7/18 Meal Plan

This has been an exciting week, Asher turned 2!!! I cannot believe that I have been a mom for 2 years, it is pretty wild. On Asher’s birthday morning Kyle came into the bedroom and said, “Happy ‘you birthday a nine pound baby’ day!”. You know what it was Asher’s day, but yeah happy “birth” day to me too😂. As a parent I think birthday’s are about more than celebrating getting older. It’s about celebrating everything it took to bring the child into the world, celebrating keeping them alive another year, and celebrating all the highs and lows in between. So happy birthday Asher, can’t wait to see what this next year brings.

A quick recap on how this meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. One of the dinners will be vegetarian/ vegan. This is a tiny step we are taking to try and lower our impact on the planet.


What’s on the menu…..

  • Moroccan Couscous Salad (lunch)
  • Sheet Pan Mediterranean Herb Chicken
  • Vegetarian Bibimbap
  • Grilled Pizza

Shopping list…..

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list for everything on the menu. I have separated everything by recipe, so there are a few duplicates of pantry staples.


Moroccan Couscous Salad

10 Lunches https://www.glowingblush.com/moroccan-couscous-salad-with-chickpeas/

The recipe for this salad says it only makes 2 servings so I, 4X the recipe which ended up easily making 10 lunches. You’ll notice I left off a few things including the lentils. I mostly just didn’t want to cook them. The salad was plenty filling without them. I chose to mix the dressing in with the couscous so that the spinach didn’t get soggy. If you like your salads to be a bit more saucy I’d up the dressing recipe a bit. Neither Kyle or I are big fans of raisins so I swapped them for dried blueberries, which was delicious. They made for a nice sweet bite. You could substitute them for any dried fruit, apricots, craisins, mango, whatever you might like.

Sheet Pan Mediterranean Herb Chicken

4 adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners https://www.all-thats-jas.com/sheet-pan-chicken-and-potatoes/

This meal might not look like much, but it packs a refreshing lemony punch! It recommends quartering the potatoes, but I would definitely cut them smaller. If you don’t, you run the risk of the chicken over cooking while the potatoes undercook. I also made the “tzatziki” sauce they recommended somewhere in the post. It was just ok. I would make a more traditional tzatziki in the future.

Vegetarian Bibimbap

3 adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners https://iheartumami.com/vegetarian-bibimbap-recipe/

Calling this a bibimbap is a bit of a stretch, but it was good. When I think of bibimbap, I think of the really crispy rice at the bottom of the bowl, which you don’t get with this. This is more of a giant veggie bowl. That being said it was good. They want you to cool the veggies after you cook them, which I didn’t do because it sounded better to be all hot. I definitely recommend adding an egg to make it more sustainable. The date based sauce is sweet and a little savory. I served it on the side for Asher to let him try it and decide if he wanted to add it or not. I find giving him the choice makes meal times a bit more fun. He loves to dip and it gives him a little “control” over his dinner.

Grilled Pizza

Make as many as you want! https://turtlelion.com/2021/04/30/grilled-pizza/

I asked Asher what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he said, “PIZZA!” So we made these super easy grilled pizza’s. They are fully customizable and fun for the whole family to get involved in. For leftovers I find it is tastiest to cut up all the toppings the first night and store them. Since they take 15 minutes or less to cook, I grill fresh pizza’s each night. They do make fine leftovers if you want to do them all one night though, I just prefer to do it this way.


I hope you find something to celebrate over with this weeks meal plan. If you try it out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!

7/11 Meal Plan

Happy Free Slurpee day everyone! Make sure you hit your local 7-Eleven today to claim your very own free slurpee! (Not sponsored just a big fan of free slurpees 😅) I have not posted anything in a while! Life has been so crazy, writing everything up has just gotten away from me. Asher and I haven’t been doing that many new activities lately because we’ve been exploring nature while the weather is warm. I am happy to hop back into it this week with some extra yummy meals! Keep scrolling to check it out.

