December 29, 2015

New Year's Resolutions 2016 Edition

The new year is right around the corner. It's there, peeking around the corner, just three days away. Promises of a clean slate and what is to come beckon. No one knows what the next year is going to bring. I like to set myself up with a direction and goals for the upcoming year. Something to work on. Something to work toward. Evaluating the past year and figuring out where it is I want to go helps me grow to be a better me, as a mom, wife, blogger, daughter, friend, writer and everything else I am. Everyone is a work in progress so why not set yourself up in the right direction?

December 22, 2015

A Christmas Message

Dear lovely readers,

This holiday season has been filled with lots of baking for me. In fact, I'm actually behind on decorating and gift wrapping because of all the time that's gone into the goodies! We're still in the process of decking the halls. The stocking garland went up tonight but the stockings are still MIA. Presents are bought, but wrapping paper is still tucked away from last year. Usually, I'm done weeks in advance since I'm such a planner. Even the years I was pregnant and due at the start of the month, I had everything done beforehand, right after Thanksgiving. This is the first year I'm behind. All that's been going on with M2 (more coming soon), my being sick (more on this coming soon, too), the baking and general life have conspired to keep me from getting my act together.

One tradition we've started in our family this year isn't behind schedule. All over Facebook, that little Elf on the Shelf guy has been making an appearance. He simply isn't a fit for our family. Instead, M2 and B have been getting a mini-board book each day that is part of a larger set. All together, the books tell the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

December 21, 2015

Best-Ever Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Every year, the peanut butter blossom cookies I bake are a huge hit. No matter how many dozens I make, it's never enough. The peanut buttery cookies topped with a chocolate kiss simply vanish as if by magic, quicker than Santa pops down the chimney to deliver Christmas gifts. If I should dare to set a peanut butter blossom out on Santa's treat plate, a quick hand snatches it up before the kids are even nestled all snug in their beds. Poor Santa. Maybe one year he'll get lucky enough to try one.

If you'd like to whip up a batch for him at your house (or just enjoy them yourself) here's the simple yet scrumptious recipe. My recipe is a bit different from the rest I've seen as it has more peanut butter and vanilla but less salt. It gives the cookies a richer, more peanut buttery taste. Be sure to get extra chocolate kisses when you make these. I guarantee you some of those are going to "disappear" while you're baking if your house is anything like mine.

December 16, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies

If you've ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, you most likely remember the awesome gingerbread cookies that are sold in the little shop behind Raleigh Tavern. To me, they are all that gingerbread should be. The perfect blend of spices, aroma and texture in a cookie that screams "Christmas" yet is too good not to eat all year long. My recipe is inspired by these delightful cookies.

colonial williamsburg, gingerbread, gingerbread cookies

These cookies bring back great memories of Colonial Williamsburg for me. It's one of my absolute favorite places. The old houses, architecture, gardens, shops, costumes and decorations are amazing to see. I love stepping back in time to see what our country was once like. You can't help but feel like you're stepping back in time when you're there! The various taverns have some good food and drinks, too. The gingerbread cookies are one of my first stops on visits. I'm always sure to get extras to bring home. I don't make it there very often though, so with this recipe I make my own at home!

December 11, 2015

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Specials

Snickerdoodles are one of my absolute favorite kinds of cookies. My recipe creates the best ever, soft chewy, snickerdoodles.

The ones that are soft and chewy are the absolute best. I'm not one for crunchy, hard cookies, especially when it comes to my snickerdoodles! These tasty treats are good to eat at any time of the year.

I'm an absolute sucker for almost anything cinnamon. I've made these classic cookies so many times over the years and finally have the perfect recipe for them. I add a special, secret ingredient to my recipe. It makes them even tastier and more wonderful.

snickerdoodle, snickerdoodles, cookies, recipe,

December 9, 2015

DIY Holiday Snow Globes

It's getting down to the wire for deciding what to have the kiddos give Grandma and Grandpa or Great-Aunt Rita for the holidays. The hand print ornament is always a hit, but we did that last year. Why not make something festive that's a bit different -- a snow globe! Guest poster Laurie is here to show you how to make them.

