Thursday, January 31, 2013

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed of the fat
5 clove of chopped garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup liquid aminos (a soy sauce substitute)
¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
½ tsp ground ginger
1 dash of allspice (or a dash of each: ground cloves, cinnamon, & black pepper)
2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Optional: 1 small can of crushed pineapple
Bean sprouts & Large leafy lettuce, for wrapping (I used Butter leaf lettuce)

Place chicken in a slow cooker.   Add onions & garlic.  Mix the liquid and spice together in a separate bowl, then pour over chicken.
 
Cook on low for about 4 hours.

Shred chicken in slow cooker and serve on lettuce with bean sprouts.


Peanut Noodle Salad

Peanut Noodle Salad

8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large stalk celery, peeled and finely chopped
3 scallions (both white and green parts), chopped on an angle

Dressing:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon Stevia (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup of water

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water and add the noodles.  Cook according to the packages directions, but drain 1-2 minutes shy of the suggested cooking time to achieve the “al dente” texture.
Drain and rinse noodles thoroughly with cold water

While the noodles are cooking, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. 
Add celery and cook 2 minutes.
Add scallions and cook 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add the cooked noodles.

Making of the dressing:

Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender.  Blend until creamy and very smooth.  Pour the dressing over noodles and veggies.
Toss to coat. 
Chill salad in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

Toss lightly just before serving.
 Serve with Asian Lettuce Wraps.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Slow Cooker: Chicken Burritos

SLOW COOKER: CHICKEN BURRITOS
 
 
We had this meal tonight, and I have to say, it was a hit.  Before, I knew it was going to be such a hit, I had missed any photo opportunities for you.  Sorry, I will get one next time and post it for you.   All the kids were loving it, and most of them had seconds on their dinners.  Which doesn't always happen.  Because the Mister and I are changing the way we eat and are trying to get into better shape, we altered the way it was served for us versus the way the kids ate it. 
We had ours as a salad and the kids had whole wheat burritos.
 
Ingredients:
 
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trim off fat
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 C salsa
3-4 T taco seasoning (or one package)  Ours is low sodium
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
 
 
Place the chicken in your slow cooker.  Pour the remaining ingredients over the top of the chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Take two forks and shred the chicken apart.
 
Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, black beans, salsa, avocado slices (all sides are optional--fit to your family's liking)
 
We used whole wheat tortilla shells for the burritos and over a bed of green lettuce for a Tex-Mex salad.  
 
Also, any remaining sauce could be used as a dressing as well.  I mixed it with 1000 island dressing and it was really good.
 
We had just enough leftovers for a salad tomorrow.  Yay!
 
 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rolling With the Punches

Have you ever had one of those days where anything chaotic that could happen...will happen?   Well, that was us yesterday.  Last week.  Last two weeks.  Can we get a break now?  I'm ready to s-l-o-w   d-o-w-n.

We've been battling some colds, tummy issues, NOT THE FLU, and awesomely enough...strep throat.   So, Baby Girl, had a reaction last Friday where she broke out in a full body rash.   Instantly, I assumed it was an allergic reaction to her antibiotics because I have an allergy to one and big sis has an allergy to one.  Oh no, my friends.   Not the case.  Did you know that strep can also cause scarlet fever?   If you did, you are one smart cookie.  If you didn't, well, tuck that away in your memory for future use.  Yup, my sweet little baby girl, had a massive body rash, felt like sandpaper.  It was everywhere.  I felt so terrible for her.  So yesterday, was her follow up appointment, since we stopped the antibiotics early.  Well, the strep is gone.  Thankfully. 

