cooking & recipes · memes & carnivals

5 Crock Pot Recipes For the Win!

I have a love hate relationship with my crock pot sometimes. When it works well, it’s a life saver. But sometimes crock pot recipes make my life harder instead of easier and that seems like it’s defeating the purpose. I’m not looking for a new way to make my life difficult, you know?

But these five recipes have my Crock Pot Goals seal of approval. Easy, quick, more people than just me willingly ate it.

Wb86391e60552c04e2feca4b975fcecb6hen I told my husband I was making drumsticks in the crock pot, he was pretty sure I was crazy but they came out so good! And I’ve made this recipe multiple times now without screwing anything up. Minimal effort, delicious results. You will need to make side dishes, but sometimes the grocery store can hook you up with that kind of stuff. I recommend a bagged salad and some good bread.

0ba58b274dc247da038a94d42c0042baI just made these slow cooker stuffed peppers last week and I was really impressed with how they turned out. These are slightly more labor intensive than I would normally allow a slow cooker recipe to be. I had to cut the tops off some peppers and sautee some onion and garlic before stuffing everything and sticking them in the crock pot. That constitutes effort in my book. But the end result was delicious enough to be forgiven. Even my picky ten year old ate this one.

4c46eccabb96a16ce06a9b9a34dcb309If you want to make your husband feel all kinds of special, make him these maple and brown sugar pork tenderloins. The prep work is super easy. The hardest part is coming to terms with the cost of pork tenderloins. But we tend to have leftovers for days with this one, so you can kind of justify it under the guise of it feeding your family more than once. And the delicious.

806223This chicken and dumpling recipe is delicious. Sometimes I just make the soup part of the recipe, add some noodles at the end and cook biscuits on the side. That’s called versatility. You can also add a bag of frozen mixed veggies if you want to flex your mom muscles a bit. Or not. No judgement.

Okay this last recipe is for all of you saying, “but seriously. I have no time at all. Help a sister out.” I’ve got you. It’s called: Dump frozen chicken breasts into your crock pot. Add a big bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Coat to cover. Cook on high from breakfast to dinner. Bagged salad, good bread. Done. Seriously, bagged salad and good bread can turn any dish into a meal your mother would approve of.

What are your favorite slow cooker meals?

(I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s writing workshop again. Check out her page for more great posts.)

family fun · photography

More milestones to sob over: Seven years in seven minutes. Give or take.

Yesterday I showed you six years of school pictures with my first born. Today I thought we could collectively cry into our hankies over my seven year old who is probably going to start college tomorrow or something.

For those of you who weren’t here from the beginning, you should know that seven years ago BB looked like this…


And then we blinked and she showed up looking like this:


There was some stuff in the middle.

The adorable eating Eeyore phase.
Her first ballet lesson
Her first day of preschool
her 4K class picture
Her first awkward school picture from preschool. 
2014-10-02 08.15.06
When she first realized she was destined to be a heart breaker.
That time she turned out to be an amazing actress.
2015 school picture
First Grade
Second Grade – apparently this is her “school picture” dress

And now we’re back where we started. Staring at all those cheekbones, trying to come to terms with the speed of life. Wondering if that dress will still fit her next year.

family fun

Don’t Blink: Six Years of School Pictures

If you want to make a mother cry, show her six years of her baby’s school pictures in a row so that she has to watch those pudgy cheeks and awkward fake smiles turn into cheekbones and confidence. But still with awkward fake smiles.

class picture
First Grade
Second Grade
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Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade

Tomorrow we can collectively lose our shit over pictures of BB.

memes & carnivals

Halloween This Or That Tag

I’m linking up with Mama Kat this week for her pretty much world famous Writer’s Workshop. Each week she gives a list of writing prompts and the rest is up to you. I’m doing prompt #6 this week, which was to play along with her This or That Halloween tag which you can also find here.

So without further ado…

1. Chocolate candy or fruity? pretty much chocolate all the way
2. Witches or Vampires? I’ve got to admit, both are compelling but for Halloween costume purposes and also because of my Salem Witch Trials heritage, I’m going to go with witch.
3. Trick or Treat? Um treat obviously. Don’t try to trick me!
4. Halloween Party or Scary Movie? Halloween party if only because I hate scary movies, but I might be too shy to come in costume. And my husband will absolutely not wear a costume. Can we just hide behind our adorable children?

5. Skeletons or Zombies? I guess skeletons? But I don’t really have a major opinion on this one.
6. Trick-or-Treat or Hand Out Candy? Whatever, dude. I usually end up doing a mix of both. I remember loving trick or treating as a kid, but as a grown up, I’ll be honest – it’s kind of weird to walk around the neighborhood while your kid begs for candy that you probably wouldn’t pay for any other day of the week. And that you’ll be finding ways to get rid of a week later.
7. Hay Ride or Corn Maze? Corn maze. Hay rides stress me out because I’m weird and there are no seat belts.