Snow globes are a great inexpensive craft project that can be personalized however you'd like. Silly and fun with a plastic elephant and horse or take a classic Christmas route with plastic ornament balls. Even a couple pieces of that old fake tree from the basement can make a really cute snow globe.

Christmas, snow globe, craft, snowglobe, holiday, homemade gift, gift, kids

December 7, 2015

Meltaway Spritz Butter Cookies

Baking cookies one of my most-loved holiday traditions. Every year, I spend hours pouring over recipes I've made before along with new ones deciding what I should make for the holiday season. This year, I'm making seven different kinds. The first ones I made are meltaway spritz butter cookies from a recipe I created myself.

These little gems are a twist on the classic spritz cookie. I looked at recipes for classic spritz cookies to used as my base, poured over meltaway and butter cookie recipes, then picked out what parts of each I liked best. The goal was to have the best parts of each come through in this cookie. Finally, working with a baker friend of mine, I figured out what elements would work well together so I wouldn't be left with something hard or mushy.

In the end, I had an amazingly tasty hybrid cookie that melts in your mouth, reminds you of the spritz your grandma used to make and brings to mind a delicate butter cookie -- all in the same delicious bite.There really is nothing like them that I've ever had before! Anyone else who has tried them said the cookies are amazing and that they were eaten way too quickly.

Other Cookie Recipes
Check out these other great cookie recipes:
Soft and chewy butterscotch & chocolate chip cookies
Soft and chewy snickerdoodle specials
Colonial Williamsburg Gingerbread Cookies
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies (Coming soon!)
Best-Ever Peanut Butter Blossoms

December 2, 2015

How to Keep Your Home Toasty and Utility Bills Low

One of my least favorite things about winter is getting freezing cold feet. The floors are always so cold! I pile on socks and slippers when really, I'd prefer to be barefoot. Another of my least favorite things about winter is the heating bill. Our bill more than doubles trying to keep the house warm enough, even though we all wear heavier clothes. I dream of a cozy house without the chill and of toasty warm feet while I watch the snow gently fall outside. It's the ideal winter dream, truly! Now, my dream can become reality.

November 30, 2015

Holiday Bucket List on a Budget

Around the holidays, there are so many fun activities to do with the family. This season, our budget is tighter than before to spend on special events and outings. I know many families are in similar positions as well. To help us all out, I've created a holiday bucket list of 13 activities to do for free or just a few dollars. I'm so looking forward to doing each one with M2 and B so that we can create all kinds of awesome holiday memories together!

For simple tips on how to save on holiday spending, check out this post.

November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

To spend more time with family and friends who are visiting from out of town, I'm taking this week off from the blog. You'll still see me some on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so be sure to follow me there (I'm such a social media addict). Before I go, I want to share a special Thanksgiving post with you.

happy, thanksgiving, happy thanksgiving

Last year on Thanksgiving, I was still pregnant with baby B and my mother was in town to celebrate with us. Measuring 4 weeks ahead, I was huge. Baby B is approaching his first birthday rapidly. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. The year before, we spent the holiday with A's family out of state. Usually, we don't travel for Thanksgiving. I'm glad we did that year. We didn't know at the time, but would be the last time we'd see his mother. She passed away soon after from cancer. Three years ago, I was pregnant with M2. Five years ago, A and I were celebrating our first Thanksgiving as a married couple with his brothers. Over 15 years ago, Thanksgiving would be the last time I saw my aunt before she passed away in December. My parents, sister and I enjoyed turkey and all the fixing with extended family as my aunt was too sick to leave her bed. My grandmother was born around Thanksgiving as well. So many things have happened around Thanksgiving for our family, including those special last memories of loved ones. It's a time of both celebration and remembrance for me. I give thanks for my family, friends and for all those who have touched my life. All leave a footprint on my heart.

