Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Book Tradition

I happen to see this GREAT idea online! This person bought 24 books and wrapped them up to open one everyday till christmas.
I decided to get some of our favorite christmas books that we already have in our home collection because buying all new costs too much and it's always fun to reread old books! 
I bought 6 new books that I know my kids will LOVE and also added new batteries to our Charlie Brown Christmas book.
 As I was collecting some of our books at home, I noticed we had a lot of little board books so I paired them for fun with another book! You wouldn't want your book to take less than a minute to read!
 I even had my little girl help me wrap some of the books from our collection.
The kids were excited when I told them the idea....How much more excited will they be when they hear some of the books are new to our family!!
 Reading is one of the most important things you can do with your children. How much fun is this going to be, counting down the days till Christmas with special books!?! Unwrap one every night before bed as part of your nighttime routine! 

Also, pictured here is my Christmas tree skirt idea which a lot of you have seen.
I wanted to show you this years handprints I made in the form of Holly, 2013!
Click on the picture below to go to the post about my Christmas Tree Skirt Keepsake!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas(kid friendly)

 This is a family FAVORITE!!!! I make this a couple times a month and everyone raves about them even though they have had them so much! I think, out of the many things I have concocted, this is my husbands favorite! He always asks for me to make it! My husband LOVES spicy food but I don't normally make it because of the kids! One of the great things about this recipe is that it can be made spicy and mild all in the same dish!!! 
This next step is very difficult for me because I NEVER measure anything out when making this! I am going to give you a recipe to go by and you can change it up to your tastebuds and/or what you have in your kitchen at the time!

What you will need:
  • Two chicken breasts
  • about 2 cups of processed raw vegetables 
  • 1-2 cups of frozen spinach
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce(or make your own)
  • about 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • one package of tortillas(or you can use crepes)
  • season with salt and pepper
First thing I do is cook my chicken, then you can shred it or cut it up into little chunks.
Set aside.
Next you are going to process your raw veggies. For this particular recipe I used, 1/2 a green bell pepper, a handful of carrots, 1 zucchini, and 3 green onions. Then blend it in your food processor!
 As you can see all of this equals 2 cups! 
Just to let you know, you can use just about any veggie in this step. A tip that I found is bell pepper and onion add good flavor to this dish!
 The next step is to heat up your diced tomatoes, frozen spinach, and processed veggies in a pan, about 5 minutes. Then add your chicken and seasoning. Stir together about 1 minute and remove from heat.
 This next step is Optional! My kids like me to make crepes instead of using tortillas. They really make this dish TASTY! Click the picture below to see how I make my crepes with options for dairy free and you can make them Gluten Free by using Buckwheat flour.
 These tortilla are my "secret" ingredient! I LOVE these Chile & Onion flour tortillas from Trader Joes! They add a little spice to the dish! 
OK, so this is normally what I do! I have normal tortillas/crepes for half the pan(the kids half) and Chile & Onion tortillas for the other half! If you don't have a Trader Joe's by you just use whatever tortillas you like.
 Next add your chicken and veggie mix to the middle of your tortillas and top with a little cheese.
roll the tortilla up and put it fold down in your pan.
 Now that you have your pan full... you get out your enchilada sauce! This is the step that I want to change... I buy the cheap sauce from target... this is not the healthiest option but I do it because of time and flavor. I have tried many different sauces and so far Target red mild is my FAVORITE!!!!! 
If I ever find an EASY& healthy recipe for enchilada sauce I might add it to this post...

I add the sauce to the "adult" side of the dish.
My kids, like most, think the sauce too spicy so try no to let it touch over to their side of the dish!
Then I top the whole thing with cheese!
 Put in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese slightly browned.
 Here it is... Fresh out of the oven!!!
A picture of the adult side with spicy tortilla and topped with red sauce & cheese.
A picture of the kids side with crepe topped with cheese!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Princess Party Ideas!

