Thursday, July 18, 2013

Homemade Enchiladas with Red Sauce

I usually make this recipe with frozen burritos. They were so easy and the perfect go to meal when I was busy. Now that I have some more time on my hands I am able to make things better. The sauce is amazing and can be used for other types of enchiladas.

Ingredients for the burritos:
Tortillas (corn or flour)
1 can refried beans
1 can diced green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
salt to taste

Mix the beans, chilies, cheese, taco seasoning and salt together in a bowl. Heat tortillas up so they're pliable. If using corn tortillas you will want to double them up. While the tortillas are warm, fill the tortilla with 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture, until the desired amount is on them. Roll the flour tortillas up until a burrito. If using corn tortillas, just fold them in half. Put the finished burritos in a greased 9x13 baking pan.

*You could use any sort of mixture for the inside of the burritos. These are just simple and easy. To this one, you could easily add taco meat.


Ingredients for the sauce:
1 packet of brown gravy mix
1 can tomato soup
1 cup salsa
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix gravy according to package. Once thickened up a little bit, add the soup and stir until blended. Add the salsa, cumin, and garlic powder.

Pour the sauce over the burritos and cook for 15 minutes in a 350 preheated oven. Optional: you can top with cheese before baking.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Spaghetti Alfredo

This is an idea that my mom and husband had. I don't eat much meat. When my mom makes spaghetti she would always have a side of alfredo sauce for me. They both decided to mix it one day. It turned out good to them and I gave it a shot myself tonight.
I have seen other people use the mix in their own dishes so I know my family isn't totally weird ;)

It's just a quick and simple dinner idea.

The reason for the different dishes is because I don't like meat and my husband is gluten free.

Your favorite pasta
Alfredo Sauce
Spaghetti Sauce

For the alfredo sauce, I always use the recipe found HERE

For spaghetti sauce I keep it pretty simple. I start with a bottle of the classico brand with tomatoes, spices, and herbs. It's pretty good to start with. Then I add some oregano, basil leaves, garlic salt, and some sugar. I mix together to my liking.

Add the sauce on top of your prepared pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Friday, July 12, 2013

How I Made a Taggie Blanket

My friend is having a baby boy pretty soon. Since our boys will be like 9 months apart we have a lot of craft ideas together. A taggie blanket was an idea she saw somewhere. I hadn't ever heard of them, but it totally makes sense! I didn't have any idea on how to make a taggie blanket so I just kinda winged it from a picture she posted on pinterest. I didn't want to go and buy one.

I decided to create one for us, and for a couple other people too.

I made mine first, and then made one for my cousin who just had a baby girl. The second one turned out much better than the first.

I am NOT a sewer. I'm totally a beginner sewer. I am slowly teaching myself so this is totally not perfect at all.

Here are the steps that I found worked for me. 

1. Cut out equal sized squares in two different fabrics. I used minky for one side and then just a cotton for the other. You can cut them any size you like. For this one, I had enough fabric for an 18x18 blanket. Make sure to iron your cotton fabric so you can get an accurate measurement.

2. Cut out the types of ribbon you want. I did about 4-5 inches long of 4 different ribbons. You can totally use the same ribbon all around. I liked the look of different kinds though. I used ric-rac too. I cut out 16 pieces total. I made them all the same on each side.

3. Sew your ribbons onto the top side of the cotton fabric. You will want to sew them so they are facing inward. When you sew the two pieces of material together you will be sewing them inside out so that the tags will be facing outward. I didn't pin them. I found it much easier to just place and then sew and then move onto the next one. I DID NOT sew all around the fabric. You'll just want to sew these on where they are going to be. You could even hand stitch them on. I also used the zig zag stitch for everything. I like the way it looks. :)

4. Sew the fabric and minky pieces together. To do this, you'll want to face them top side together. All the ribbon will be on the inside. Make sure to leave a space open to be able to flip it to the right way. I leave about a 5 inch opening. Sew around the border, about 1/4 inch in. I always just follow the edge of the material with the right side of the thing that holds the material in place (beginner sewer at it's best right there). As you sew around the edges just be mindful of the placements of the ribbon.
5. Bring the fabric right side out through the opening you left. All your tags should now be sticking straight out. Fold the opening so that the two pieces of material match the sewing on the other parts. Pin in. Start from a corner and top stitch over the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Caesar Chicken Salad Wraps

This is another recipe I got from my lunch recipe exchange group. I changed it to accommodate the tastes and needs of our family. If you're looking for a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe, this is it. 

Salad Mix
Caesar Dressing
Tortillas- corn or flour
Cooked chicken, I use rotisserie

Heat your tortillas up so it can bend and fold without tearing. Mix your salad and croutons with Caesar dressing. Any amount is good, just do it to your liking. Add the desired add ins to your warm tortilla. Roll up into a wrap.