A reminder of how this works. There will be 1- meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3- dinners with the intention of leftovers every other night. On the 7th night we either have a family dinner, eat extra leftovers, or get takeout. One of the dinners will be vegetarian. It is one small way we are trying to improve our imprint on the world.


What’s on the menu….

  1. Thai Peanut Salad (Lunch)
  2. Creamy Vegan Gnocchi
  3. Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Bowls
  4. Herb Turkey Burgers

Shopping list……

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list with everything you’ll need to make all these meals. I have separated them by meal, so there may be duplicates of pantry staples with each meal.


Thai Peanut Salad

6-Lunches https://seekinggoodeats.com/thai-peanut-salad-low-carb-keto/

This is admittedly not my most beautiful photo, but what are you gonna do. That being said it was tasty! I am usually somewhat skeptical of cabbage, but by slicing it thin and letting it soak in the yummy peanut dressing it becomes delicious. If I were to make this again I would definitely add chicken like they suggest, to make it a bit more filling. I would probably just grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. You’ll also notice this only made 6 lunches for me so adjust accordingly.

Creamy Vegan Gnocchi

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://joytothefood.com/dinner/creamy-vegan-gnocchi/

THIS WAS SO GOOD! Not only was this unbelievably delicious, it came together in 30 minutes or less. I forgot to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours. You can speed this process up by pouring boiling water over them and letting them soak for at least 30 minutes. If you remember to soak them longer, even over night the sauce will blend smooth more easily. I only used one package of gnocchi but there is easily enough sauce to cook two. As I was eating this I was wishing I had some yummy bread to soak up the sauce. Ours I served with a packaged salad, and I threw some frozen peas in Asher’s to quickly cool it down and for some greens.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Bowls

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://claudiastable.com/mediterranean-grilled-chicken-bowls/

The way I am going to post this meal is a little funky because the original link above is mostly a suggestion for how to assemble the bowls. So I’ll also link to the sauce, and chicken marinade. You could really make this your own. I followed their suggestion of couscous, and zucchini. I decided to grill my zucchini, and I had half of my cabbage left from making lunches so I threw that on the grill too. This would be great to serve at a party, let everyone mix and match their own bowls.

Chicken marinade: https://claudiastable.com/yogurt-herb-marinated-grilled-chicken/#recipe

Sauce : https://claudiastable.com/yogurt-dill-dressing/#recipe

Herb Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://turtlelion.com/2021/04/15/herb-turkey-burgers-and-sweet-potato-fries/

As I said earlier life has been so busy! So this week I pulled the second batch of turkey burgers out of the freezer for a quick meal. This is such a great trick to be able to pull out for those busy days.


There you have it, a quick weeks worth of meals! I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and enjoy!

6/28 Meal Plan

I swear I was just writing up last weeks meal plan. Just like that it’s already time for another one! Where does the time go?! This weeks plan has a couple extra treats for these hot summer days!

A reminder of how this works. There will be 1- meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3- dinners with the intention of leftovers every other night. On the 7th night we either have a family dinner, eat extra leftovers, or get takeout. One of the dinners will be vegetarian. It is one small way we are trying to improve our imprint on the world.


What’s on the menu……

  • Chickpea Salad (lunch)
  • Mediterranean Sautéed Garlic Shrimp
  • 3- Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken
  • Cauliflower Tacos
  • Orange Coconut Milk Popsicles
  • Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Shopping list……

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list with everything you’ll need to make all these meals. I have separated them by meal, so there may be duplicates of pantry staples with each meal.


Chickpea Salad

10 Lunches https://www.knowyourproduce.com/chickpea-salad-vegan-oil-free/#recipe

This lunch was light and super nutritious! I tripled this recipe to make 10 salads. It also came together so fast! I had made 10 lunches in 20 minutes or less. I opted for cherry tomatoes instead of roma tomatoes, and I also added some left over corn I had to help round out the rainbow effect of this salad. You know you are getting a nutrient blast if you can see the rainbow in your meal, I’m only missing blue here. If I were to make this again I would add some nuts, maybe some mozzarella to add a little fat.

