There Is A Hospital Bed In My Living Room

  There is a walker, a commode, and a wheelchair sitting in my living room.  And I am not sure how I feel about it.   Actually, I do….   I am TERRIFIED for the day we have to use … Continue reading

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

When its cold outside, and all I can see is white out of my window, there is nothing I love more than getting a pot of Soup on for supper.  When it’s cold outside, and all I see are brown, dead sticks outside my window, I still love soup, just not as much.  Haha!  🙂

Really though, I love how it makes the house smell, I love the sides you serve with soup, I love that I only have soup bowls, and a pot, to wash at the end of the day.

So, in order to maximize Soup Season, which at our house, starts in October and officially should end this week, I wanted to quick share one more, before we have to switch to more Spring-y foods!

My best friend called while I was menu planning and she says we have a Veggie Chowder we love and I think you should make it.  I agreed to try it, and it was WONDERFUL!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

from Taste of Home Magazine 2013

{Click title to print}

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder 2

Ingredients

  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Carrots
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Celery
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Onion
  • ¼ cups Chopped Red Pepper
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth, Divided Use
  • 3 cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
  • 1 whole Potato, Peeled And Diced
  • ¾ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 12 ounces, fluid Evaporated Milk
  • 4 cups Cheese, I Did A Mixture Of Colby Jack And Cheddar
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cooked And Crumbled

Preparation

In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute the carrot, celery, onion and red pepper in half of the butter until vegetables are tender. Stir in 2 cups of chicken broth, broccoli, potato, Worcestershire and cayenne; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt remaining half of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add in milk and remaining 2 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cooking and stirring for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Slowly add cheese sauce into vegetable mixture.

Cook and crumble bacon. Serve soup with bacon crumbles.

Enjoy!
~T

A Fashionista Wannabe In A Stay At Home Mom World

   Last month, I told you about Stitch Fix and how much fun I am having getting beautiful, high quality pieces delivered to my door!!!!!  {You really should try it, just once!!!}

  However, you also know, that I am a stay at home mom, who works hard to STAY HOME.  

Do you follow me on pinterest?  I have a Pinterest Board called “A Fashionsita Wannabe In A Stay At Home Mom World” and that sums my life up perfectly!

  I adore looking at the latest fashions, putting together outfits, accessorizing, but the truth of the matter is…….  

I literally only wear “real” clothes 2 days a week!

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Family Friday to go see Grandma at her restaurant {followed by an occasional date night with my honey} and Sunday for Church!

  Otherwise?

Comfy clothes ALL THE WAY!

   I have been a stay at home momma for over 10 years. Comfort became important to me from the day I brought my babies home from the hospital. 

I mean, my outfit is only going to get puked and pooped on, right!?

  I got really scruffy over that time, sweatshirts and sweats getting bigger and baggier the more kids I had.  I didn’t go anywhere, so it didn’t matter. 

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  Well, that part of my life has changed a bit.  I now have to pop into school, or get out for errands much more often than I used to, simply due to the age my children are now.  With a 5th grader and 1st grader that must be picked up every day, my days are no longer spent within the walls of my home like they were when they all were babies.

  So about 4 years ago, I decided I was too scruffy, and went shopping……..

And came home with cute church dresses.

  So I went shopping months later…….

And came home with cute tops and jeans.

Oops. 

  I didn’t NEED that kind of stuff, but it was so pretty!  It was hard to find comfy stuff that was cute!

  Finally, after months of picking up bargains here and there, I realized I was getting NO WHERE in the “Home Clothes Department”, so I MADE myself start looking at the cotton comfy items.

  I am not an athletic person, I tried sweats, but they just didn’t trip my trigger.  Then, the clouds parted, the angel choir sang their Hallelujah chorus, and leggings came back in.

Woo-hoo!  NOW we were talking!!!!!

   I found some long t-shirts at Sears and 2 pairs of leggings at JCP.  I wore them over and over and over again that first year.  Adding sweaters in the winter, changing from boots to flip-flops in the summer.  Paxton was still a baby and I could easily nurse him with no fuss.

{EEEEEK! Where does the time go? I want my baby back!!!!}

Home clothes

{sigh} 4 and no more, 4 and no more, 4 and no more……

Anyhow, it was perfect! I felt cute, but was still super comfy!