8. Scary Costume or Funny Costume? I’d personally prefer funny, my seven year old seems to have a new obsession with scary or “creepy” costumes. So I may need to get on board with that.

9. Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie? Um pie, obviously. Who would choose seeds over a pie?
10. Bottle Feed A Baby Zombie or Walk Alone Through A Dark Forest? I’ll take my chances with the dark forest.
11. Bats or Black Cats? Black cats but I can’t pick them up and cuddle them like I want to because I’m allergic. But at least they are adorable and not creepy rodents that sleep upside down.
12. Pumpkin Spice or hot chocolate? hot chocolate all the way
13. Celebrate in your neighborhood or at the mall? The only thing worse than trick or treating is trick or treating at the mall. Sorry not sorry. I’ll stick with my neighborhood.

Your turn! Let me know if you are playing along, so I can come visit and check out your post!

memes & carnivals

What I’m Into: September 2016


September has been one mother of a month and despite a few awesome moments, I’ll be honest – I’m ready for it to be over. So let’s take a look back and then stand up straight and look forward to October. I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer today – check out her blog for more participants and to link up yourself.


14212729_1296316857080215_3291926910409350481_nSeptember began with a trip to the renaissance faire – a first for me – we saw some pretty cool things and got to hang out with good friends, but it was hot and a lot of walking and although my kids had a great time, I’ll be honest – I would have had more fun without them.

14292523_1300800473298520_1348371665942783751_nI also got my first pedicure ever this month. I went with a good friend and we were thoroughly pampered – my feet were as soft as a newborn baby by the end and that rocking red nail polish on my toes is still going strong!

I’m the first grade librarian at our kids’ school this year, which just means that I read a book to the first grade class once a week and then help them pick out a book to take home for the week and stamp stuff accordingly. I won’t lie, it’s kind of my dream job. Too bad I’m not getting paid for it.


29087169I spent most of the month reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond, which my book club discussed last night. In all honesty, I haven’t finished it yet. It’s a great book and it sheds a stark light on evictions and poverty in the U.S. but I’m slow as molasses with most nonfiction.

Other books I finished this month:

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – I got sucked into this story really quickly. The main character, Emily, is extremely shy and totally oblivious but you love and root for her anyway and Frank is just allllll the things. I loved this book. The list of items that Sloane left for Emily to do really made for a funny and interesting book and the characters are all very fleshed out. I liked that the book felt real and honest – characters felt authentic even when you sometimes wished they wouldn’t.

Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway – I liked this one but didn’t quite love it. Although the plot was interesting and the characters were pretty well fleshed out, I couldn’t really lose myself in this one. I kept relating to the parents in the book instead of the teenagers which doesn’t happen often with YA novels for me as I have a tendency to get swept up in books and kind of forget myself as a reader. So good – but not quite great.


Thank god for Fall TV coming back because I was starting to circle the Netflix drain. New shows I’m loving are This Is Us (but my heart can barely handle some of these twists) and The Good Place (TV is better when Kristen Bell is there and this show is smart and funny). I’m also watching season two of Scream Queens against my better judgement (so suspenseful!) and continuing to slowly work my way through The Office and the last season of Gilmore Girls.

Also, Project Runway is back and I’m there for it, but I have to say, I was really disappointed by the last episode. For an episode that was centered around designing for women of all body types, there were a LOT of crop tops and jumpsuits happening. The designs that got high scores seemed almost the least practical while several of the low scores or outfits that received no comments were the closest thing to being plausible for non-skinnies to pull off. And I don’t understand why they didn’t have real women modeling the clothes instead of the usual army of 5’10 size 2’s.


I’ve been watching a lot of movies on Netflix during breakfast lately – some better than others. Mostly indie romantic comedies. I won’t bore you with the whole list, but here are the movies I genuinely liked:

One Small Hitch : On the way to a wedding, Josh and Molly agree to be “fake engaged” to make his dying father happy – you can probably guess what happens next. This movie isn’t perfect but the chemistry is on point and it was really funny.

Begin Again: I’m not sure why I waited so long to watch this because I love Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. It wasn’t quite the movie I was expecting, but I loved it. I loved that James Corden was in it and he was perfection. I love that they didn’t go for all the predictable twists that romantic comedies usually would. I love that it wasn’t even really a romantic comedy at all.

In Lawfully Yours: This one caught me by surprise. I really wasn’t expecting to like it, but the cast is excellent and the writing is on point. Super cheesy but so cathartic.

The Truman Show: I finally watched The  Truman Show! I’ve been meaning to watch this for years and it was amazing, way better than I was expecting. I think this was Jim Carrey at his best and the story is just fantastic.


I’m kind of obsessed with Twenty One Pilot’s new song, Heathens. It’s from the Suicide Squad soundtrack which I haven’t seen yet but I’m looking forward to it.

What have you been into lately?