Mediterranean Sautéed Garlic Shrimp

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.themediterraneandish.com/sauteed-shrimp-zucchini/#recipe

This was hands down my favorite meal this week. It came together so quickly and it was so yummy! Asher LOVES shrimp so he was really excited to eat this meal. He didn’t dare touch the zucchini, but he worked hard on his spoon skills pulling out only beans and shrimp. We of course try to encourage him to try foods he is unsure of, but we never force him to eat anything. Right now we are mostly working on keeping foods he doesn’t like on the table and not flinging them onto the floor.

3- Ingredient Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.healthy-liv.com/2-ingredient-crockpot-pulled-bbq-chicken/

3 ingredients, you can’t beat that for simplicity. All you need is chicken, broth, and BBQ sauce. I chose to server it with broccoli and a mashed sweet potato. While I love sweet potatoes, I would serve this with either cubed potatoes, or smashed potatoes next time. It would also be good as a sandwich. I chose broccoli because Asher loves it (he literally had 3 servings each night) and it’s easy. If I were to make this again I would only use 1 cup of broth not 2. The sauce was really soupy. I ended up simmering it down and adding about a teaspoon of corn starch to thicken it back up. You can see I served Asher’s with the sauce on the side. He loved dipping everything in it, and he even drank it at the end.

Cauliflower Tacos

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://veganheaven.org/recipe/vegan-cauliflower-tacos/

The things you can do with cauliflower are kind of amazing! I loved these tacos, but they were definitely a labor of love. I’m not sure where they got the 20 minute prep time, because it took me FOREVER to make these. It also took more than 3/4 cup to coat them in Panko. I’m glad they were delicious! I made half of them BBQ and the other half with hot sauce. Also served it with some roasted corn. I served Asher’s deconstructed as he is still not sure about tortilla’s for some reason.

Popsicles!!!

It is so HOT outside I thought it would be fun to have some popsicles to cool down. I didn’t want to buy them from the store because they have so much sugar in them. I made these using a little popsicle mold, which you can usually find at the grocery store this time of year.

The first flavor I made was the orange coconut milk. It kind of reminds me of a creamcicle. With only 3 ingredients it is pretty great!

https://figjar.com/orange-coconut-milk-popsicles-df-v/#recipe

The second flavor was the strawberry yogurt. Mine are no where near as beautiful as the original blog but they do taste great! I opted to use honey instead of sugar because I prefer it as a sweetener. These were definitely more work but they were still simple to put together.

https://www.keep-calm-and-eat-ice-cream.com/strawberry-yogurt-popsicles/#recipe


Another week down! I hope you enjoy this weeks meals, I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share and enjoy!

Letters and Numbers Learning Activities

It is never to early to start working on reading and counting. Bellow you will find some fun activities to try with your child to help get started! We’ll start with some really basic places to start and move forward to some more advanced activities.


Lets start with the obvious… reading! These are some of our favorite alphabet books. Asher is really hooked on Pandas Love Pickles right now. He loves to laugh at all the different food the animals are eating. He also really likes the See, Touch, Feel ABC. It is a great interactive ABC book. These kinds of books are great because they help kids associate letters with words. For instance you can ask Asher, “What is A for?” and he’ll say, “Apple!”
Another great place to start is with puzzles. Asher was completely obsessed with this alphabet puzzle for a while. Underneath the letters is a picture of something the letter goes with. Another great way to pair letters with words. He also likes the puzzle above it with the numbers and shapes (so much the 9 is currently missing). This one is a great way to practice counting, colors and shapes!

For this activity, I taped down a large piece of paper with all the letters and numbers written on it, and used the pieces from the other puzzles. I resisted the urge to do a typical rainbow order with the letters, and instead matched the colors to the puzzle piece. This helped him match them. I would say, “Can you find the purple A?” I ended up taping this to the back of my cutting mat and he has asked to this activity over and over.