  The next season, I added to my wardrobe:

  I hit Khols’ sales racks, and found a few longer sweatshirt-material tunic tops that went with 2 pairs of leggings.  I also got some comfy slipper-esque boots in both black and grey.  (10 pound babies did a number on my arches, so I have to wear shoes or slippers at all times!)

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  The next season, I found some cardis on sale at Target, some seriously marked down brown boots from our Marketplace grocery store, and a scarf to complete one of the outfits.  

All of this will go with the same basic leggings, & colorful v-neck undershirts I had from before:

PicMonkey Collage

  This season, I added a bit more flair to the rotation, when my favorite bargain place to shop, Zulilly, had a big printed legging sale:

fashionista blog

My SAHM fall, winter and spring wardrobe are now complete!

  I love that I can ABC all the different pieces, and make a bunch of different looks! 

  As we transition to Spring then Summer, I switch to long cotton skirts, and v-neck tees in a variety of colors with the same cardis until it gets too warm for that extra layer.  I do the same with shoes, switching from boots to moccasins then flip-flops as the temperature rises……Still comfy but cute!

    In order to be classified as “Home Clothes”, clothing items must:

A) Be comfy

B) Be comfy and on the clearance rack

and

C) Have I mentioned Be Comfy?  Yes?
     Ok, then CUTE enough to run into the school, go to Bible Study Wednesday night, or stop at the store any time, without having to change clothes first!

   I want to be free to lay on the floor with my kids, curl up with a book during nap time, get snot wiped on my shoulder, without any harm.  I do NOT like to wear jeans, or anything that would cut or pinch when I moved around cleaning the floor, and nothing that will catch and rip while I am doing chicken chores.

  I also want to be well dressed for my husband.  He is my number 1 human priority and I want him to be proud to have me pop into his office, or get that big ol’ grin on his face when he comes home, because he likes my cheetah leggings and fur boots. 

  Dale is a corn-fed country boy, he doesn’t care about jewelry, makeup, or fancy clothes, but I think he responded differently to me when I put away his giant sweatshirts and my ugly sweats, and got out some cute- but-comfy home clothes that made me look like a woman again. 

  *Note: Dale brought up a good point here.  He says his response didn’t change towards me, but he said my response back did.
Think about it, when I felt like I woman instead of a frumpy mom, I responded like one…..  INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!

  It’s easy to lose ourselves in the daily grind of home with kids, but if a cute pair of boots and leggings could put a spring in your step tomorrow, I think it’s something worth shopping for!

Hugs, T

Praying for A Miracle & Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup

  Do you remember Papa Don?  Dale’s father?  

You can go meet him here.  We took some family photos after he got sick, but before he started chemo.

  He is a very special part of our life and home, more now that he lives right next door to us, and shares our dinner table most nights.

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Thanksgiving

  It’s been hard to watch him fight cancer this past year. He has lost so much weight, and the thing we miss most is the sparkle in his eye.  

Papa Don

  Praise the Lord, the cancer markers continue to fall from 8,000 down to 2,300, but we have hit a rough patch this last 2 months, and they are going back up again.

We were over to Nana & Great Gma’s for lunch yesterday, when Dale called.  He had gotten a phone call from his dads boss, saying he was not doing so good: dizzy, falling asleep, vomiting.

He has also been dealing with bouts of paralysis and loss of vision.  He can no longer drive truck, and is talking about quitting the office job now too, so he can rest.  The man hasn’t stopped working the whole time he has been on chemo.

After getting the phone call, we immediately planned to take Papa in for a check up, and to cancel his chemo treatment that afternoon.  Not when he was already so sick.

We were all playing outside, when Dale came over with some hard news from the Clinic about our Papa. The kids were playing nearby, but not so close they could hear our conversation, so I wasn’t sure they knew what was happening.  We talked very quietly, hugged each other and then he headed back to the Clinic to check on his dad.

Not long after that, I couldn’t find the kiddos….I thought I heard them “laughing” behind the fence.

When I walked around the corner, there they were, SOBBING, not laughing.  I grabbed a shot with my little camera phone so I could send it to Dale.

bad news

Destiny said they had decided to gather to pray for Papa, because they could tell something was wrong.  They just all burst into tears, because they were sad. Precious babies!

