Taco Pie

When it comes to weeknight meals I’m all about fast & easy recipes!  This week I found a winner!

Taco Pie!

image (4)

Ingredients:
1 tube of crescent rolls

1 lb of ground beef

2 tablespoons of taco seasoning

3/4 cup salsa

can of black beans

can of corn

shredded cheese (any kind will do-I used Mexican)

1.) Spray pie pan and line with crescent rolls.

2.) Brown meat, add seasoning & salsa, and let simmer 5 minutes. Add corn & black beans to mixture.  (I like to prep all my meats the night before so I’m not starting the whole cooking process when I get home with both babes at 5:30 pm!) So when I made this meal I just pulled out my meat mixture from the fridge and was ready to go!

3.) Pour mixture in pie pan & top with cheese! (The original recipe I adapted this from didn’t have the corn/black beans so there will be some extra! I usually freeze for an easy nacho topping!)

4.) Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Edges should be brown! Top with sour cream & salsa!

Advertisements

You’re my main SQUEEZE

IMG_8964

Love is in the air. I cannot believe that Valentine’s Day is here! My daughter is 20 months and goes to daycare. This year I didn’t want to send candy.  Instead I decided to think of an alternative since there are other babes there that are too young for candy.

Squeeze Pouches!

image (2)

Both my babes love them and started eating them around 9 months. I thought it was a perfect treat for all ages at daycare!

image (3)

Best part about it? I literally put these together on my lunch hour this week.

Supplies:

Valentine ribbon & Clear plastic bags (Michaels)

Printed Cards (Walgreens)

Squeeze pouches (Sam’s Club)

IMG_1018

Obviously my 20 month old isn’t old enough to be addressing Valentine’s so I used my favorite app, A Beautiful Mess to create just what I was looking for! I sent the photo to Walgreens via their app (made sure to use a coupon code) and my cards were ready in under an hour! Here are some options if you want to steal one of my designs!

Love these!? Stay tuned for a post about my son’s non-candy Valentines later this week!

Car Seat Ponchos! Keeping babes warm, safe, AND cute!

image (1)

Winter is FULL force here in Michigan!  Just the other day we got over a foot of snow!! But it didn’t stop me from getting out and about with the babes!  We brave the snow daily and I wanted to take a minute to share my latest lifesaver which is also a fashion find!

CAR SEAT PONCHOS!

1422638986

Did you know that bulky jackets are NOT supposed to be worn while your babe is in a car seat?  I’m no car seat expert, but I’ve read enough horror stories to take car seat safety serious. Don’t take my word for it, read more about the dangers of fluff in the carseat here.  In the past I have had the babes take their jackets off before I buckle them in and then put them back on when we exit the car. It’s super time consuming especially when we are making multiple stops!

Luckily Birdy Boutique saved me the hassle this year and provided me with carseat ponchos that can be worn in and out of the car! Once I found out about these ponchos I did a little more research on keeping kids safe and warm and realized that the poncho is the best of both worlds!

The ponchos from Birdy Boutique are all handmade and are double sided with two designs! They are almost a full blanket to keep your babes warm in infant carriers and in convertible seats. They can be worn in and out of the car making the winter much easier to handle. Not only are they super practical, but they are super cute too! Birdy Boutique offers several different options to give you the exact look you want; bowties for boys and lace or ribbon for girls!

IMG_0911

What are you waiting for? Run to Birdy Boutique and get a poncho. Don’t spend another winter day without one!

Making the Most of Mini-Sessions

ABM_1416760277

A few weeks back my family had our first ever mini-photo session.  As the name sounds it’s similar to a regular photo session just smaller.  A lot of photographers offer this type of session around the holidays to make the most of their time.  The photographer chooses a location, sets up shop for the day, and schedules photo shoots in short increments.  This seemed like a perfect chance for us to get some photos taken for our Christmas card without breaking the bank!  Like I said before this was our first time doing a “mini” shoot.  I prepared as best as I could, but looking back there are some things I would have done differently. So here goes… my TIPS & TRICKS to making the most of a mini-session.