This is a magnetic letter search. I covered our letter fridge magnets with a mixture of rice, oatmeal, and beans. I gave Asher a little magnet wand to search around for the letters. For Asher finding the letters and talking about them was enough, but you could add a letter matching element for an older child.

For this activity I made little paper pockets on the wall using construction paper and painters tape. I then made little paper letters again matching the colors (red A, red pocket) Asher loved putting the papers in the pockets, and especially enjoyed ripping it all off the wall later. He definitely did not do a lot of matching, but at this age its more about the repeated exposure to the letters and sounds. You could also do this with numbers by putting up the pockets with the numbers and putting different quantities into each pocket. This would be ideal for a slightly older kid.

I got these great letter and number cards of Amazon. I think they were about $13. This is another great way to match letters to words, and to have a visual quantity attached to each number. So for the number 10 they have a picture with 10 piranha. They come with all the cards and little wooden letters that fit right into the grooves. These are a nice way to practice because inevitably the cards get knocked around but because the letters fit right in they don’t go flying. They also came with a little bag to keep everything in so they clean up really nicely.

This sidewalk chalk alphabet wash was probably Asher’s favorite. Add water to an activity and it is 10 times more fun. He worked on this for at least 30 minutes. I started by writing out all the letters(I couldn’t resist a rainbow moment), I then got him a little water bucket, a sponge, and little water dropper (a turkey baster would work). You can say, “Can you wash away the letter B?”. He really liked using the dropper to wash everything away. You could also easily do this with numbers, colors and shapes. With numbers you could maybe start with 10 shapes and wash them away one at a time and count as you go.


I hope these letter and number activities are fun learning activities for your little one. I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and play!

6/20 Meal Plan

Happy Fathers day! So happy to get to celebrate Kyle this weekend. He is such a great dad, Asher and I are lucky to have him. You may or may not have noticed there wasn’t a meal plan last week. Life was crazy busy last week so we ended up having to eat out more than usual. One night Asher ate fried chicken, mac and cheese, and french fries 🙀. This felt like a total mom fail to me, but I had to remind myself that it is about a big picture not one meal. 99% of the time he eats a well balanced meal, so the occasional junk meal is going to be all right.

A quick reminder of how the meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for the week, 3 dinners intended to have leftovers every other night, the 7th night we either have extra leftovers, a family meal, or take out. 1 dinner will be vegetarian/ vegan, it is a small step we are taking to try and reduce our impact on the planet. Another thing to note is that I am only cooking for a family of 3 so you may need to adjust portions for a larger family.


What’s on the menu……

  • Sweet potato black bean bowl (lunch)
  • Chicken pesto
  • Teriyaki salmon
  • Slow cooker butter chickpea’s

Shopping list…..

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list for everything you need for this weeks menu. I have separated everything by meal, so there are some duplicates of pantry staples. So don’t buy a bottle of olive oil for each meal. 😝


Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls

8 lunches https://itsavegworldafterall.com/sweet-potato-black-bean-meal-prep-bowls/#recipe

This lunch was so simple to put together and very filling. I doubled the recipe to make 8 lunches, but I think it could easily have stretched to 10. I opted to use quinoa instead of rice for 2 reasons. The first is it cooks way faster, and the second it has a much higher nutritional value. This salad was very simple, if you wanted to add a little more excitement you could add some corn, bell peppers, or maybe some salsa.

Chicken Pesto

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-pesto-baked-chicken-whole30/#wprm-recipe-container-16959

The basil in my garden was starting to get out of control so that means pesto! I love this pesto recipe it always turns out great. I love that it has spinach in it, a great way to sneak in some extra veggies. I added half a lemon to it just to keep the color from changing and to brighten it a little. I served it over my favorite lentil and veggie noodles by Cybeles. They are really great low carb noodle but don’t make great leftovers. I usually will cook fresh noodles for each meal. You could also follow this recipe from the same blog for a spaghetti squash pesto.

https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/chicken-pesto-paleo-spaghetti-squash/#wprm-recipe-container-16813

Teriyaki Salmon Bowls

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.simplehealthykitchen.com/teriyaki-salmon-bowl/#wprm-recipe-container-7834

These salmon bowls were really simple to make. I doubled it to make enough for 2 dinners. I liked all the topping options they had, I just picked a few that sounded good to me. Asher was being a total toddler when we had this dinner. At first he didn’t want to eat it. So I tried loading his spoon with just some rice, which he ate. Eventually he ate all the elements and decided he liked it. The key was I had to load his spoon for him. Toddlers… what are you gonna do!