However, about 45 minutes before her appointment.  Bubba and Big Sis..."Firecracker", were downstairs playing.  He wanted in her room.  She wanted him out.  There were giggles.   Pushing on the door.  See where I'm going with this?  Yup, you know it.  Bubba's little finger slipped into the hinge side of the door, as she was slamming it shut.   He's howling.  She's crying.   There were a lot of "I'm so sorry.  It was an accident.  I'm so sorry, Bubba!  I'll get you ice.  I'm so sorry!"  She didn't want to leave his side last night (in fact, she was the little photographer of the evening).  Very sweet, honestly.  She was very worried about him.  It's broken.  It's yucky.  He hurts.  My heart is breaking.  After 3 long hours of doctors, hospitals, and x-rays.  We were home.
As for this morning... ...I overheard him say to Baby Girl, "I've never had a broken bone before.  Yay!  My first broken bone."

He's such a boy!

Stay safe!  Stay Healthy!  This does happen to all parents, right?!  :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meal Plan Monday 1/28/2013

Hello lovelies!!!  Happy Monday!   Hope you all had a great weekend!  We sure did.  It was busy, of course, but still great.  My daughters and I got to meet John & Sherry Petersik of Young House Love on Saturday, followed by a sleepover with our cousins.  Sunday we had a couple of soccer games for the kids plus we went to church and was honored to watch one of our good friend's daughter be baptized, and I managed to sneak in another organization project.  :)
This week is insanely busy for us.  We have 4 evenings this week that are going to need either a crock pot meal or something light, quick, and easy. 
We are also incorporating more fish into our diet and trying to do 2 nights of fish, 2 nights of red meat, and 3 nights of chicken or white meat.

Here is our menu for this next week:
Sunday:  Baked Salmon, with green beans, fresh green salad and garlic bread
Monday:  Taco Night
TuesdayCrock Pot: Slow Cooker Salmon w/ Couscous
Friday:  Build Your Own Pizza (BYOP)
Saturday: Steak w/ Chick Pea & Tomato Basil Salad
Hope you have a great week! 
What's on your menu this week?
I will be getting the recipes, or links to the recipes that I have used, up on my site, in the near future.  Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Organization: Family Games

Games.  We have LOTS of games.   All kinds of games.   But they were getting out of control.  Some downstairs, in the play room, in this basket.
 
Some upstairs in the family room, in this cubby.
Both a hot mess.   Both unorganized and really, didn't make family game night all that fun.  So, you know what that means.  TIME!  TO!  ORGANIZE!   Ya!!!!  My new favorite thing to do!  Seriously!  It is! :)
 
We have this coffee table, that has a hollow middle and opens up with all this potential for great storage.   
So, I got to thinking..."Why, don't we just put the games in the middle of the coffee table?   So when we have game night, everything is there and at our finger tips?"  Genius.  Right?  No running up and down the stairs, from this room to that room, to find the game we want to play for the night.
 
Luckily, most of the games were in the same size boxes.   So I just stacked them up on their side and lined them up.
Most of the games, but still a work in progress
We have all of our card games in a clear bucket so they can be seen and not forgotten, and are all together nice and orderly.
Who's ready for Family Game Night now?
Sometimes, you just need to move a little bit of furniture from one room to another to make it all work out.  In this case, it is working perfectly for us.  Now our Family Game Nights are...dare I say...ORGANIZED?!  :)  Which makes this mama very happy!  So, so much better!
Everything right at our finger tips!
This corner once looked like this....
Now looks like this! 
The 9-cube cubby has been moved over to a new area in the family room and is storing all of the coloring books and color crayons.  Eventually, it will hold more, nice and neatly, of course.  :)


How do you organize your games?   Do you and your family have a Family Game night?  What is your favorite game to play?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Geeking out


Okay, I've been a blog addict for a while now.   Those of you, that are close to me...know this obsession about me.  It all started with, somehow falling upon this one blog.  Young House Love.  I read their blog every morning, with my cup of tea, just part of my routine.  These two, fun to read about, drool over projects, inspirational people, parents to the adorable Clara, John and Sherry, it's hard to not fall in love with them/their blog. 

Then they wrote a book.

I then bought that book.
 Then, they put Portland on their book signing tour.  (squeal!!!)
And then...the geeking started!
 
