Monday, July 20, 2015

It's the Little Things

I've discovered as I make this journey through life that it's not the huge things that make or break your day, week, month or life. It's the little things. So in honor of the little things, list a few with me that made your day, week, month or life brighter or sweeter.

  • It's an hour to blog after DT goes to bed. AND an hour to read if I want.
  • It's watching movies with the BIGS that we can all enjoy.
  • It's having time for the first time in 6 months to paint my nails
  • It's a dishwasher full of CLEAN dishes
  • It's a tween that willingly cleans the bathroom.
  • It's a teenager that reads his little brother bedtime stories is a silly French accent until they are both giggling like crazy.
  • It's pulling a loaf of home made bread out of the freezer and having the people that eat it all the time still ooh and aah over it and beg for grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • It's friends that offer to come to your house and make you dinner so you can relax a little bit. (Yes, I do know how ridiculously blessed I am)
  • It's new recipes from friends.
  • It's remembering that I was a person in my own right before I was married and before I became a mother, and nurturing that person isn't selfish or bad. (Ok, so that's a bigger thing, but still) 
  • It's a pair of great fitting jeans.
I like the idea of this style of post. If you like it too, add your little things! I'm making it a goal to focus on the positive this year...Join me!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Happy Middle of July :)

Just waving a hand to all my readers. Welcome to those of you who are new, and hello to my long time friends. Because everyone who comes to this blog is welcomed with open arms.
I'm just feeling like I'm living the dream today.
Church with my boys, cleaning the house while the boys entertain their friends, and now just hanging out at home with DT while the BIGS are at the movies. A nice day. Un-rushed, no scurrying about from this place to that at top speed, and just enjoying being at home. Life is good.
So, welcome to friends new and not-so-new. Come, look around, read some old posts, dig through Wordless Wednesday pictures and enjoy yourself. Leave a comment if you're so inclined. See you again soon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 2015 Goals Update

It's early in July, so it's time for a June update. Sorry I missed a few months, I'll have to see if I can go back and piece together a little something something. ;) Life happens, y'all. Even when the goals of the year are to simplify, streamline and enjoy life as never before. Hang on to your hats, here we go!
Personal Goals:
~Losing 20-25 pounds this year with portion control, walking/elliptical/cardio 3x per week, WATER every day and more veggies. (No real weight loss yet, but my clothes fit better and I'm getting stronger)
~Writing a letter a week. At least (39 letter written to date. I OWN this one!)

~Read a book a week. A book for me, not a read aloud with the kids, or an educational book, or a book I feel like I *should* read. A book that I want to read, for personal pleasure or a how-to book on a topic I am interested in reading. (I totally fell off the bandwagon here and am now trying to catch back up)

~At least once a month, do something just for myself. Take a trip to Starbucks to blog, get a massage, say no to an 'obligation' so I can goof off, go to the movies by myself, take a walk, browse the bookstore without the grabby monkeys with me, etc. Things that keep me centered, and able to co-parent the Man Crew and live this crazy life I love. (I've been visiting with friends this month as my ME time, and I'm loving it)
Spiritual Goals:
~Read through the Bible in a year (In progress)
~Be active in our BREAD group on Facebook (trying to post/comment every few days.)

~Be more proactive/mindful in my prayer life (yes!)
~Get more comfortable saying, "How's your walk with Jesus this week?" And, "How can I pray for you today?"
Couple Goals:
~Read a book about marriage 3 times a year (Yes!)
~Go on an actual date with Dan every 8 weeks (Yes!)

~Re-read The 5 Love Languages and become fluent in Dan's language.
(I am currently ordering myself a new copy since I lent to to a friend and never got it back)
Financial Goals:
~Stay on top of the bills (yes)
~Create an emergency fund of $1000 (Every time I get to $200 something happens. But, I'm grateful I had something saved up. I WILL get this done!)