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas

5- adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.delishknowledge.com/slow-cooker-butter-chickpeas/#tasty-recipes-20907-jump-target

This was a great plant based meal! Normally I stay away from soy products, but this week I decided to go for a little tofu. I prepped this the night before by, cutting the onion and garlic, mixing all the sauce ingredients, and prepping the tofu and garbanzo beans. In the morning I quickly threw it together and set the delay start function on the instantpot. When I got home later that day I just made some rice and added some frozen peas and we were ready to eat!


I hope this helps make your week a little easier! If you try these out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!

6/6 Meal Plan

I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial day weekend! It is always nice to have an extra day off with the family, but it always makes it hard to get back into the groove of things. It has also been unbelievably HOT here! We had some fun mornings outside before it got to hot to be outside, and also had a good afternoon in the splash pad. Bring it on summer!

A quick reminder of how the meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for the week, 3 dinners intended to have leftovers every other night, the 7th night we either have extra leftovers, a family meal, or take out. 1 dinner will be vegetarian/ vegan, it is a small step we are taking to try and reduce our impact on the planet. Another thing to note is that I am only cooking for a family of 3 so you may need to adjust portions for a larger family.


What’s on the menu……..

  • Greek chicken bowls (lunch)
  • Sweet potato tacos
  • Slow cooker beef stew
  • Healthy orange sesame chicken

Shopping list…….

Below you will find a full shopping list for everything you’ll need to make all these meals. I separated the groceries by recipe so there are repeat ingredients. So obviously don’t buy a bottle of olive oil for every meal.


Greek Chicken Bowls

10 lunches https://greenhealthycooking.com/greek-chicken-meal-prep-bowls/#wprm-recipe-container-6571

Usually I try to keep our lunches meat free, but every now and then I will do something with chicken. This lunch was so fresh and easy to put together. I worried that it wouldn’t be filling and thought about adding a grain, but I felt satisfied after each meal. I doubled it to make 10. I love that you just put everything together in the oven. For some reason the original poster forgot to add chicken in their ingredients so I just guessed how much to use from the video they had.

Sweet Potato Tacos

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals http://mariereginato.com/home/2015/6/2/sweet-potato-tacos-with-mint-cilantro-salsa-vegan-gluten-free-dairy-free

This meal is so quick and easy to put together! I saved some time by using a store bought salsa, but the homemade salsa they have is also really good. A also added a scrambled egg just for a little something extra. Asher is a total weirdo and doesn’t like tortillas. I still always offer some to him in case he changes his mind.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.jessicagavin.com/slow-cooker-beef-stew/

I really enjoyed this stew! It was pretty simple to put together, but I think it would not be ideal for throwing together first thing in the morning. Maybe if you browned the meat and got it ready the night before and just turned it on in the morning. If I were to make it again I would definitely cut the veggies smaller. No one wants to have to cut up their soup! I served it with some bread, but it was pretty hardy on its own.

Healthy Orange Sesame Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://britneybreaksbread.com/healthy-orange-sesame-chicken/

We also had this orange chicken I posted a few months back. I love how the sauce for this dish thickens up. It really reminds me of a take out orange chicken! I served it with broccoli and rice.


Another week of yummy meals. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! If you try them out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share and enjoy!