This year, so much has changed for my family. I give thanks for having a diagnosis for M2. For getting through despite new financial strain. For all the progress that's been made in getting her help. For baby B growing so big and strong. For 5 years of marriage to A. For our home and all the other many blessings we have.

So much has changed in the world as well. We face uncertain times in our country and across the globe. I am thankful for all the military personnel, many of whom won't be home with their own families for the holiday, who fight to protect us all.

As for you, my dear readers, I wish you all a wonderful holiday with friends and family. I wish you a day of peace and celebration for all which you are grateful. I am thankful for you all.
Thanksgiving, holiday, blessing, wish, celebrate, happy, happy thanksgiving

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November 20, 2015

17 Tips to Avoid Holiday Overspending Regret

Holiday shopping is here again. The wondrous time of year when your wallet takes a big hit and your budget is be blown if you're not careful with holiday spending. For us this year, finances are tighter than ever before so I have to be even more aware of what is being spent. Being a savvy shopper can mean the difference between paying the mortgage and putting food on the table come January or sitting there on New Year's Day saying, "What have I done??" while looking at a mound of credit card bills. Here are 17 easy tips to help you avoid Holiday Overspending Regret Syndrome come the new year. In case you haven't seen it already, check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Kids that is all items $20 and under. It'll help you stay on budget this year, too.

November 16, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids for $20 and Under

Today's post is co-written by guest-poster Laurie.

It's that time of year again! No, not just groaning at having to let your belt out another notch. What to get the kids in your life without breaking the bank or the budget you set earlier in the year! It seems like there are so many pricey toys and electronics popping up all over commercials. Going to the store doesn't help us get ideas. For Laurie, it makes her more frustrated because her almost 5-year-old daughter still wants that overpriced Minnie Mouse shopping cart that she outgrew 2 years ago. For Melissa, she has a hard time deciding what to get because M2 isn't talking much and doesn't play with toys the same way most kids do. Both of us need to be very careful with spending this year, too, so we can't go crazy on overly expensive gifts.

If any of that sounds like you, here's something to help you out: A holiday gift guide for every age from baby through teens. It's sorted by age and includes a number of suggestions for each age. Even better, all the gifts $20 or under on Amazon. You don't even need to brave the stores, crowds and traffic to shop -- everything is delivered right to your door! Get free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime. Try Prime free for 30 days when you click here (affiliate).

Even if a particular item on the list doesn't sound like the perfect fit it's my hope it sparks the image of the perfect present to pop into your head.

Be sure to check out Melissa's tips on how to avoid Holiday Overspending Regret. Now, without further ado, here's The Stay-At-Home Life's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids. Happy gifting!

holiday, gifts, gift guide, presents, kids, budget, $20, $20 gifts, gifts for kids, kids gifts

November 12, 2015

Dear Self: You're Good Enough

Since M2's diagnosis, we've had so much going on around here. Life has recently taken another turn that's had us getting used to a new normal. At the advice of her current therapists, I started the process to get her an EDCD Medicaid waiver in order to get an in-home aide to help out with her. I struggled with the decision to get the waiver and an aide. I struggled with whether or not I was a good enough mom because I needed help with her.

November 8, 2015

Wading Through Motherhood Remembered

Earlier this week when I was visiting one of my mommy  blogger Facebook groups I came across a post I wasn't expecting to see. One of my fellow mommy bloggers, Melissa Matters from Wading Through Motherhood, passed away suddenly. She leaves behind a husband and two young children. Just a few days before, she had been blogging and posting on her Facebook page. In a matter of hours, she went from sharing cute pictures of her children to her children not having a mother any longer. Her kids didn't know that day that it was the last hug they'd get from mommy. Her husband didn't know it was the last time he'd hear her voice. Her death was completely unexpected and surprising. She wasn't old. She wasn't sick. There were no warning signs.