We make it gluten free by using corn tortillas and omitting the croutons. You can add any other desired things to this to make it good.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Behavior Chart Freebie

I created this behavior chart/discipline chart to match the binder covers I created in the last post. All you need to do is print, laminate, and then put together using a hole-punch and some of those binder rings. I made the ready to learn larger since you will most likely be starting out with all kids on that one.

Some Teacher Freebies

I helped a friend create these for her class so I thought I would post them on here to anyone that wants them.

Included are some poster boards that can be displayed in a classroom. They are created as an 8x10 photo. They look great if you send them to a photo center.

These ones were some of the plan books and guided reading covers created. I will post more freebies as I make them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Homemade Waffles

I have been trying to find a good waffle recipe without keeping the bisquick box on hand all the time. This recipe was perfect! The original post is HERE on I add frozen cut up strawberries and make extra to freeze them. When needed, I just take it out of the freezer, toast it, and top it with some hot syrup. Much better than Eggo or other frozen waffle products.

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 strawberries, chopped into small pieces

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix together until blended. In a separate bowl, mix the mild, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until blended. Just enough that the flour is all mixed in. Sit for five minutes to let the baking powder activate. Add the strawberries.

Make sure your waffle iron is heated up and then pour enough batter to cover 2/3 of the surface. Heat until the steam has stopped coming out.

Friday, July 5, 2013

How I've Learned to be Happy

I used to be shy and insecure. I always cared what people thought of me, and I never wanted to not be liked. Part of it was because I was a little jealous of what everyone looked like, had, or did. Looking back now, I wish I would have learned these things a VERY long time ago.

After talking with people of ALL ages, I've found that most people struggle, in one way or another, with being happy with what they have. I have friends that struggle being accepted, friends that struggle with their looks, and friends that just focus on the past. I've been there on ALL of them. These lessons are what I have learned most recently and have changed my life completely. I'm so happy with who I am now because of what I've learned.  I will do the first five here, and then the last five another day.

1. Stop Complaining. This was a big wake up call for me. There are a few people who I've been around that always have that negative attitude. When I'm around them I notice that I also have a negative attitude. It's contagious. I also see a slew of complaints all over Facebook. I see road rage everywhere. I heard complaints at school, work, and at the grocery store. All of these are complaints that are passed along to one another. When I see them it kind of brings my mood down. When my mood was down, I had no idea how to bring it back up. I was just plain miserable. So was my husband/family. I needed to make a change.

I first stopped complaining about my job. That alone was a life changer. I realized that my life was in my hands. This job wasn't controlling my life, I was. Why should I let this job make me miserable? My home life was MUCH better.

I also stopped complaining about other people. I was complaining just because I was bothered with them. I had a yoga teacher that helped me see the big picture on this one. She said something along the lines of this: When you stop judging yourself, you stop judging others. WOW. I realized that I was complaining because I was unhappy with ME, not with them. So I stopped complaining about other people, especially out loud. ;)

I help organize with some activities put on for the ladies in my ward (aka church). During one of the planning meetings we thought it would be a good idea to come up with an activity that focuses on positive thinking. One of the ladies shared a talk that she heard in Time Out For Women, a conference meant to inspire and build women. This talk focused on shifting your negative thoughts to positive thoughts. Hilary Weeks shared a story about how she tracked negative thoughts/comments. All of her negative thoughts made her really sad. Then she focused on the positive instead and she was much happier. You can find the AMAZING talk on her blog HERE.

That talk totally explained the way I was thinking. It's funny how things like that happen at the right time.  That tied everything together for me. I now choose to focus on the things that make me happy, the things that I did right, the things that OTHERS did right, and just good thoughts. This alone made me 100% happier.

2. Find someone or something that inspires you. This might be a hard one to do, but it will be the most influential one. When you're inspired you are ON TOP OF THE WORLD. You think you can do anything. Guess what? You totally can! You can be inspired by ANYTHING or ANYONE. You just have to be open to it. You can find a hobby, talent, or job that makes you happy. Or, you can find a person that inspires you. People are harder to come by. I've had a few people that I've been inspired by. It's pretty rare, and when it comes you just know. Kind of like being in love. It's someone that brings out the best in you. Someone that makes you want to be a better person. Someone you are on the same page with, and someone that totally gets you. When you find someone like this, learn from them. I had a really great mentor when I was going through the Elementary Education program. She taught me to believe in myself. It didn't matter what everyone was doing, as long as I was doing what I thought was right.
My husband also inspires me. When we first met I wasn't in college and I didn't really know what I was going to do with my future. He is the one that encouraged me to enroll in school and earn a degree (he wanted me to be an accountant, but that was NOT happening haha). He expects me to be a good mom, wife, and person. I expect the same from him. We hold each other to the things we believe are right and support each other through all times. I'm lucky to have him.