7 Activities for the Truck/Car Enthusiast

Asher is a HUGE fan of trucks and cars. We live on a busy road and he loves to sit in the window and watch all the cars go by. He also is super excited about construction equipment. We had an excavator and dump truck come to our house to fix the road this week, he literally ate lunch in the window so he could watch them! I try to incorporate vehicles into our activities all the time. Here are 7 activities for the truck and car enthusiast!


Dirt Container + Trucks

This is the first of a two part activity, I’ll post the second part bellow. This one is so simple, and yes a bit messy. There’s just about nothing Asher enjoys more than playing in the dirt! Just add a few trucks and you have long lived entertainment. I had some extra dirt from filling our raised garden beds, so I just filled this plastic tub with it. You could definitely do this right in the garden though. The advantage to the tub is that when the activity is over, you simply pick it up and stop more mess from occurring after you are finished.

Muddy Truck Wash

The second part of this activity is a muddy truck wash. To start I just added water to one side of the tub and let asher drive his trucks all around getting them all muddy. After he got them nice and dirty I got him a bucket of soapy water (which he immediately dumped into the dirt box, so I then got him a second bucket😂) Then I showed him how to wash his trucks and got him a little scrubby. We then rinsed them off in some clean water and set them out to dry. He LOVED this activity and has asked to do it again.

Create a Car Ramp

This is a super easy activity to set up, and is always a hit. Asher loves to drive his cars down his slide, but you could easily make a ramp off the couch with some cardboard or drive them down a hill. Simple but effective.

Truck Sidewalk Paint

This is a fun and creative activity, also great for talking about colors. To make the sidewalk paint, you mix almost an even mixture of cornstarch and water, and a few drops of food coloring. You probably want to add a slightly more water so it isn’t to thick, but you want it to be thick enough that it sticks to the wheels. It will just wash away with the rain or a hose. I also brought out a couple other things to paint with, like paint brushes and pom-pom’s. Be warned this could stain your cement! The blue left a slight stain on mine, but I know eventually it will fade.

No Mess Car Squish Painting

To do this you add a paper and some paint inside a ziplock bag. Squeeze all the air out and tape it to the floor, really sealing it. Then you let your child drive their cars over it spreading the paint all around. Asher was feeling grumpy when we did this so he wasn’t willing to participate with the trucks. Which is fine! This is a good example of expectations vs. reality. He did enjoy squishing it with his hands. When you are done you can pull the paper out and let it dry. It might get a little wrinkly. You could also do this with a small canvas.

Car Rescue

This is so quick and easy to set up! You just tape down the cars and let your child have at it! I like to do it on this cutting mat because it is easy to make it up on the table and then put it on the floor when we are ready. You could also just tape right to the floor, table, or high chair. This is really great fine motor skill practice.

Bubble Trucks

This bubble foam is fun on it’s own….but by adding trucks it makes the color blending just WOW!

Ingredients….

  • 1/4 cup tear free baby soap/ bubble bath
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBSP flour*
  • Food coloring

Equipment……

  • large mixing bowl
  • hand mixer/ kitchen aid with whisk attachment

To make the bubble foam combine all the ingredients and mix until a thick foam has been created. Repeat for different colors.


I hope these activities will bring some excitement to your vehicle fanatic! I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please, like, share, and enjoy!

5/30 Meal Plan

This week I think my unintentional theme was comfort food. Sometimes life is so busy comfort food is just what the doctor ordered. This week definitely had some extra leftovers, and one meal that I put half in the freezer for an easy meal later. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Keep scrolling to see whats on the menu.

A quick recap on how this meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. One of the dinners will be vegetarian/ vegan. This is a tiny step we are taking to try and lower our impact on the planet.


What’s on the menu….

  • Greek Couscous Salad(lunch)
  • Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
  • Greek Lamb Burger
  • Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup

Shopping list…..

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list for everything on the menu. I have separated everything by recipe, so there are a few duplicates of pantry staples.