~Complete the 52 week money challenge (Nope)
~Keep our grocery budget at $150 or lower each week, which will be a trick with our current household size of 7.
(Did a pantry challenge for the entire month of June and kept my grocery cost at less than $75 a week. Oh yeah!)
Schooling Goals:
~Finish the year on time...don't get bogged down by every little distraction (Done! Just summer camps and reading these days)
~Find ways to keep DT's interest instead of just slogging through the work each day (YES)

~Help D figure out what he's doing this school year (No comment)
~Encourage P to continue to be self motivated to get school done. He's managing his own schooling this year. I'm really pleased!
(DONE for the year)
Family goals:
~Reinstate FAMILY game night, not just 'everyone' game night. I'm missing homemade pizza and just my family around the game table. (Managed it twice this month)
~Watch less TV and do more activities together outside. (yes)

~Spend some one on one time with each child every week. (YES)

Overall, not too bad this month. I am pleased with my progress. It helps to have this to look out on the days where everything goes out the window, we eat out because I didn't have time to shop, let alone cook dinner, and I can't remember the last time I looked at a book. Thanks for keeping me accountable!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kristy's Favorite Crock Pot Recipes

For those of you who have asked for some of my fave CP recipes, I finally decided to corral them all in one place for ya :) None of these are MY original recipes, and I will give credit where I can. First up the super easy peasy ones I learned from Carrie Overmyer
BBQ Pork Roast
Place in slow cooker, one pork loin roast, top with thinly sliced onions. Cover with a mixture of 1 cup dark soda and 1 cup BBQ sauce mixed together. Cook on high 4-6 or low for 8-10. Shred with 2 forks. ENJOY
We eat this on hamburger buns, over noodles or mashed potatoes, on top of pizza, as a burrito...pretty much anyway we can get it to our mouths :)
Salsa Chicken
Place boneless/skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot (4-6 depending on size) and top with a jar of your fave salsa. Cook low 8-10 or high 4-6. Shred with 2 forks. DONE
We like this a lot. Again, very versatile. Over rice or potatoes, in burritos or tacos, on pizza, in quesadillas, in ramen noodle soup, with black beans and rice...the possibilities are nearly endless.
Taco Soup
This didn't start out as a CP recipe, but since I keep cooked hamburger in the freezer all the time, it was a cinch to 'convert'. It's pretty much an open and dump it in recipe, no fancy footwork required.
Into your crock pot, place
2 lbs cooked hamburger (if you don't have it already cooked, just brown it and drain before dumping in)
2 large cans *ranch style* beans
3 small cans crushed tomatoes
2 small cans corn
2 cups chopped green chile (MILD)
2 cups water
1 pkg Ranch dressing mix
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
Do NOT drain any liquids from cans...dump it all in there. Let it go all day on low and then ENJOY! This makes a TON of soup. As in will feed the entire Man Crew for 2 full meals and possibly some left over after that. It freezes well (if there's any left) and gets better every time you reheat it. Serve with or without any toppings you like. We like grated colby jack cheese, sour cream on occasion, sliced black olives, etc. Eat with Frito scoops for added flavor AND fun. If you want to convert it back to a 'regular' dish, just put all the ingredients in a large stock pot and let simmer for 1.5 hours. I make this when people move. It's hearty, filling, EVERYONE likes it and requires no 'babysitting' while we are working.
Clam Chowder
This recipe came from my dear friend Beccy Winn and it's everything a CP recipe should be. Fast, Easy and YUMMY~ since we originate from the cold northern USA, this is a fave for cold winter days.
1 Can clam chowder (New England style)
1 Can Cream of Potato
1 Can Cream of Celery
1 Can of minced clams-drained
I can of Creamy Onion (or a small diced onion)
1 Pint 1/2 and 1/2
1 pint milk
I generally make a double batch to feed the Man Crew, but this will be enough to feed a small family, or a larger one with the addition of bread or crackers. It's good stuff!
Baked Chicken
1 Roasting Chicken (3-6 pounds depending what will fit in your CP)
1/2 stick butter melted
a splash of Worcestershire sauce
Poultry seasoning (or thyme, savory, marjoram)
Garlic cloves (or garlic powder)
Remove giblets and gravy pouch. Rinse bird inside and out. Rub salt inside cavity. Place in oiled crock. Brush with butter, Worcestershire sauce and herb mixture. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8. The meat will be falling off the bone and OH SO JUICY!
This also leads to my next recipe...
.Chicken Stock
1 chicken frame, complete with extra skin, some fat and little bits of meat.
Add a few carrots, a quartered onion, some celery and a little salt and pepper.
Cover with water (about a 1/2 gallon) and let cook all night on low (8-12 hours) Strain solids out of stock through cheese cloth and let cool. If you want to skim the fat, let cool all the way and it will form a thick layer on top that you can pick up. However, much of chicken soup's magical healing powers are in the fat, so the choice is up to you. I take some off, leave some in. Can or freeze as you like. Use to make soups, stews, use for boiling rice or pasta, etc.
Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage
This recipe came also from a dear friend, April Rogers. It is SO good that the first time I made it, one of my boys licked his bowl after his THIRD helping.'s that good. *winks* This finds its way into the CP at least twice a month, and usually more.
1 Large Can *ranch style* beans
1 quart stock (whatever kind you have on hand is fine)
1 Cup Brown Rice
1 lb smoked sausage (Dice smoked sausage and brown in skillet if desired.)
Cut the sausage into large chunks and drop right into the crock.
Add stock and beans, stir and cook on high for 1 hour. Stir in rice and cook for 3 more hours on high. ENJOY. This will feed the Man Crew one time with no leftovers, so I generally double it and we enjoy it as leftovers for a few days at lunch. So there you have it, my top Crock Pot Recipes. Hope you all enjoy them!
PS. I wrote this a while back on my FB page, and I can't recall if I shared it here. If I haven't,'re welcome. If I have, well it's so good it bears repeating. :)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NO Pants April 2015: Day 30