I am going to try and pack the few other ideas I had for Kiki's Princess Party in one more post! 
This first idea was to welcome people into our home! We wanted to make a FUN entry to our home so I decided to line the walkway with pink balloons!
 Since her birthday is in October, I spray painted a BUNCH of pumpkins of all sizes! Then we wrapped a balloon string around each pumpkin to be the weight for each balloon outside!
I loved how this turned out but I wouldn't be helping anyone if I wasn't truthful about this experience! I will tell you that out of ALL my ideas for this party, this was the most costly and stressful!!!! First of all, to transport a ton of balloons on a windy day isn't easy!!! Then once you get them safely to your house and your kids start playing with them.... they might start to POP!!!! This is what happened to us! I had everything planned out to line the walkway on both sides but we lost a lot of balloons before we even got them outside! Putting them all on one side actually worked out for us on the day of her party because it happened to be windy.... They would have blocked the walkway if I did it the way I was planning! 
Even though this looked so cool, to save me my sanity before guests arrive I probably wouldn't do this again! LOL
 Now onto other lest costly and stressful ideas.... 
A lot of the stuff I used was from the Dollar Store! I bought a hula hoop and different color plastic tablecloths. I cut the tablecloths in strips and taped them to the hula hoop. Then I taped the hula hoop to the ceiling around our chandler.
 I then simply taped the other end to the ceiling as pictured below! It really made the room look ready to party in!!!
 I also did almost the same effect to the ceiling above the Cardboard Castle. Click HERE to see exactly how I did it and to see how I made the castle!
This next idea I wanted to make a post ALL on its own.... When I bought some Crayola Crystal Effects window markers at Target I didn't know HOW COOL these were going to be!!!
They are so much fun to play with.... my kids colored over and over on our mirrors before the party that I was afraid they would be all dried up! Here is Brenden and one of his cool pictures on the mirror!
The fun thing about these are you draw on windows and mirrors and they magically show up and with a crystalizing effect!!! They are so cool, you just have to get some for yourself and try them out! They would be a great stocking stuffer for christmas coming up!!!

This is what I drew on one of the bathroom mirrors for the Princess Party using the markers!
For this next idea, I got these cute glass vases, princess rings, and clip on earrings from the Dollar Store! I collected sticks with my kids outside and then spray painted them silver. To fill the vases I just wanted something with the colors pink and purple so I chose Nerds and all reds Starbursts!
 Here is a close up of how I hung the earrings and rings on the silver painted sticks!
These were perfect to greet people when they entered. Also pictured below is the Princess Wands that we bought from the Dollar Store to hand out to all of the little Princesses at the party!
The other party favors we had, from the Dollar Store, for the princesses are red, purple, and pink boas. All of the little Knights got to have a sword and shield! How cool is it that the kids got to keep such fun things and it only cost $2 a child!!!
 Next, I found these cute "silver" platters and glass candle sticks....YES at the Dollar Store!!!
I hot glued the candlestick to the platter. You can even stack them as pictured below to make a tiered serving platter! 
What we put on one of our platters was SO simple to make and a HIT to all of our guests! I found these cute plastic wands at the dollar store, 8 for $1! We simply dipped marshmallows in white chocolate with one drop of red food coloring. Then we added sprinkles on top and stuck the wand ALL the way in! They stood up all on their own!!
 Here is a picture showing how the kids went crazy for the marshmallows! YUMMY!!! So much easier than cake pops! =)
Another treat that is a must at a princess party is Ring Pops (4 for $1 at the Dollar Store) and candy bracelets/necklaces. I don't like candy and let my kids have it very rarely but I couldn't resist the fun for this party! I mean look at these happy faces! =)
 I didn't make this but I had to show you Kiki's cute Barbie cake that we got from Target.... It was the best price we found out of the different places around. $39 AND you get a cute Barbie to have and play with afterwards!!
I will leave you with a picture of all of these CUTE princesses! I have to say, the party was a success!
If you didn't see my post on the fun and simple poster you can make for your party, CLICK HERE!

If you would like to see how I made the Princess Cardboard Castle click on the photo below!

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