-Get to your location EARLY!!  We got to ours with just minutes to spare. With a typical photo session you have time for the kids to run around, loosen up, and get comfortable with the photographer.  That’s not the case with a mini session.  We had a total of 30 minutes with our photographer and about 15 of them were spent coaxing my son to smile. See below… this was one of our first shots. NOOOO smiles for these two!

ABM_1416768536 (1)

-Bring a few props!  The photographer we used rented a couch for the day so I knew all the other families getting photos that day \would have the same ones as us.  I brought a mistletoe and we grabbed a branch nearby to add something different to our pics.  Looking back I wish I would have brought an extra blanket to add to our pictures as well!

IMG_2055

 

-Let your kids hold something.  My kids were definitely stressed that day! We spent forever reasoning with my son and so my daughter became crabby in the meantime.  Luckily the photographer had a “fake” snowball and it was just was my daughter needed to sit still.

IMG_2035-2

 

…and a few more for your viewing pleasure!  All photos by Luna Signature Photography. Thanks Aleksandra!

IMG_2011-2

IMG_2123

Finally got him smiling by the end!

IMG_2100

 

 

Cheesy Sausage Tortellini

ABM_1415646129

I’m about to make a pretty big promise here but……this recipe will change your life. Seriously.

Tis the season for comfort foods and crazy schedules.  I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do during the holiday craziness is worry about preparing lengthy meals. Not to mention the clean up after them. I have made this recipe in the past without the sausage and it was just “ok”. But I made it this past week and my husband (the one who comes from a large Italian family and is super critical of my cooking) told me this was probably one of the best meals he’s ever had. One of the best parts? There are 5 ingredients. That’s it!

ABM_1415646328

Can you tell I shop at Kroger? Gotta get them fuel points. 😉

Ingredients:

1 block of cream cheese

2 cans of diced tomatoes

32 oz of chicken broth

1 bag of frozen tortellini

1 lb of ground sausage

(I was lucky enough to find it out of the casings but you can use regular sausage too, just take them out of the casing before cooking)

To Make:
1. Brown your sausage.  While its cooking cut your cream cheese into small cubes.

2. Add ALL ingredients to your crock pot. I usually drain one of the cans of tomatoes and use the juice from the other. Give everything a good stir.

3. Cook on low for 4 hours.  Remove the cover for the last hour to thicken the sauce if you would like.

4.  Serve with parmesean cheese on top and enjoy!

ABM_1415646234

ABM_1415646283

I’m all about saving time so I keep enough supplies on hand to make a few of these.  When I am browning the sausage I like to make 2 or 3 pounds at a time and freeze them in one pound servings. That way I can easily thaw one out and throw this in my crock!!

Also, the 4 hour cook time is pretty short for those that work outside the home. I either make this on the weekend OR cook it as soon as I get home.  6-10pm and it makes a great lunch  and dinner for the next day!

ABM_1415646129

 

Get your craft on.

ABM_1413479902

I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that I like to accessorize my babes.  We have more headbands than I even know what to do with but somehow I always need more.  You know what else we have a ton of?  Clothes that no longer fit.  Since my hot glue gun is always ready to be fired up I decided to try my hand at making my little miss a headband.  It was late and I didn’t feel like going to a fabric store, so I decided to repurpose some of my favorite clothes to make headbands!! You may have seen my previous post about making hairbows from old clothing.  Buttttt that involves a little bit of sewing. I wanted something simple so I went for rosettes!

I transformed these two skirts into a fab headband!

IMG_20141016_131129IMG_20141016_131514

For those that don’t know how to make a fabric rosette I’m going to break it down for you.  It’s beyond simple.  All you need is a strip of fabric and a hot glue gun.  Cut your fabric into a strip between 2 and 3 inches and fold it in half lengthwise.  Tie the end in a knot to make you center/starting point.

IMG_20141016_131245

IMG_20141016_131317

Next, start twisting and rolling your fabric around the center. You can leave the “tail” of your know on the underside.

IMG_20141016_131347

Add a dab of hot glue to the side every few turns to hold your rosette in place.