In remembrance of Melissa, in the Broadway tradition of dimming the lights, I'll be going dark here on the blog until Thursday. First, I want to honor her memory with a blog post.

November 5, 2015

Non-Messy Painting Crafts for Kids

Painting projects are a great way to make gifts for the holidays and to do fun every-day art. M2 has been using hers to make Christmas presents for her grandparents. She picked out a few wood frames at the craft store which she's painting herself. Once she's done, all I need to do is put in a picture of her and baby B to finish it off. The grandparents get an awesome personalized gift she made herself that they will love, she enjoyed making and that doesn't break the gift budget for me. For a fun fall craft, I let M2 paint a mini pumpkin and a wood cut out of a ghost as well.

M2 loves making these crafts and it helps her to learn colors and fine motor skills. But with a young kid paint can be a nightmare. It ends up all over the floor, clothes, the painter and sometimes even the walls. Basically, nothing in a 5-foot radius is safe when a young kid wields a paintbrush. With regular paint, I have to be right with her and watch every second or there is mess everywhere. Regular paints also lead to a long production of having to find brushes, plates to put the paint on, covering the table, covering M2, then cleaning the table, M2, brushes, and anything else the paint coats (most often the chair she sits in). She usually ends up staining her clothes as well. With the mini pumpkin, I'd been wanting to let her do it but dreaded having paint dripping off the pumpkin and all over everything. Kwik Stix has been an awesome solution to all these problems.

November 2, 2015

Marriage: The Changes 5 Years Bring

A and I are celebrating five years of marriage this month. Looking back, I am amazed at how much our lives have changed in that relatively short time. We've been through pretty much every life-changing event at least once since we got married.

We started out the life changes with our wedding at an old inn up in the mountains of Virginia. The autumn colors are beautiful there. The ceremony was outdoors overlooking water and all the gorgeous colors. Originally, we were thinking of getting married in May. That changed once we both realized that time of year is already hot and we both aren't fans of the heat. The only thing that had been keeping us from getting married in the fall was that we thought it would be too soon. We had also yet to find a wedding location that had all the charm, history, uniqueness and beauty we wanted.

I stumbled upon the venue while searching online and found that they would do most of the work for us. All we'd need to do is tell them what we like, help make some choices, test out cakes, pick a caterer, figure out special touches, and they'd take it from there. There was even an entire bed and breakfast for us, our officiant and our parents (on another floor!) to stay at for the weekend. How could we pass that up?! I've always adored historic locations and wanted an outdoor wedding with the reception indoors, so it was perfect!

Both A and I have the same favorite colors, purple and blue, so our color scheme was deep blue and purple to match up with fall. Hearts completed our theme. A water fountain provided added backdrop for the ceremony. Roaring fireplaces warded off the chill during the reception. Tons of music was incorporated for the whole day. If there was an opportunity to work in a song, I took it. And the cake was amazing! Our day was small and intimate with about 30 guests. Neither of us wanted something huge.

The next morning, we had a delicious breakfast back at the venue with family and close friends. After, we took off to finally have some time alone to relax after all the craziness that is a wedding. We honeymooned in a log cabin with a hot tub out in the middle of nature, toured wineries, spent a few more days at an old bed and breakfast buried in the woods, toured historic places, sat together by the fire, and just enjoyed our time together.

Two years later, after a long time of trying, M2 joined us. Life change number two! Her eventual autism spectrum disorder is another life change we're still coming to grips with. After she was born, we decided that we needed to make big changes in our lives. Where we were living no longer made us happy. The major metro area was sucking the life out of us with the cost of living, crowds, stress, jobs whose commute gave us little choice of where to live because they were so far apart, crazy traffic and stressful lifestyle. With all those combined, I realized I'd have little time to spend with M2 or even A as our work schedules didn't match up. M2 would rarely have her whole family together. We'd also be spending almost all my salary on daycare and living in a townhouse we hated. For us, it wasn't worth it.