Greek Couscous Salad

10 lunches https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/greek-couscous-salad/

This was a great lunch! It is always nice to have a pasta salad, but sometimes they can feel kinda heavy. This one was nice and light. I doubled the recipe to make 10 salads. I didn’t double some of the produce items because once again 6 bell peppers seems super excessive. I did buy the packaged couscous to test that out, but I really don’t think it added much. I would just buy a package of pearled couscous and add a little olive oil, onion powder, and garlic powder. It has you leave off the dressing until you are ready to eat. I felt like the dressing could have used a bit more acid. So I would add 1/3 cup of vinegar instead of 1/4 cup.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

5 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://americanhomecook.com/chicken-pot-pie-casserole/#recipe

Chicken pot pie is easily one of my favorite foods. I crave it all the time. I really liked this recipe! It was super easy using the rotisserie chicken and store bought puff pastry. It says it takes 45 minutes to prep, but it didn’t take nearly that long. Your hands on time is really to make the filling, which is very simple. I didn’t have any white wine, and because I live in Utah it is a hassle to get to the liquor store. I substituted it for 1/3 apple juice, 1/3 white wine vinegar, 1/3 broth. The apple juice made it a little sweet but it was yummy! You basically just bake it until the crust is nice and golden. They suggest 20-25 minutes but mine took at least 10 minutes longer. Keep an eye on it yours could cook differently.

Greek Lamb Burgers

8 adult burgers, 2 toddler burgers https://giveitsomethyme.com/greek-lamb-burgers-with-avocado-tzatziki/#wprm-recipe-container-5325

We LOVE these burgers! They are juicy and have so much flavor from the herbs. Kyle’s family has a history of sheep farming so we buy a lamb every year. Out of everything we get the ground lamb is always our favorite. I highly suggest using ground lamb if you can, but ground beef would also work. This recipe says it makes 6 burgers, but that would make a pretty big burger! I split it and froze half for an easy meal later. I served these with a prepackaged salad and sweet potato fries. To make the fries I simply coat them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Then roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Slow Cooker Wile Rice Soup

6 adult meals, 3 toddler meals https://kristineskitchenblog.com/slow-cooker-wild-rice-vegetable-soup/

This was a great simple soup! I knew I was going to be gone all day so I looked for a crockpot meal so we had dinner ready when we got home. I prepped everything the night before and quickly tossed it in before I left in the morning. This one has kind of a short cooking time so I actually put it all in the instapot and set the delay cook setting. hen cooked it for 6 hours. When we got home I threw in the kale and decided it needed a little something extra. So I added the juice from 1 lemon just to give it a little kick. We served it with a yummy sour dough bread.


I hope you enjoy this weeks comforting yummy meals! I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken Stock

Do you like to eat those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store? Of course you do! They are delicious! I like to buy them for easy chicken soup or to make a chicken pot pie. Aside from making a great meal, the bones make incredible chicken stock! With a few simple steps and passive cooking time, you can ditch the store bough stock for a much more flavorful homemade version.


Ingredients…..

  • Rotisserie chicken bones + skin and whatever is left over
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Equipment…..

  • Large crockpot or stock pot
  • Storage containers/ziplock bags

Start with whatever is left from your chicken. The bones, skin, fat, whatever you might have. I like to shred the chicken off the bone as soon as I get it home because that is when it is easiest. If you aren’t ready to make the stock at that time, put the bones into the freezer until you are ready. When you are ready, toss it into your pot. I like to use a crockpot, but you could also use a large pot on your stove.

Next, roughly chop your carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Definitely rinse them off but there is no need to peel anything. Meaning go ahead and leave the skin on your onion and garlic. Also add in any fresh herbs you might have. Here I had some leftover stems from some parsley I used for another meal. Rosemary, sage, and thyme would all also be good. If I don’t have those fresh, I usually add about a TBSP of whatever dried herbs I have on hand. For this batch I added dried thyme and rosemary.

Next I add a small handful of salt, and 6-10 whole peppercorn.

Last thing is to fill it with water. I turn it on for the longest possible time. Mine has a low setting for 10 hours. You then let it do it’s thing for 3 days. Your house will soon start to smell like delicious chicken soup, and you will probably dream about it. I just check the timer a couple times a day and reset it if necessary. You may notice the water level lowering, just add more to fill it back up. If you were doing this on your stove you would bring it to a boil and then let it simmer.

