Apr 25, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I know, I know, it isn't really soup weather anymore. Unless you live in Idaho and then it is soup weather sporadically off and on until the end of June. You know it could be 70 one day and then snowing two days later.

We like variety around here. Well, we don't really like it but we don't really have a chance. So we are going to pretend that we like it.

The best thing about crazy weather ...

I don't have to pack away my sweaters.
I can have soup 9 months out of the year.

So yes, I made soup. The weather was just chilly enough that I hopped on that train and whipped up this soup. I had bookmarked several different recipes and did a little remix and I came up with this recipe. The end result was super dreamy and warmed me up perfectly on such a chilly day.

One of my little secret weapons in this recipe is the use of boxed wild rice.

The great thing about using a boxed wild rice is that there is a spice packet inside. That little add umph is so special. Special and fantastically yummy.

So if you have some uncharacteristically chilly days, make yourself some of this soup. If you want this soup and it is not chilly where you live, crank up the AC, pretend it is a chilly day, and make some soup. Oh and of course you need some of this crazy easy Dutch Oven Artisan Bread on the side.

Eat up and hey, thanks for stopping by another Slow Cooker Saturday.

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Apr 21, 2015

Spider-Man Spider Web Spray Cover (Printable)

Last week I shared all about our recent Spider-Man Birthday Party we had over here.

One of the activities was a little spider web spray off. We sent all of the kids out back and had them attack each other with Spidey Web (aka silly string).

I wanted to hide the generic silly string label with a coordinating party themed one. So as I normally do, I went over to PicMonkey and whipped up a label. Can I just say how amazing all of the superhero overlays are?

They are amazing.

There I said it.

It can be a bit tricky to make sure that you get the label to fit the silly string can, so I am providing two different printing options.

Above is the original JPEG that I made. You can right click and save that to your computer, open it in a Word document and adjust the size accordingly. Then print it off on card stock.

The other option is to download the pdf document below and to print if off on card stock. This image cannot be adjusted so depending on the size of your can it may be too small or too big.

 Download Spidey Web label HERE

Cut out the labels and hot glued them in place.

Now we are ready for a pretty epic Spidey Web battle.

Not only was it epic, but it was the favorite activity of the party.

I hope you aren't bored of all this Spider-Man partying. I might have a few more things to share. Oh the excitement!

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Apr 15, 2015

Spider-Man Birthday Party

From October until the middle of April things are crazy with a side of CUH-razy. Most of it is the good, fun kind of crazy. The biggest contributing factor to all the crazy, besides the obvious I have four loud boys thing, is that three of those four boys have birthdays within six weeks.

This Spider-Man Birthday Party ends that three birthday run. I am doing a happy little dance now.

Funny story about this party. Sometimes I get an idea for a party in my head. An idea that I fail to run by the actual birthday boy. Most of the time I can convince them of my wonderful idea.  So when Little came to me and wanted a Spider-Man birthday, I wasn't worried that my idea was different. He would come to my side. I just knew it.

I was so cocky confident that I planned my party, I bought a few things, and I made an entire Paint Me Happy Birthday pinboard. I just kept plugging away with my planning regardless of how many times I kept hearing the name Spider-Man.

What a silly, silly mom I am.

I just couldn't deny that this sweet birthday boy of mine wanted a Spider-Man party. Unfortunately I had this motherhood epiphany just a week before his party was supposed to happen.

So I just kind of held on and went into party mode at 100 miles an hour, and somehow we got a Spider-Man party.

There was a whole lot of blue and red.

A few weeks ago I shared on Instagram (you should probably follow me @larissa_anotherday) a little snippet of a simple family Spider-Man party  we threw for him. I used a lot of the things from that party. In fact, I just kept the banners hanging up in my dinning room for two weeks.  I am lazy like that.

My favorite thing used in both parties was this pretty sweet Spider-Man pinata.

So the Spider-Man also stayed in my dining room for two weeks just sitting right there on the table. I pretty much just kept him there to keep scaring the crap out of Oldest. It was hilarious. That thing scared him every time. Every. Time. Hilarious.

I paired character paper products with color coordinating paper products. Like I said, there was a whole lot of red and blue.

I made these cupcakes an hour before the party. Thank heavens for PicMonkey and the sweet superhero overlays they have. I was able to make these super fast cupcake toppers.

Since I had planned all the activities for a painting party, I had a hard time coming up with activities for this party. Luckily I found this amazing Spider-Man download.  The kids cut it out and put it together with brads.