Moving across the state and moving farther north were both considered. In the end, we came to the conclusion that the way to go was moving across the state to be out in the country where life was slower, the skies were open, views were majestic, traffic was less insane, crowds weren't boxing us in, we'd be able to own a home, M2 would have a yard to play in and we'd have plenty of family time.

The move led to the next major life change -- my career. I went from an office job as a writer and editor with a health care company to working for myself. Having the flexibility to set my own schedule and work around my life, rather than having my life around work, has been amazing. It's meant I get to see my children grow up and don't feel like I'm missing out on what's important in life.

That takes us to another life change -- Baby 2 joined our family almost a year ago. Seeing him grow has been amazing. He is so different from M2. Growing up, I had a sister and no brothers so my experience with boys is limited. I'm learning fast with this guy and loving every minute of it! He is an amazing little guy.

All of these changes have been stressful for us and for our marriage. Life changes have a habit of being like that. Not all the changes were happy ones, though. Almost a year before Baby B was born, we lost A's mom on Christmas. She was diagnosed with cancer just before Thanksgiving. Neither of us expected to lose her so quickly. Baby B is named in her honor. M2 likely won't remember her, but at least we have pictures of her with A's mom that she'll be able to see when she's older. This year, A's job changed unexpectedly which has created stress and uncertainty in other ways.

What all these changes have shown me the past five years of marriage is that you never truly know where life will take you. My life isn't the same as I'd imagined it'd be five years ago when I first took my wedding vows. Life and marriage won't always be easy. It won't always be fun. Both will give you great memories and experiences, if you allow it to happen. As any couple does, especially with so many major life events happening in a few years, we've had our ups and downs. No person or marriage is perfect. We've stuck together though, worked through the downs and enjoyed the ups. Marriage isn't about a fairy tale wedding. Heck, it's not a fairy tale at all. It's the day-to-day, year-to-year, everyday life and commitment to each other that makes a marriage what it is. I'm glad that A and I started this life together up in the mountains as the crisp fall air was around us and the trees showered down red, gold and brown leaves onto the lake glistening in front of us.

Through everything, I've learned how important it is to have someone you can count on taking this ride with you. Having someone else by your side makes all those ups and down easier and more enjoyable. It makes life richer. The future brighter and more exciting. I'm looking forward to many more years together, memories to create and anniversaries to celebrate.

If you enjoyed this post, please vote for me by clicking the pink Top Mommy Blogs button below, then the big orange button that comes up on the next page to cast the vote. Thank you!

This post was featured in the March Marriage Challenge. Check out all the other posts from other awesome bloggers.

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October 29, 2015

Helping Kids Learn through Texting

It's no secret that kids today rely on technology. For everything. Smartphones and texting are what draw and keep their attention. So why not use that to your advantage to help your child learn? With Prepcube eLearning Solution, kids from fourth grade through high school can sign up to get get daily text messages that help them learn and prepare for upcoming tests. Prepcube is a text-based study platform with educational content created to embrace kids' love of texting, rather than letting them be distracted by it. Designed by tutors, the texts cover common core ELA and math for grades 4 through 8 and prepare kids in grades 9 through 12 for the SAT, ACT and SHSAT. (Don't miss the coupon code at the bottom of the post!)

October 23, 2015

Spiced Apple Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Buttercream Frosting

It's no secret that I love baking cakes (especially this spiced apple cake with cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting). Of all the cooking and baking I do, cakes are my favorite to create. I'd bake them more often if it didn't mean I'd have to eat it! Cake baking is reserved for special occasions and for when we're having company or going somewhere. That way, I have others to help make it disappear. A few weeks ago, we had family visiting so I took the opportunity to try a new cake and frosting. After much thought, the spiced apple cake with cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting was born. Speaking of born, today is my sister's birthday. Since she lives far away, I'm sharing this recipe today in her honor, as a virtual birthday cake.