 
Today was their day in Portland.  And I geeked.  I brought my girls with me, and they watched me geek, not a pretty site.  Sorry girls!  We had ceramic birds signed.  My Valentine's decoration...Love birds.  (Get it?  haha, I'm a dork, I know)   We had a book signed.  Photos taken.  My little, meet a blogging celebrity, moment has. Made. My. Day!
They are such sweet people!
 
Who is someone you would love to meet?   Is there someone/or people that give you inspiration?

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Week In Review

It's been a busy week for us over here at the Mix household.  We are really working hard on getting some good organization and routines in place and also managed to sneak in a fun little craft project!
 
Check out the last week, in case you've missed all the posts.
 
Bubba's closet makeover and organization was completed. 
From Messy and Disorganized

To Donated, Organized and Labeled!
 
My first blogging Meal Plan Monday....and stuck to it, to a T!!!!
 
Another Organization tip to make more room in your dressers.
Two drawers worth of shirts, into one drawer
First Kitchen Organization post, with the Queen Bee of the kitchen, the fridge.  It was quite the make over, and so functional this week.
My Sweet Valentine's Day mantel, which I am totally. In. Love. With!!!



Finally, a How-To on the Heart Garland used on my mantel.


Can't wait for what the next week will be bringing!!  What was your favorite thing this week?  Did you get any organization done this week?  How about any crafting projects?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Heart Garland How-To's

Good Afternoon, Lovelies!  I'm going to show you how I made that adorable Heart Garland!
I actually had these colors of felt downstairs in my craft room. 
I just took two of each color and did a straight line at 1/4 inch from the side of the felt.  I used the lines that are already on my sewing machine and just followed in a straight line.

Then I flipped them over, as you would when hiding a seam.  See how it's already forming the heart?
I trimmed the felt down the size that wanted the heart's to be and then did another straight stitch at 1/4 inch.
I happen to have some quilting supplies, so for me I used the 1 inch mark on my ruler and used my rotary cutter to cut them all.  You can totally mark these out with a 1 inch and a pencil or a chalk pencil from your local fabric store, and then cut with your scissors.
Love all the little hearts.  I ended up getting 12 of each color.

I then took some pom-poms that I got at the Dollar Tree and threaded some fishing line, yes, clear fishing line, through the felt heart and through a pom-pom.  In order for your heart to keep it's shape, you will need to thread through the 1st arch of the heart, then the tip in the middle, and back out the 2nd arch of the heart.
Mine was really long and I didn't like how it hung so low, so I just took it up and made an additional loop towards the end so that it would match where the white pom-poms where.  I hope that last sentence made sense???
After all that, I needed something to loop on the ends to hang it from the mantel, so I just made a loop out of some pink satin ribbon I already owned and hot glued it to the pom-poms that were at the end of each side.
Before:
After:

I hope you have fun making one of your own!  It was super, super easy!! 

Sweet Valentine's Day Mantel

Hi friends! I cannot believe we are already half way through this week!  I know I've been doing a lot of posts on organization and getting things orderly lately.   I hope that they have been helping you as much as they have been helping me.   The donation pile is quickly growing at our home, which I have to admit, feels so good...with the exception that it's living in my formal room, the first room you see when you enter the house, so it's gotta go!  Soon!  
 
We have been super busy around the house.   Kids are switching beds, some getting bigger beds, and others handing down better mattress to others, and all kinds of furniture movement happening in our house.  However, I have managed to squeeze in a little bit of Valentine's Day mantel decorating and a few craft projects to go with it.  It's a little intimidating to show you my Valentine's mantel; there are so many beautiful decorations and mantels out there in blogland, but since this is my first year of really doing a mantel, I hope you like it.   I've always had the decorations, just never done anything with them.
 