NO Pants April Day 30. This is the end, folks :)
I know that everyone is probably tired of it by now, but I'm sold. S.O.L.D. Anywho, here I am rambling, and you just want to know what I wore that day.
Black knit tee with tan scroll work on it, and a long tan skirt with scroll work. A good combo. Piggietails, dangly ball earrings, and a silly grin for the last day of NPA 2015. Somehow I missed a picture of it, sorry.

MAKE UP: BB Cream, eyeliner, a bit of tinted lip balm, and a sweep of mascara. Boom, done!
Did I mention, BOOM! NPA 2015, I have enjoyed nearly every single second of you. I took care of my household, I lived, I traveled and I worked in skirts. No one died, I got more compliments in one month than I normally garner in a year, and I felt pretty. Not bad for this old lady. :) See you next year!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NO Pants April 2015: Day 29

 OK, y'all. This is the final stretch. We're almost through April, and since you've all hung in there with me all this month, I won't bore you by waxing poetic about NPA 2015. I'll just post a picture and hush. Here we go.
Outfit: Long 2 tone green and brown gypsy skirt with gold beads and a brown knit tee. Dangly beaded earrings, and a bracelet. Probably my favorite NPA outfit. Ever. Comfy, stylish and flattering.

Make Up: BB Cream, Eye Liner, Mascara and Lip Balm. Out the door. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NO Pants April: Day 28 = FAIL

Hi friends! No, I didn't wear pants, but I somehow managed not to get a single picture of myself today. (My ego is ok with that. LOL) At any rate, know that I did wear a skirt, and do my hair pretty and wear a little make up. I just don't have photographic evidence of it. But I think after 7 years of blogging, I've earned a bit of trust so it's all good. Hope you're enjoying YOUR No Pants April 2015!!
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