My goal was something that was light, appley and spicey, without being too overwhelming, sweet yet not too sweet, and that screamed autumn. What I wanted was in my head so I looked at a few recipes to get an idea of what I wanted to do. Nothing matched what I imagined my cake to be, so I threw various things together and came up with this spiced apple cake. Buttercreams I always create off the top of my head (consulting with a baker friend of mine), using the basic butter/confectioners sugar/milk base. I kept it as a single layer because having a filling would make the cake too sweet and rich. The cinnamon gives the frosting a nice brown color that works well with orange sprinkles to give it the look of fall. When all is said and done, you get a spiced apple cake that isn't too heavy or cloying, has just the right amount of apple, tastes amazing, and a cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting that tops it off beautifully (and could be eaten by the spoonful itself).

Fall Recipe Week
All week I'm introducing you to easy, tasty recipes that are perfect for fall. Stop by each day for a new recipe: easy chicken pot pie, rosemary & garlic pork chops with cranberry quinoa, best-ever apple crisp, and homemade cinnamon applesauce. I'm also sharing a roundup of yummy autumn recipes from other bloggers.

October 22, 2015

10 Tasty Fall Recipes

As part of Fall Recipe Week, I'm sharing 10 tasty recipes from some of my fellow bloggers. Rounded up from across the web, these recipes look delicious and give you ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!

Fall Recipe Week
All week I'm introducing you to easy, tasty recipes that are perfect for fall. Stop by each day for a new recipe: easy chicken pot pie, rosemary & garlic pork chops with cranberry quinoa, best-ever apple crisp, spiced apple cake with cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting, and homemade cinnamon applesauce.

October 21, 2015

How to Easily Remove Melted Crayon from Clothes

It's something every mom fears because we know at some point it is going to happen to us. There's no avoiding it. You're doing laundry, load after load. You're feeling good, the end to this laundry madness is in sight. Then you open the dryer and see crayon all over the inside. The huge load of kid clothes you just washed is now polka dotted and striped in the shade of whatever crayon your child snuck into a pocket and you missed when sorting. The crayon isn't just chunks, it's melted in.

This was my weekend laundry fiasco when M2 stuffed a red and a yellow crayon into the pocket of a pair of pants. I hadn't ever even realized those tiny pockets were real, I thought they were decoration! The entire large load of her new fall and winter clothes, towels and blankets looked like McDonald's had thrown up all over them. I was freaking out. M2's must-have-or-she-screams blankets were casualties as well. There's no way we could afford to replace everything.

Don't miss the giveaway at the end of the post!

Best-Ever Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is a must-have dessert for fall. The tastiness of the spiced apples, brown sugary, buttery oatmeal crumble goodness on top. Vanilla ice cream plopped on top of a hot slice, melting into the crisp to make it taste even better. Even cold, an apple crisp delights the senses and screams fall. What would Fall Recipe Week be without it?

I have spent years (no joke) perfecting my apple crisp recipe. When the crisp doesn't have enough spices, the topping is to crunchy or browns too much while baking or it is too mushy rather than having the signature crisp the dessert should, it just doesn't taste as good. I want my crumbly topping to be crisp yet chewy with just the right amount of spices. The apples should be soft without being mushy but not too hard either and they need the right blend of sugar and spices so they're not too bland or too over powering. This recipe is the perfect balance -- hence why it is the Best-Ever Apple Crisp. I actually came upon it through accidentally leaving out the flour I usually use. That and the use of ginger along with melting half the butter are my secrets to apple crisp success. It's incredibly easy to make, too!

Fall Recipe Week
All week I'm introducing you to easy, tasty recipes that are perfect for fall. Stop by each day for a new recipe: easy chicken pot pie, rosemary & garlic pork chops with cranberry quinoa, spiced apple cake with cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting, and homemade cinnamon applesauce. I'm also sharing a roundup of yummy autumn recipes from other bloggers.

