Showing posts from November, 2014

The one about creamy chicken and broccoli rice casserole.

It's been unseasonably warm here in Missouri. Stepping outside felt like a fall day with the only inkling of winter coming in the evening. It's still getting chilly in the evening, so that means comfort food time! Casseroles and soups are on the menu and I'm loving it. Tonight I made a pretty easy and yummy creamy chicken and broccoli rice casserole. I made everything from scratch. You could substitute cream of crap soup in to make it even easier. But, I homemade my cream soup with some help from Once A Month Meals. Also, I'm a terrible food blogger and always forget to take the sexy picture before anybody digs in so you always get the half eaten, blurry pictures. If you don't like it, you'll get over it after you eat it yourself!

Ingredients: Cream of Broccoli Soup Base or 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (Note: if you use cream of mushroom soup you will have to add your cooked broccoli to the casserole before cooking i…

The one about mental illness.

I've been wanting to write about something for awhile that's become a huge thing in my life. My anxieties have mostly held me back from writing about it with fears of how it would be perceived, etc. But it's such an important topic and I want to let other people who may suffer from similar things know that they aren't alone. I'm just going to spit it out and hope it comes out coherent.

As long as I can remember I've suffered with anxiety and depression. I was diagnosed Major Depressive at the age of 13. I have severe insomnia. However, this is only partially about that. This more has to do with current events. After the birth of my son, Tristan, in January, it quickly became clear that there was something off with me. I struggled with severe depression to the point where I would consider the worst thing that you could consider. I, as I have said numerous times, have no insurance. My sisters and everyone around me became extremely concerned for my safety and wel…

The One About Laryngomalacia and the Sleep Study

We have been dealing with sleep problems with Harper for quite awhile. We finally got a sleep study done and we now know that Harp has hypopnea caused by obstruction from her tonsils and adenoids. She apparently has HUGE tonsils. They are so big they touch the uvula. I'm including this handy diagram so you know what the hellfire I'm talking about.

Basically, the tonsils are making it to where she breathes extremely shallowly and causes her a great number of disturbances. She has an average of 7.5 episodes an hour. My poor little girl is so damn exhausted and I feel terrible we didn't get her in sooner and get this all done. She's had a lot of mood problems which we now know can be contributed to her never getting a good night's sleep for who even knows how long. I'm asking for prayers and guidance as we go through this process, because Harper also has a secondary breathing issue, laryngomalacia. You can read all about it in another post here. I am hating the fa…

The one with the tour of our Critter house and how to get cool flooring for your Critter house.

I'm a grown woman who likes to play with Calico Critters. There, I said it! I love them. They are so darned cute. It's just a bonus that Harper also loves them. We like setting up the house. She likes taking off all of their clothes and having them swim at the beach on our play table we have set up. We've been tweaking our house and we finally got it set up the way we want. Come take a tour!

Our critters live next to a river and lake and a beach. Must be nice! You can see them a bit in this picture. We use carpets to break up our rooms. The best and easiest way to get cool carpets is to spend an hour online looking through and ordering cool free fabric samples and carpet samples. Some that you get will be small and useless, but some you get will be perfect for rugs in the critter house! 
When you enter our house, we have a small sitting area with a chair. All of our furniture is piecemeal. We've got a lot of different furniture from all sorts of toy sets. Some work out…

The one about Taylor's 14th birthday!

Today is my stepdaughter's birthday. This seems so crazy to me. She is 14 today. I can't believe that she is already 14. Jesus, that makes me feel super old. My husband and I got together when she was 4 so it has kind of come full circle. She's pretty much a little adult now. :( Ugh!

I couldn't be happier with the way she's turned out, though. She's sassy and funny, smart, and kind. I can tell that she will be the type of person who has to learn her way through her youth and learn her own lessons and make her own mistakes and I can tell that she's going to really enjoy living life. It is completely gratifying that I get to be a part of her life. I can honestly say even though she is my stepdaughter, I love her as much as any of my other kids. She is just turning into the coolest person and that's just really exciting to watch. I have to get a little sappy, though. Here are some pictures of little Taylor, circa when her dad and I got together.