I hate to see them hurting, the utter heartbreak in their faces made me sob alongside them.  They understand so much more of the big picture then they are given credit for.  But thankfully, this opened the door for some wonderful discussion about how God sometimes heals our bodies here on Earth, and sometimes He heals us by taking us to Heaven and giving us a new body.  They know that part, but it’s still hard to understand sometimes.

After the kids went to bed, we had a big talk with Papa.  After much discussion, we have decided that we will not be continuing his Chemo at this time. The doctor is in complete agreement with us, as it is destroying his quality of life.

He sat in our home tonight in tears, I know this is so hard on him.  He couldn’t move from the chair, his entire left side was paralyzed for a good 10 minutes. This happens on and off now, sometimes an hour at a time.  We thought mini strokes, but it happens on either side of his body.  He goes in tomorrow to get some fluids drained so he can be more comfortable.

Guys, we are scared.  We are in uncharted territory for our family, going through something that you hear your PARENTS going through with your Grandparents, not your husband with his father.

The most difficult part of all, is that we truly don’t know the timeline of this journey for Papa.  So every day must count as if it is the last.

We don’t have all the answers, but we do know that we serve a Father who brings healing in various forms. We won’t stop praying for a miracle!

Thank you all for you continued love and support…..it means more than you know!   I will keep you posted.

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  Now, on to the soup I want to share today.  Dale and Papa Don thought this was too sweet, but the kids and I LOVED the sweet and savory element that the BBQ sauce brings to this unique soup!

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup

Adapted from a delicious recipe at Picky Palate

{click the title to print}

BBQ Chicken Soup txt

Ingredients

  • 5 whole Chicken Breasts
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • 24 ounces, weight Frozen Corn (I Used Fresh That We Had Frozen Over The Summer, And It Was Amazing)
  • 2 cans (14 Oz Each) Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce (avoid Too Sweet Of One, Think Savory Spicy)
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • ¾ teaspoons Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, Snipped
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

Preparation Instructions

In a large 6-7 Qt slow cooker, place uncooked chicken breasts, diced onion, pressed garlic, corn, drained tomatoes and BBQ sauce. Add 8 cups of chicken broth and seasonings.

Cook on low for 5 hours before removing chicken breasts and shredding them. Return to the slow cooker and stir everything well. Continue cooking 30 minutes up to 1 additional hour.

Serve with fresh shredded mozzarella cheese and snipped cilantro.

 Only a few more weeks left of “Soup Season”!

~T

Valentine’s Day Desserts

  Valentines Day is tomorrow, so I wanted to share a few Valentine-esque and romantic desserts for you to enjoy with someone you love, or heck, eat them by yourself!!!!   These have been blogged before, so please click on … Continue reading

Dorito Beef Casserole

  Mmm, I am always on the hunt for new Mexican Casseroles!  This one was shared at Weekend Potluck and comes from Mommy’s Kitchen.  It actually was passed down to her from her Ma Maw.  LOVE that!

  I have adapted this just a bit to fit our taste. 

Dorito Beef Casserole

Adapted from Ma Ma’s recipe at Mommy’s Kitchen

Dorito Beef Casserole  (1)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • ¼ cups Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Pressed
  • 16 ounces, weight Bag Of Doritos, Spicy Nacho
  • Pinch Of Chili Powder (optional)
  • 15 ounce can Chili Beans In Sauce
  • 10 ounces, weight Ro*tel Tomatoes
  • 10 ounces, weight Cream Of Chicken Soup
  • 2 cups Mexican Cheese

Preheat oven to 350*F. In a large skillet, brown beef with onion and garlic. Drain before stirring in beans and chili powder, if using.
In a small bowl, stir together Rotel, mostly drained and cream of chicken soup.
Crush your unopened bag of Doritos, open and dump half on the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Layer half of the beef and bean mixture, half the soup mixture and 1 cup of Mexican cheese. Next, layer remaining beef and bean mixture, remaining cream mixture, 1 cup of cheese and the rest of the Dorito Crumbs.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until hot all the way through.

Tastes best day 1.

Enjoy!
~T