October 20, 2015

Rosemary & Garlic Pork Chops with Cranberry Quinoa

Pork chops are a quick and easy weeknight dinner that tastes even better in the fall with homemade cinnamon applesauce to go on top.The rosemary, garlic and cinnamon compliment each other nicely to bring out each flavor. Rather than going with the traditional rice or potatoes, I like to put quinoa with pork chops. To dress the side dish up for fall and make it extra tasty, I make a cranberry version. (This would be a great Thanksgiving side as well!) A side salad finishes off the meal nicely. When all is said and done, you end up with a dinner that looks and tastes fancier than it really is. Stop back Monday for my homemade cinnamon applesauce recipe to really bring this dish together.

Fall Recipe Week
All week I'm introducing you to easy, tasty recipes that are perfect for fall. Stop by each day so you don't miss out on learning how to make my easy chicken pot pie, best-ever apple crisp, spiced apple cake with cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting, and homemade cinnamon applesauce. I'm also sharing a roundup of yummy autumn recipes from other bloggers.

October 19, 2015

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is one of my favorite fall entrees so it is perfect for the first recipe of Fall Recipe Week here on The SAH Life. It's one of those dishes that bring back memories of childhood and simpler times. I have always loved pot pies. The flaky crust, delicious mix of chicken and vegetables all coated in a yummy gravy. Whenever I make one, I feel like I'm joining June Clever in the kitchen. To me, it's a quintessentially American dish. The Irish have their delicious shepherd's pie (another of my favorites), the English have their meat pasties and over on this side of the pond we have our chicken pot pies.

While it may look complicated to make, it's actually an easy classic meal to make. On brisk, chill autumn evenings or in the cold of winter, this chicken pot pie is sure to warm up the whole family and leave everyone smiling. The Beav might show up for a slice it's so good.

Fall Recipe Week
All week I'm introducing you to easy, tasty recipes that are perfect for fall. Stop by each day so you don't miss out on learning how to make my rosemary and garlic pork chops with cranberry quinoa, best-ever apple crisp, spiced apple cake with cinnamon sugar buttercream frosting, and homemade cinnamon applesauce. I'm also sharing a roundup of yummy autumn recipes.

October 15, 2015

Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken & Rice Soup

While I love this recipe for chicken noodle soup, sometimes I just want an easy, throw-it-all-together-and-let-it-go slow cooker version. Changing it up by having rice instead of noodles and using different spices for the broth also make the hearty chicken and rice soup recipe a bit different yet oh-so-tasty. It's perfect for cold weather when you want something filling that doesn't take much time or effort to put together. When you're sick like my family has been this week, it comes in handy again. You'll notice I don't say to peel the potatoes. Not peeling them cuts down on prep time and leaves in the helpful vitamins and minerals found in the skins.

October 12, 2015

Fall Craft Week: All the Posts Together

In case you missed any of the posts from Fall Craft Week, here are all the links so you can find them easily. I've included links to each on Pinterest so you can pin them for later.

Pumpkin, Leaf & Acorn Fall Craft and Homeschool Lesson


20 Fall and Halloween Crafts for Kids


Halloween Hand, Foot & Thumb Print Art


Welcome, Fall Wooden Sign Craft


15 Fall Crafts for Moms


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October 10, 2015

Halloween Hand, Foot & Thumb Print Art

My inspiration for this craft is two things: Kid's love of getting messy, coating their hands and feet in paint and goo. Kids grow so fast, their little hands and feet grow bigger every day. As a mom, I try to capture that each year so that the next year I can see how much they've grown and remember how little they were. This Halloween craft captures your child's hand, foot and thumb prints together in art you can your home with for years to remind you of the times that came before. Their adorable handprint becomes a tree, thumbprints a pumpkin patch and footprint a ghost!

Fall Craft Week
For more fun seasonal crafts for kids, check out my Pumpkin, Leaf & Acorn Fall Craft and Homeschool Lesson, adorable Welcome, Fall Wooden Sign, a roundup of 20 crafts for kids. If you're looking for crafts just for you, check out my roundup of 15 Crafts for Moms. It's all part of Fall Craft Week here on The SAH Life!