A Spider-Man party wouldn't be a true party with out some silly string turned web. There was some serious web shooting going on. Look for the download for this Spidey Web later this week.

For the boy superheroes I made t-shirts and for the girl superheroes I made tutus. Could you die?

I mean. Could. You. Die? So cute. It really is a shame I don't get to make frilly things more often.

A good time was had. Treats were eaten.

Next time I will listen to the kid from the beginning so I don't have to sweat pulling together a party in such a rush. Eh. Who am I kidding. I am going to sweat no matter how much time I have to pull together a party.

Party season is done. Now I can rest until October.

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Apr 12, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

You know those meals from your childhood that you will always remember? You know how some of them are good memories and some of them are bad memories (tater tot casserole, I am talking to about you).

Well beef stroganoff is one of the beloved meals, right up there with won tons and taco casserole. There is something about beef and sauce over noodles. Double YUM.

A few weeks ago, I had realized I had never made stroganoff for my kids. Hang my head in shame now. I was kind of baffled how I had yet to make one of my favorite childhood dishes for my own kids. I mean I do like them and all.

Thinking on it, I realized that sometimes I am so focused on making all the new Pinterest recipes that I forget about the tried and true, time-tested ones.

Do you ever find yourself doing that same thing?

So in order to rectify my cooking atrocity, I put beef stroganoff right on the menu. I did change it up a bit from my childhood version. Don't worry, it is just as good. I used beef strips instead of ground hamburger and I popped it in a slow cooker to let it simmer all day long.

My house smelled grand all day. The kids LOVED it. Plus for a second I was transported to  my 12 year old self. A few demanding, "MOM!"s and I was right back.

I didn't mind because I still had my beef stroganoff.

The hungry people at your dinner table will love every last bite of this meal.

**add the Worcestershire sauce in with the beef broth**

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Apr 9, 2015

Marshmallow Fruit Salad

I don't always make fruit salad, but when I do I make it with marshmallows.

Okay. Kidding. I always make fruit salad, and up until last week I hadn't put even one itty bitty marshmallow into my fruit salad. I seem to remember as a kid having something similar to this Marshmallow Fruit Salad. However, it was a distant, fuzzy memory. A memory that I didn't even realize I was missing.

When The Hubs came to me and wanted to put a new fruit salad on the Easter menu and that marshmallows were involved, I was hesitant. I mean let's be honest people, putting little fluffy bits of sugar into a fruit salad kind of defeats the whole fruit and salad thing.

He convinced me quite charmingly, so the Marshmallow Fruit Salad made it onto the menu. With a little army of reservation setting up camp in my noggin, the salad was made. I tweaked the recipe just a bit, but no worries I kept in the mallows.

You put the mallow on the graham....

Sorry I digress. Name the movie. We haven't played this game for a bit.

Okay back to the fruit salad.

The salad was a hit. We owe it all to that handsome husband of mine.

My fear of the salad being too sugary was completely ill founded, due in part to the "cream" used. It not being of the whipped or aerosol variety. Intrigued? You should be. This salad was practically perfect and was a great addition to a yummy Easter meal.

Point to you Husband. Point goes to you. I will even give him a bonus point because I ate the leftovers the next day. For those of you who might be new around here, that is a big deal because I tend to hate leftovers.

So go ahead and put this on your weekly menu. It is a crowd pleaser.

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Apr 7, 2015

Simple Dinosaur Birthday Party



You know what that means?

Well, Roar is dinosaur for Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday in particular to this cutie pants.

In case you didn't know, an almost three year old can be very specific in his birthday party desires. He was very adamant that he wanted a dinosaur party, a blue Tyrannosaurus Rex to be specific. Fortunately he was completely satisfied with this Simple Dinosaur Birthday Party instead.

Now, before anybody says anything about the "simpleness" of this Dinosaur Birthday Party, let me just defend that whole simple title.

This party was thrown together in very little time with very little preparation. The most time consuming part of this party are these little dino-topped cupcakes and they weren't even that hard. These cupcakes were made from a cake mix. I used my favorite buttercream recipe. I probably should share that sometime, huh?

I topped them with coordinating chocolates. Then I made cupcake toppers from paper straws, painted mini dinosaurs, and washi tape.

Speaking of paper straws, I also used them for the drinks. The drinks you ask...well my friends I simply opened up a couple of bottles of Gatorade (of course they color coordinated) and poured them into mason jars.