But here she is!!!  
Isn't she cute?!
My daughter and I found this sign, so perfect, at Barnes and Noble, of all places.
How about these two little birds?   They are our little Love Birds, and I just love them.
This little picture was in my oldest son's nursery, umpteen years ago, and I fell upon it the other day and thought it was perfect for Valentine's Day.
I just love the mushrooms.  They were cute, pink, and 50% the clearance price!  Can't go wrong with that.  Plus, I can use them all the way into my Spring decorations.
This wreath, I made last year after I saw the idea here, from Emily @ Decor Chick.
The mailboxes, I got last year in the Dollar bin at Target, but this year they had the blue ones.  So I got them for the boys.  :)   I also found the candlesticks at Goodwill, last year, and just spray painted them and then glued them together.  I wanted them to be different heights and staggered a little bit.  Also, I think our friend, Mr. Elf of the Shelf, is going to come visit us once a month this year.  You know, to check in on the kids, and he might just be peeking out of one of these mailboxes.
The garland makes me smile.  I made the hearts, and the pom-poms and red boa were at Michael's and they were cheap, I think one was $1.99 and the other $2.99, but I had a 25% off my total order, thanks to my Michael's app on my phone, and got everything discounted instead of one item.  I just love it!
Sorry for the dark pictures.   The only time I get to craft is after work, and after the kids go to bed.  So night time it is.
 
Do you decorate for Valentine's Day?  What kinds of things do you do to celebrate the day of love?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Organization: In the Fridge

 That's right.  In the fridge.   I have organized my fridge.  Let's take a look inside, shall we?
I am embarrassed to show you the inside of my fridge, prior to organizing it, so you'll just have to pretend that you see a picture of an icky fridge.  There were a few science experiments growing, (may or may not have been some leftovers from New Year's Eve) and there were some empty containers in there (thanks kids, for putting away empty containers).
I started with taking every thing out.  Because that's how I roll.  You'll notice there is a pattern in my de-cluttering, organizing process.   I take everything out, so I can see what I have in front of me and then I re-group every thing into small piles, then I sort through each and every individual piles until every thing has a home.  Whether it's in the recycling bin, trash, donation, etc.  Nothing will be left in a pile.
I started with sorting through all the food, proud to say there was only a few, not a lot of not-used-very-often condiments, that expired.  
Then I scrubbed down all the trays and the walls of the fridge.
Earlier in the week, I had got to the Dollar Tree and found a few of these beauty's.  I only bought a few of them, but I think I'm going to go back and get a few more.  
As you can see I put all of our salad dressing into one of them, which was great tonight at dinner. 
 Just took the whole basket out, everyone chose their dressing of choice, and back in the fridge it went, still organized.   Then I did some small condiments in another basket.  I combined the ones that are frequently causing the question, "Mom, I can't find the (insert food item here), have you seen it?"  Usually, found right beneath their noses. 
The last basket, I used for things, like Hummus, Laughing Cow cheese, and a few other items like that. 
 I decided that I still need a few more.  I am going to put the kid's drink packs in one, and their snacks for after school in another.
The second shelf is the shelf I designated for left overs.   Yup, that's my lunches there.   All ready and packed to go for the week.   And that's my lunch bag on the top shelf.  No more scrambling in the morning.  The fridge looks a little bare, this was pre-grocery shopping trip.
I have to say, I think my produce drawer is now my favorite drawer!  I decided NO MORE BAGS!  NO MORE of those plastic bags you put your produce in.   In our family, it seems like the produce gets buried, lost, forgotten, and turned into a science project.  Or I buy more, forget how much I have, and then it's wasted.  I am keeping everything visible.  Nothing hiding.  All veggies and fruits out in the open.  I love seeing how many tomatoes I have or cucumbers.  I love that the kids can just help themselves to the baby carrots whenever they want. 
So now, the fridge will be cleaned and organized every Sunday, on grocery shopping day!  It's all about establishing routines and sticking with them!

What's hiding in your fridge?   How often are you cleaning it out?  Weekly?  Bi-Weekly?  Monthly?  Have any tips you'd like to share?  What new routine have you started in 2013?

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