I still re…

The One About Love With Food (Monthly Snack Subscription Service)

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to talk about my new favorite thing, Love with Food! Love with Food is a monthly subscription snack box that is amaze! This month is my second box. It came with the following stuff for $10:

-Laiki Red Rice Crackers
-Chipz Happen Cinnful Sweet Heat Tortilla Chips
-States & Capitols Educational Snacks
-Guylian Marbled Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle
-Guylian Extra Dark Chocolate Praline Truffle
-All Purpose Seasoning Salt Blend
-Midnight Soft Baked Biscotti
-Jer's Chocolate Peanut Groupie
-Soft Dried Turkish Mini Figs

Plus, a cookbook, a coupon for Guylian chocolates, and a $25 gift code to some place called Le Tote which I haven't checked out yet.

Can I just say awesome?! It is such a great deal for the money and it's a great way to spend $10. Plus, they are all about whole, all natural, GMO free, and organic foods. It's a fun way to try new, better for you snacks. I'm just really happy overall with the service. AND this month their …

The one about why I love Calico Critters for little girls and why you should, too.

It's no secret that my house has been completely taken over by the Calico Critter obsession. I spend a lot of time searching for deals on them and honestly, like I said before, I'm just excited about them as Harper is. I love these toys for little girls for a lot of reasons. I think they are super great, wholesome pretend play toys. Here are some of the finer aspects of the critters.

1. All of the critters have their own personalities and interests. Every critter has been given a little cool back story. They have jobs and hobbies that vary from gymnastics to gardening. Here's a family description taken right off of their website:

Mother, Savannah is a famous fashion stylist. Father, John is a furniture designer. Sister, Sarah likes taking pictures of her favorite moments. Brother, Dominic is energetic and loves to climb trees.

2. They are in wholesome wear. I'm not a crazy overzealous person regarding women's dress by any means. I like to wear clothes that show off my…

The one about friends, family, and good food. Recipes and DIY Christmas background!

It is almost my stepdaughter's 14th birthday. This is so crazy to me. I remember her when she was just 4 years old when her dad and I got together and I can't believe it's been 10 years. 10 years! She was a little cutie with lots of baby fat and the cutest little curls you'd ever seen. She decided she wanted a family birthday party and so we all celebrated yesterday. I had such a great time. I made some awesome party dips, which i did not take a picture of. But, I still wanted to share the recipes because they are SO good.

Easy Queso Dip
-1/2 a pound of White American Cheese (the kind you get from the deli), cubed
-5 or 6 pickled jalapenos, chopped
-2 tablespoons jalapeno juice from jar
-1/2 can of diced green chiles
-1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk (depending on how thick you want it to be)

In a small dip sized slow-cooker, place all ingredients and mix. Put on high for 30-45 minutes depending on your cooker. Serve with tortilla chips.

Easy Hummus Dip
-1 15 ounce can of garban…

The one where I make a ton of Calico Critters clothes! AND a DIY Tutorial for a No Sew Critter Vest!

Christmas is coming! I'm getting so excited for Christmas this year. I haven't gotten a lot of things yet, but I already know what all the kids want. I'm most excited for Harper's stuff because the Calico Critters are toys from my childhood that I ALWAYS wanted. I'm probably going to have just as much fun playing with them as she is! Ha! Calico Critters and a Lalaloopsy doll that poops charms for a charm bracelet (so weird) are all that Harper talks about lately. It's pretty cute.

Since I picked up my secondhand Critters off of Ebay without any clothes, I've been busy working away to make everyone clothes. Here are the final shots of the 3 families I got:

I think everyone turned out really cute! It's all DIY clothes that involve NO sewing. No sewing was important because in my family I don't sew, my husband does. Seriously, he's the designated stuffed toy fixer. I dressed all the girls in simple dresses, the babies in diapers, and dads and boys …

The one about cheesy potato casserole.

It's getting cold. I don't mind cold weather because to me cold weather means yummy casseroles, soups, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. All of my favorite things happen when it's cold. I was scrounging for food on Saturday and we had potatoes. Potatoes are my all-time favorite food. They are SO good. I decided to chop up the rest of my bag and make a delicious loaded baked potato casserole. Yum. I'm going to share this yummy recipe with you. It's super simple, way rich, and makes everyone happy.


