October 27, 2016

Creamy Green Enchilada Crockpot Soup

The easiest and BEST crockpot soup you'll ever eat. So hearty and filling and perfect for fall and winter.

I am in serious crockpot mode over here.

The weather is so beautiful right now, that we're spending more afternoons on the porch or heading to the park, plus our calendar is starting to fill up with fun holiday activities, so I have less time to be making dinner.

Plus, there's nothing more cozy than the smell of something amazing simmering in the crockpot.

I made this one a few weeks ago when I headed up to San Francisco and Seattle and needed something that Bart and the girls could eat for dinner after I'd flown out.

When I came back a few days later, there was one bowl's worth left in the fridge and it was SO ridiculously good, I had to make it again where I could eat more than one serving of it.

Usually, I make my crockpot recipes on low so they can cook all day and you could certainly do that with this one, but I've been making it after lunch and cooking it on high so it's ready in a few hours.

Either way, it's super quick to throw together and tastes like heaven.

The easiest and BEST crockpot soup you'll ever eat. So hearty and filling and perfect for fall and winter.

Creamy Green Enchilada Crockpot Soup
(adapted from Lil' Luna)

Serves 4-6

3 chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup mild green enchilada sauce or green salsa
1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chiles
2 cups water or chicken broth (I usually do water with one bullion cube)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/4 - 1 teaspoon chili powder, depending on your spicy tolerance (any kind is fine, but I usually use a chipotle chili powder)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup uncooked rice (I use basmati)
4 oz. cream cheese
salt and pepper (I usually add 1 teaspoon of salt, but if you're using chicken broth, you may not need any)

Put everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. Shred the chicken with two forks and stir to combine everything well.

Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot (you can add cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, corn chips, or diced avocados, if you'd like).

The easiest and BEST crockpot soup you'll ever eat. So hearty and filling and perfect for fall and winter.

October 26, 2016

The Angel Hour

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own

If you're a parent of small children, there is no way you aren't familiar with the "witching hour."

Usually, it's right as dinnertime approaches and everyone under ten in the house completely loses their mind.

They likely want to be held or read 45 books or need homework help or just lie on the floor and whine or scream.

All this while you try to get dinner ready, the house cleaned up, the day of work put behind you, and transition into the evening.

It's for sure the most magical moment of parenting each day.

In our house, there's also a corollary to the witching hour.

That's right before bedtime, when everyone has their pajamas on and teeth brushed and we're just MINUTES away from dumping them all in their little beds.

Suddenly, children who have bickered and annoyed each other all day are the best of friends.

They quietly read books together or come up with some complicated game that keeps them ridiculously happy and giggling sweetly.

They disappear into a bedroom for a round of pretend school or get engrossed in a puzzle.

And despite the fact that two hours earlier you were swearing that everyone would be IN BED WITH THE LIGHTS OFF by 6:40, you're suddenly letting them stay up an extra thirty or forty (or sixty) minutes, because it's all so calm and sweet and you're not prying anyone's limp, screaming form off the floor.

Does this happen to anyone else?

I know it can't be just us, because a few weeks ago, Ella memorized a poem by X.J. Kennedy called, "How to Stay Up Late."

It describes all the ways to play when grown-ups start getting tired and looking like they're about to send you to bed, from working quietly on a stamp album to writing Lincoln's biography, and finishes:
So kids, wise up. Unless you likeTo go to bed too fastJust save your most impressive playOf all day long for last
I laughed my head off when we first read this poem, because that's exactly what it looks like at our house. The best playing and most sweetness happens when everyone is trying to ward off the impending bedtime.

And how can you not love nicely playing siblings, all cuddled up in their PJs for the night, looking clean and cozy? Especially if you're comfortably reading a book on the couch in your own jammies?

Fully 90% of the pajamas in our house are from Carter's (and we own a LOT of children's pajamas - I know because I just folded them all yesterday. . . ) and I love the wide variety of styles from one-piece sleepers to mix and match sets.

They hold up well enough that Star is still wearing ones we purchased for Ella 5 years ago and they look basically brand-new and they're made of the softest cotton and fleece. Plus, they're just so dang cute.

Starting on October 28th, Carter's is launching their Dreamland Sweepstakes on Instagram and Twitter where they're giving away three daily $100 Carter's gift cards for posting cute or funny pictures of your littles ones snoozing away in their PJs.

Plus, on October 29th, which is apparently Jammie Day (who knew?), you can get double rewards points on any Carter's PJ purchase both in stores or online. Their Rewarding Moments program is free to join and a super simple way to save even more when you shop at Carter's. And you can get 20% off your purchase of $40 or more with the code CARHOLIF online or with this coupon in store.

If only the jammies would put my children to bed too.

Because, inevitably, the angel hour turns sour after 30-45 minutes and someone gets hurt or steals a book and suddenly, nothing is more appealing than tucking them, very quickly, into bed and crossing your fingers that everyone stays there until 7 a.m. the next morning.

October 25, 2016

Black and White and 23 Weeks

I'd heard that turtlenecks were getting popular again this year and . . . I think I had too many flashbacks to my turtleneck days in elementary school. 

But then, Landen bought me this one from Target for my birthday and I love this dang thing.

It's super stretchy and soft (this isn't a maternity one, but it easily accommodates my 23 week bump) and I feel like the elbow sleeves keep it feeling lighter and fresher than a full-sleeve turtleneck. 

I'll probably be wearing it all fall and winter long. Or until I'm just too pregnant to make it work. 

Amusingly, when I went to look it up on Target's site, I noticed that the reviews were only 3 stars. Considering how much I loved mine, I was pretty surprised by this, so I clicked through to read the reviews and realized there was only one review

The review said, "I ordered both color options online and wear them quite often. Great top!!" 

So who knows what it takes to get that reviewer to give a five-star review? Maybe a turtleneck that also does your dishes? Scrubs your toilets? 

This turtleneck sadly doesn't do household chores, but other than that, I'd definitely give it five stars. 



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