 20 min and leave it on warm until we get around to eating!

I promise the couple surprise ingredients make it extra tasty and very fall like!

Thursday~Pressure Cooker Potatoes
Easy to use up leftovers!
 
 
Our first day this week with no sports! Can't wait to just sit and be with everyone at the same time!
I made this recipe a few times, it's SO good but goodness I don't have time to make it often. Changed it up a bit and now I do it in the pressure cooker then under the broiler for a few minutes. In the pressure cooker 1 lb of pasta, 4 C of water, salt and nutmeg.  Pressure cook for 4 minutes, release pressure, add the rest of the ingredients besides topping, stir it up a few minutes and spread in a baking pan, top with crackers and stick it under the broiler for a few.



 
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10 September 2015

Real Life for 6~Unpacking

We have had floors a couple weeks and most of the drywall done for a week. I can finally really start unpacking! We don't have everything here yet but this disaster should keep me busy!

tried to move things into the garage in rows, separated by rooms. That was a flop. Having 3 little helpers undo a lot of what I had done while looking for certain things will do that. So now we have this jumble of boxes and bins and who knows what!

I am going to try to get to this garage today. Setting aside just 1 day a week to organize a specific area will help us stay organized. Unloading a box at a time and making sure it's something we actually need before I even bring it in the house!

I have to start with an area for recycling, donating and trash. I just used a broken bin and boxes.

Let's hope nap time is productive!

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08 September 2015

September {Week 2} Meal Plan

I haven't actually shared our meal plan in months! Been making a lax version of it occasionally. But I am going full force into September.



 
Tuesday~Beef Stroganoff
Crock pot style here.  That one is closest to what I do but omit the onion soup mix, add some oregano instead. There are a ton of versions with cream based soups. We don't do those here so I haven't tried any of those versions.
 
Wednesday~ Potatoes
Wednesday is a crazy day for our early evening schedule. I can throw these in before I head out the door and when hubby gets home with the kids 15 minutes later, they will be done!
We just add veggies, leftovers and fixins to ours.

Thursday~Taco's 
Just chicken, pressure cooker style. 2 chicken breast in the pressure cooker with taco seasoning. Let it's do it's thing then shred. 
Check out my Pressure Cooker board HERE

 Friday~Chicken Spaghetti
I need a no fuss Friday dinner that will keep the kids full long enough to make it through the football game without being starving!
 
Saturday~Surprise!
 I don't know yet, I doubt I will feel like going out to get groceries.
I am going to see what I can throw together with what we have.

Sunday~Ravioli's
We love Trader Joe's ravioli's. We have football right by TJ's Saturday so I will snag some then.
Baking some French bread in the bread maker and pulling sauce out of the freezer. Easy enough!
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September, the 2nd January



I just love September! It's like January but better, the weather is so much better!
I love that it's almost a new start. A new start for routines, for clothes, for sports, for meals.
Now not all of these will apply to everyone but at our house, they sure do! We might be a week in already but now that Labor Day is over it really sinks in.

We also have a new home, that has been a whole new start for us!

I am going to use this new season to get back to meal planning, now that we have a functional kitchen, working on that Capsule Wardrobe, keeping my planner on point so we don't miss a practice and getting this new place organized while figuring out my cleaning rhythm. 

What about you? Is September a fresh start? A chance to pick up the balls that got dropped over the summer?

I'm starting with meal planning again. We have eaten out SO often while we were living in a construction zone. Not a fan, and neither is our budget.   It's supposed to be hot here this week (boooo) so we probably won't have any of those cozy fall meals we have been missing.

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04 September 2015

Real Life for 6! Organized Bathrooms

As we are navigating our new home, figuring out what we need and where it will all be, I realized that the 1 bathroom we currently have was going to need to be the first thing tackled!

Getting everyone through the bathroom in time for school has already been a challenge.
 Thankful to have these amazing built ins. They store these handled bins, each kiddo has one. And because I am not a maid and we want to encourage our kids to be responsible for their own things, they each have their own stuff in the baskets. Toothpaste was especially a fight, one would squeeze from the middle, leave toothpaste all over the lid etc. Now the ones who don't appreciate that don't have to deal with it, and I don't have to hear about it! Win Win

I use the extras to keep other things together, like oils. 


Another thing I have done to keep from having to pick up towels, hearing fights about who left their towel on the floor and asking who left theirs there, was add this one little thing to the towels.

Just a colored ribbon! Each muffin has a color. They have to deal with their own color. They also each have a towel hook, no excuse for leaving them on the floor.


Stuff that needs to be out needs to be pretty,  we have our qtips, bentonite clay, and guests cups on a little cake plate. 

Any awesome organization tips for bathrooms that don't cost an arm and a leg? Always looking to improve our system.

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Little bit of an update on the bathroom!

Working in the bathroom today, thought I should do a little update!
In case you missed the before pictures..

Before



During


And a little more during



And this is where we are now! 
Floors in, molding almost done, a couple of fluff items, mirror, some art and painting the built ins and it will be good!



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