-6 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces, with skin on! (you can take the skin off, but it makes it less baked potato-ey)
-4 ounces of Velveeta (you could substitute another cheese, but when I'm looking for comfort food, this is still a guilty pleasure, if substituting, I'd suggest Gruyere)
-1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
-4 slices of American cheese
-Olive oil
-Seasoned Salt (Lawry's of course)
-Coarse black pepp…

The one about Thanksgiving crafts, part 2!

We are very into crafting around the house lately. I wanted to post some more Thanksgiving craft ideas for you and your kiddos! They are super easy to do.

Coffee Filter Turkeys:

Supplies you will need:
Coffee filter
Construction paper
Yellow magic nuudles

First, fold your coffee filter in half. Glue the pieces together to make a half circle. Let your kiddo paint the coffee filter to make "feathers". Next, take some construction paper and cut out a turkey body. This will look like a number eight shape almost, as below. Draw two eyes. Paint on the snoods aka the red thing that hangs off the beak. Snoods. Hehe. Take your magic nuudle and pinch it in half and glue on for the beak. Harper didn't want to paint the turkey brown, so we left it as is. But, if you do you definitely could! Finally glue your turkey body to the coffee filter. If you do it when the paint is dry, the paint will act as a good enough glue, also.

Corn Cob Craft:
Supplies you will need: -Blue co…

The one about the arrival of the Calico Critters and an easy DIY Critter Dress

Today the mailman came and he brought with him the most anticipated Christmas gift! The calico critters! Hooray! I can't wait to see Harp's face on Christmas morning. And my face is happy because they are in awesome condition. The only issue that they have is that some are missing their clothes. But, these guys are the vintage version. Some of them still have their 1985 Epoch stickers. Which means that this was a super good buy. The vintage ones sell for even more. So when Harper gets older if she gets tired of them she can get rid of them for a decent price!

So, since some of these guys need clothes, my mommy DIY cheap brain has been working overtime to think of ideas on making these guys some clothes that don't involve me sewing. I'm not a seamstress. I found a tutorial on Pinterest for making doll dresses out of socks, but when the Critters got here, I quickly realized that a sock would be too small. Even my son's infant socks didn't have the snug fit I want…

The one about cold days and Thanksgiving kid projects.

It has been cold, windy, and rainy in these parts lately. That means we've been spending a lot of time cooped up inside playing, watching some TV, and snuggling. That also means Mama is going a little bit stir crazy and so are the kiddos. During baby T's naps Harper and I have been doing busy projects around the house. We decorated for Thanksgiving, but figured out we don't have too much stuff to decorate the house with, so we decided to make some projects. These are super simple and can be done mostly with supplies you have lying around your house. I used some leftovers from the daycare I used to own for some of them and some ideas are just oldies but goodies.

Cornucopia weaving project:

This was one of those prepackaged deals from our curriculum at the daycare, but could easily be made at home with little to no prep work. In fact, Give Your Octopus a Paintbrush has a great cornucopia that has vegetables for cutting practice, too. Print your cornucopia on printable card s…

The one where we are invaded by Calico Critters and a DIY dollhouse.

My house has been taken over. It's like the second coming of the Beatles. Except instead of Beatles, it's these adorable fellows:

I mean as a girl, how can you not be entranced by these adorable things. I mean there's babies! There's adorable country houses, they all have clothes! I mean, hell, I want to play with them and I'm a grown-ass woman. They rope you in with their adorableness and then you see the price tags. That cute little townhouse there, $50! The family of rabbits, $22.99 and then the babies are separate, so those will run you $8.99. And the house doesn't come with any furniture, so you are looking at least $100 to even have a playable set of stuff. You sly bastards, you. 
But, alas, my daughter is totally obsessed with it, so I have been scouring resale pages, eBay, everywhere looking for these little guys at a semi-reasonable cost. I found a mislisted eBay listing that had 20 of these babies and a house that doesn't go with them that they ma…