This kind of thinking is what changes the world. We can all be like that. Look for things and people that inspire us and KEEP them in your life.

3. Stop getting offended. This was a huge relief lifted off my shoulders. I've opened up about this to other people I know, and have heard some similar stories. I moved into a neighborhood that I wasn't very comfortable with. Everyone had kids, and at the time I didn't. I worked full-time and went to school. Most of these girls either stayed home or had well-established careers. They always had these get-togethers with a whole bunch of girls in the neighborhood.  I was also new to the whole married life thing and I didn't know my place in this neighborhood at all-and probably for the first 3 years.
I would ALWAYS get offended when people would go and do things and they wouldn't invite me. I would get offended when they didn't engage in conversation with me. I would get offended over something they said to me. Really, I just got offended that I didn't want to be around them anyway- or so I thought.
I would also get offended with people that would treat me bad at work. I would get offended over everything.
Then I realized, it wasn't others that were making it hard on me, it was ME! 99% of the time they didn't mean for me to take something they said the wrong way. 99% of the time they were just trying to say something nice and I didn't take it that way. 99% of the time they didn't mean to not invite me. why would they? They hardly knew me. Should I invite every person I know to something I do? No, I shouldn't.  Should I over-analyze everything that is said to me? NO WAY! That would make me crazy.
I've learned to not get offended by what others say. Most people don't want to hurt other's feelings. If people have, just forgive them. They most-likely don't mean it. I'm sure I've offended people by things I said and didn't mean for it to come across that way. There's nothing I can do with how they take what I say. I just do my best to be a nice person and hopefully that comes across to other people.
I have now put myself out there and have built some great friendships with the people in my neighborhood. Friendships that I am thankful I didn't get being offended get in the way of it.
I can't control other people getting offended. That's their problem, not mine.

4. Don't care what others think. What others think of you is really none of your business. When you stop caring what others think about you, you become the person you always wanted to be. If you didn't have to have the approval of everyone, what would you do? I would create a blog of my favorite recipes and share my thoughts occasionally. I would put my insecurities out there for all to see.  I would wear whatever clothes I thought were cute, regardless if they're in style or not (and so what if they're 5 years old). Does it really matter? Do you really have to have the approval of everyone?
I have a friend who is just so naturally pretty. She doesn't think she is, but she is by far one of the prettiest girls I have ever met. We were talking about her new job and about a girl that was so pretty to her. This girl is the girl that likes to wear the stylish clothes, have lots of make-up on, and is also super-skinny. You know, the girl that has it all. She told me how she wished she could be like her. it just made me think that the girl wearing all this make-up, stylish clothes, and is super-skinny is trying to do ALL of that to look like my friend. Neither of those girls would need anything to be pretty. I just wished my friend could see how gorgeous she truly was.  For the record, I'm ALL for people doing what they want to make themselves feel good. So for the girl that wears a lot of make-up, that's totally fine. If it makes you feel good, then do it.
I'll admit, I used to care QUITE a bit about what everyone thought. Now that's changed and it's changed my life.
If you are comfortable with yourself, you don't need to worry about what others think.
5. Love passionately. Make sure those you love know it. Tell them you love them. It doesn't matter when, where, or why. Just tell them. Don't wait for others to apologize. Don't hold grudges. Go out of your way to make them feel loved. Wouldn't you want others to do the same for you? Doesn't it make you feel good when someone expresses how they feel towards you?
I have NOT been the best at this. I used to be closed off, afraid and embarrassed to tell people how I felt about them. I was even like this with my immediate family members. If I could go back and change it all I would. There were so many relationships and friendships that would have been much better had I communicated with them better.
Now, I don't hesitate to tell people how much I appreciate them.
If I feel promptings to tell someone I was thinking about them and/or what I appreciated them for, they've always come back and told me they appreciated what I told them.
There is NOTHING to be embarrassed over. It makes others feel good. You can change people's lives by telling them how you feel.

Don't get me wrong, some days I do ALL of this. Sometimes, I have really bad days   and feel like crawling in a hole. However, everyday I go in thinking like this and I can truly say I enjoy every day of my life.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer Subway Art Printable

Since the 4th of July will soon be over I thought a new printable was in order. It's a summer one.
Me and my sisters love music quotes! So I thought I would make the summer one just some quotes from some of our favorite songs. I hope you like it.

Just right click the photo and save it or print it.

The BEST brownies ever

I went to a one of those parties that us ladies host all the time (the ones that our husbands LOVE so much :) ) and there were some of the best brownies I have ever tasted there. They were frosted brownies to make it even better.

The secret: it's a Texas sheet cake recipe baked in a 9x13 inch pan

I got the recipe from my friend and made them for a 4th of July neighborhood party we are having.