When those delicious smelling 3 days are up, turn off your crockpot/stove and let the stock cool for a while before handling it. You’ll want to strain out the chicken and the veggies. You will be left with this beautiful rich golden brown stock that took almost no effort at all. I pour it into containers about a quart each and let it cool completely before I freeze it. I pull it out as I need it and it will last about 4 days in the fridge.


Crockpot Chicken Stock

Prep time: 10 minutes/ Cook time: 3 days


Ingredients…..

  • Rotisserie chicken bones + skin or whatever is left over
  • 3-4 Celery ribs
  • 3-4 Carrots
  • Onion
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • Herbs of choice, a small bunch if fresh, about 1 TBSP if dry (Rosemary, thyme, sage, and/or parsley)
  • Small handful of salt
  • 6-10 Peppercorns

Equipment…..

  • Large crockpot or stock pot
  • Storage containers/ziplock bags

Step 1- In your crockpot/stock pot add your chicken bones + whatever else you have leftover from your chicken.

Step 2- Add your roughly chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Don’t worry about peeling anything. Also add in whatever herbs you are using.

Step 3- Add your salt and pepper.

Step 4- Fill with water.

Step 5- Set your crockpot to whatever the longest setting is. Let it cook for 3 days, resetting the time when it switches to warm. I just check it a couple times a day. If the water is low, just add more. To do this on the stove, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for full cook time. Add water when necessary.

Step 6- Once the cook time is up, turn off the crockpot and let it cool until it is safe to handle. Strain the stock and package it however you like. Let it cool completely before freezing. The stock stays fresh in the refrigerator for about 4 days.


I hope you enjoy this stock recipe! In reality we should be thanking my Mom for teaching me. It’s one of the secrets to what makes all the food at my parents house taste so good (aside from the love of course😛). It is sure to add some delicious flavor to whatever you might be making too. I’d love to hear from you if you try it out! Please like, share, and enjoy!

4 Waterbead Activities

Waterbeads are my new go to activity! The small ones are ready to play with in 4-6 hours, and the large take 24-36 hours. Watching them grow is definitely interesting. Especially the large ones, they go through multiple stages before they hit their full size. . They are really satisfying to play with, nontoxic, biodegradable, and apparently reusable! I tested drying them out I’ll show the results bellow. They are really fun to play with all on there own but I wanted to come up with a few idea’s of other things that can be done with them. I also wanted to think up second use idea’s for them so you could get more than one play session out of them.


Color Sorting

This one is super simple. Set up cups or bowls for your child to sort the beads into. I wrapped construction paper around cups, but if you already had colored cups or bowls that would also be great. This would be great for slightly older kids. Asher was much more interested in squishing them.

Make it MESSY!!!

Waterbeads with a toddler ends up messy in my experience. Especially with the large ones. I figured why not make it MORE messy. I thought why not add shaving cream! It hid them and changed the sensory experience he had. He really enjoyed finding them and rinsing them off in some water. I also gave him a big spoon and he enjoyed scooping and stirring them up.

Freeze them!

After we played with the small ones I tossed them in the freezer. Ice is always a hit with Asher, but having colorful frozen squishy things was extra exciting. I gave him little buckets of water which he enjoyed pouring over them, I’m glad we did this outside because the freezing process kind of exploded the waterbeads. Once they thawed they were just squishy little piles. I just sprayed them into the grass since they are biodegradable.

Crushed Waterbead Search and Find

The large waterbeads crush really easily so I wanted to find a second use for them. I hid some plastic animals in the bottom and let Asher look for them. The crushed up beads is a different sensory experience, you’ll notice Asher couldn’t resist getting his feet in it. We also did this outside in our little IKEA sun shelter. When we were done I just shook it out into the grass.


I hope you enjoy these waterbead activities! I would love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and play!