IMG_20141016_131347IMG_20141016_131411

When you are happy with the size simply finish by gluing the bottom piece to the bottom of the rosette!!!

I added a simple flower I had on stash and put them on plain white elastic!

IMG_20141016_131441

What do you think!?!?!? I am in LOVE!  …. and it didn’t cost me anything!  Go ahead, get your craft on!

IMG_20141016_105636IMG_20141016_105305

H&M {The Best Place for Toddler Clothes}

Do you shop at H&M?

ABM_1412274101

I dress my kids like mini adults. But, it’s incredibly hard to find the styles that I like at the price I like.  So many stores price toddler clothes WAY out of my budget.  Luckily I came across H&M. Most of the time I can find the styles that I like for less money than heading to Carters or Target.  No joke.  Check out these prices on cardigans & dresses!

 IMG_20141002_142623 IMG_20141002_142652

This is a dress I recently got for my little lady; $5.95!

IMG_20141002_112338

The little man stuff is my absolute favorite!

IMG_20141002_112525Cardigans for $9.95!?

IMG_20141002_112549

I think my son likes their clothes as well!

IMG_20141001_203433

Best kept secret about shopping at H&M?  Most locations accept clothing donations and for each bag you donate will give you a coupon worth 15% off your entire order!  Add that to their already low prices and OMG what steals!!!  My most recent coupon was good until August 2015! What are you waiting for?  Head to H&M!

IMG_20140901_085242

 **all opinions are my own.  I was not compensated to write this post.

Mom Hair, Don’t Care

OK I need to set the record straight.

My hubs refers to my new, short hair as “mom hair”. Because, you know, all mom’s have short hair.  There’s definitely a frumpy stereotype associated with mom hair, but to me, mom hair has a whole new meaning.

   IMG_20140518_180054

You see, when I had long hair this was my routine; I would spend forever blow drying it, flat ironing it, teasing it, and then 10 minutes later when ALL my volume was gone and my hair looked flat, up it went into a pony tail.  Which made me feel frumpy and disheveled. I was wasting all that time to just end up with a pony tail. I wanted to look put together at all times and a pony tail wasn’t cutting it.

IMG_20140607_114500

FINALLY I took the plunge almost 6 months ago and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.  Not only do I now get amazing volume, but my style stays ALL DAY.  I can work all day, play at the park, take a trip to Target and still have the style that I left the house with at 6:30 am.  Best part about it, it NEVER ends up in a pony tail.

Now, that is what I call Mom hair!

What do you think!?!  Before and After!

export

Ironing…. Ain’t nobody got time for that

I was a boy mom first.  Most days my son wore plaid shorts and a tee-shirt or a button down with a sweater and some jeans.  It was simple; he wore his clothes, I threw them in the wash, dried them, folded them (when I got around to it), and everything was dandy.  Fast forward to having a girl…  She has more ruffles and bows attached to her clothing than I know what to do with!! I tried washing and drying her clothes in the same carefree manner and nothing looked right.  Intead of ruffles laying just so and bows looking just right, they stuck out ALL WRONG and needed to be IRONED before every wear.  Ironing might have been my mom and my grandma’s favorite household chore, but as for me, it isn’t happening.  I loathe ironing.  I don’t iron my husband’s shirts, I don’t iron my own work clothes, so I will certainly NOT be ironing my baby’s dresses.  Sorry, girl.

In the dryer THIS is how her dresses were looking…ruffles every where and bows obviously not in the same condition as when I first bought the dress.

IMAG7347

Instead of ironing, I started hanging all of her dresses to dry.  Once they come out of the wash, I immediately straighten out the ruffles to lay flat, and hang to dry.  It’s that simple, and look how nice they turn out!  You can really tell a difference on the dress on the far left.

IMAG7341

A little comparison too:

ABM_1398707052

As for the dresses with  bows… I lay them flat to dry and neatly arrange the bow how it should lay while its wet.

IMG_20140428_142515

ABM_1398706855
The results? Perfect ruffles and bows.