The color coordinating just kept on going.

With this little close up of the fabric, I should probably give a little shout out to the star of the show and the basis for the rest of the party decoration. I found this dinosaur fabric at JoAnn Fabric, and what you can't see is that it has blue T-rexes all over it. I refer you back to the birthday boy's previous request.

So the fabric was a must, and everything coordinated with it.

Besides color coordination, another simple part of this party was my simple focal wall decorations. Balloons are the cheapest and easiest way to decorate. Even if you don't inflate them with helium. I use balloons all the time.

All. The. Time.

This time I simply blew them up, tied yarn to them, bunched them up with some tissue pom poms (another favorite of mine) and hung them from the ceiling. I also added a paint chip banner and a banner I made by sewing napkins together. Yeah, I am pretty resourceful like that.

So for this Simple Dinosaur Birthday Party I literally threw some fabric on the table, blew up some balloons, made a few banners, and put out some food.

Like I said, simple.

Again, these babies were the hardest part. They may be my favorite too.

So,  see simple.

Simple, but the birthday boy loved it and that is all that matters.

Number three birthday, dinosaurs. Number two birthday, football. Number one, fiesta. That is a whole lot of party in three years. I guess he is worth it.

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Apr 2, 2015

Guacamole Birthday Basket (and Printable)

Do you know anyone who likes guacamole? 

Duh. The better question would be do you know anyone who doesn't like guacamole? You should probably kick those people to the curb. Kidding. Not everyone is perfect. We all have our flaws.

Just glad mine isn't a misguided dislike for guacamole.

Back to people liking guacamole. Well if that guacamole-loving person in your life has a birthday, and well they should because everyone has a birthday, then they really need this Guacamole Birthday Basket.

You need very few things to put this basket together. 

First you need this little Holy Guacamole Birthday tag.

Just save the image to your computer. Then print off.

Then gather up all the guac superstars and put them in a basket. I used the ingredients from my favorite Guacamole Recipe.

I put tomatoes, avocados, onion, cilantro, and limes in a basket. I added in a bag of tortilla chips. I also added in the most amazing kitchen tool ever. The OXO avocado slicer. Guys this thing will change your life. Like for reals.

That tool alone will make your gift the best. Who needs jewelry when you could get an avocado slicer? Not me.

 Happy, Happy Birthday. Make yourself some guacamole. You're welcome.

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Apr 1, 2015

Goldfish Snack Math Sheets

All moms seek moments to connect with their kids. Sometimes it feels like there isn't enough time in the day between all the to-dos and the must-get-dones. Over the years I have learned that moments to connect with my kids do not have to be over planned or extravagant.

Moments to connect can be found in to-dos and the must-get-dones.

I found learning time can be a fun opportunity to connect with my boys. Sometimes homework and learning time is no fun because it can cause stress, boredom, and frustration. I decided why not fix that and make it a fun moment to connect.

I made these Snack Math Sheets. Then I gathered a few of the kids favorite flavors of one of their favorite snacks: Goldfish® crackers.

We used the Cheddar whole grain Goldfish crackers to do some Snackity Snack Snack Addition.

The color Goldfish crackers were perfect for working on classification and sorting.

This little man had so much fun making up his own addition problems, solving them, and of course eating a few.

For my slightly older boys I made up a number bingo sheet. I busted out the Goldfish grahams.

Nothing is more fun than getting a bingo. Well except eating the bingo.

Right now there is a Goldfish Tales campaign going on where you can share your favorite Goldfish cracker moment. You just need to go and visit GoldfishSmiles.com to find out more about their latest tale, details regarding the promotion, submissions, and a behind-the-scenes video of the making of their tale. To enter the Goldfish Tales entrants are asked to share a photo and story for a chance to win a case of product each month and an awesome trip to the U.S. location of the winner's choice, so that you can create more Goldfish Tales and of course more memories for your family.

In case you want to use a learning moment for your Goldfish Tale, I am providing these Snack Math Sheets for you to use with your own kiddos.

get Addition and Sorting Sheet HERE

get BINGO Sheet HERE

We had so much fun with this learning activity. It was fun to take a must-do and turn it into a moment to connect with my kids. I loved it because they were learning and having fun. They loved it because they were learning (even though they may not admit to it) and eating Goldfish crackers, one of their favorite snacks.

How do you like to connect with your kids? Little moments seem to be great times to connect. Tell me in a comment how you connect with your kids and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 VISA Gift Card!
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 
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