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400. Mix flour and sugar together until blended. In a saucepan, put the margarine, cocoa, and water in and bring to a boil. Pour in the flour and sugar mixture. Add the buttermilk, soda, eggs,. and vanilla. Normally, for this cake you would pour it into a cookie sheet. However, for the brownies you will want to pour into a greased 9x13 dish. Cook on 400 for 25 minutes. Make the frosting while the cake is cooling.

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
5 tablespoons mil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the margarine in a saucepan. When melted completely, move away from heat. Add the cocoa. Stir in the ilk and vanilla. Cool for about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar. I just kept folding it until it was blended. Pour over the warm cake.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sweet BBQ Chicken in the Crockpot

I got this recipe on pinterest and it turned out to be one of our favorites.
I also love quick crockpot meals too. Original recipe found HERE

4 -5 chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
18 ounces of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
1 20 oz can of pineapple, crushed (drain most of the sauce out)- I didn't have crushed on hand for this time, so I chopped these up using my food chopper.
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Put chicken breasts on the bottom of the crockpot. pour the BBQ sauce on op of the chicken. Add the pineapple, the little bit of juice, and the crushed red peppers. Cook in crockpot on high for 5 hours. If you use fresh chicken, lower the cooking time.

It turned out really good. Serve it with rice and veggies, over mashed potatoes, or in quesadillas. I usually have enough chicken to make 2-3 meals.

Served over rice:

Served as quesadillas:

Wild Mountain Dew-Swig Style

Here is another drink combination that is to die for! I like this better than the Coconut Dr. Pepper. The mango syrup is also good in Sprite. Since Sprite doesn't have caffeine and not as much sugar (even though it's still high) it would be a good alternative to the Mountain Dew.

Same thing with the coconut syrup, first start out with a simple syrup and then you add mangos.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 mangos, chopped finely or blended up in a food processor or blender.


Pour the water, sugar, and mango bites in a pan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-7 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Once it is dissolved, remove from heat. Allow sauce to cool for 10 minutes. If desired, you can strain the mango bits and just have the syrup. However, the mango bits are soo good in the drink. They are candied up from the sugar and just add to the flavor.

I always store my syrup in a large mason jar and keep it in the fridge. It can last for months, but mine doesn't usually last that long.

Next, you will pour your soda in a cup and add the amount of syrup you desire. You might have to go and get some crushed ice (you know, the small circle ice) to make it taste just right ;)
After you refrigerate it, you may have to shake it before pouring to mix it all together.

4th of July Printable-FREE

Since I'm learning how to use Publisher, I decided to create a printable with 4th of July subway art. 4th of July is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the country we live in! There's not a better way to celebrate our freedom than with family and fireworks. I'm especially grateful to those that have served our country to protect every single one of us! Thank you very much!

To get the picture, just right click on the picture, save it, and print it out. Or you can send it to be printed out somewhere. I always like the UPS Store cause their color copies are usually on sale and you can get them printed on cardstock for pretty cheap.
It's created as an 8x10 photo. If you print it just as an 8.5x11, you may need to trim some of the stripes off just a tiny bit.

If you decide to send it to a photo center, the colors are usually off a little bit.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dirty Dr. Pepper-Swig Style

I posted about the swig sugar cookies a few weeks ago. I love going here for their drive through drinks. Since I have a baby, it's hard to get him in and out of a car especially in the dead heat of St. George. I love their drive through. I like to pair my sugar cookies (recipe HERE) with one of their delicious drinks! They have all the flavored syrups you could ask for that you can add to any soda. My favorites include:
Dirty Dr. Pepper (coconut syrup added to DP)
Wild Mountain Dew (mango syrup added to MD)
Mango Sprite
and I love their Italian Cream Sodas

I don't always get out and about and sometimes I crave a drink. I love to have the ingredients on hand to make these.

First, you start with a simple syrup. I like the syrup right in the middle of thick and thin. If it is too thick it wont really blend well.

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/3 cup cream of coconut (found in the drink mixing aisle)
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract


Pour the water, sugar, and cream of coconut in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-7 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Once it is dissolved, remove from heat. Once the steam is gone you can add the coconut extract. If you put it in before, it will just cook out. Let cool and then pour into a jar.

I always store my syrup in a large mason jar and keep it in the fridge. It can last for months, but mine doesn't usually last that long.

Next, you will pour your soda in a cup and add the amount of syrup you desire. You might have to go and get some crushed ice (you know, the small circle ice) to make it taste just right ;)
After you refrigerate it, you may have to shake it before pouring to mix it all together.

You can use this soda for all drinks dirty. Make a dirty diet coke, dirty mountain dew, dirty coke, dirty root beer. Whatever you want. The possibilities are endless.


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