February 27, 2015

Teal Brass Patina Chevron Necklace // Giveaway



Its time for another Giveaway!! This one is a hand painted patina teal brass coated chevron charm, hung on antiqued brass chain with clasp. Made by me, yourcharmedlife

Open to anyone in the USA
runs for 7 days
easy entries via Rafflecopter
Will email the winner, you have 3 days to respond then goes to the next person.
Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



February 23, 2015

slow cooker beef stew


We have been ALOT of soups lately, almost twice a week. I love soups, they are hearty, healthy and fill you up. Most soups yield enough for leftovers and freezer meals for later! This one above was so thick and the meat so tender. It hit the spot. I'm pretty sure I have shared this a few years ago, but its so darn good, I may need to share it every Winter

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • 2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • about 20 mini-potatoes, cut large ones in half, leave smallest ones as is (I like to use a mix of yellow, red and blue, no need to peel)
  • 1  28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I use plum tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups sodium reduced beef broth, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.
Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker (juice and all). Crush them with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any accumulated drippings. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the beef and vegetables. Give the mixture a quick stir. Add the bay leaves.
Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, add the peas (no need to defrost first), salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth, creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Replace the slow cooker cover and cook until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).
Remove the bay leaves before serving.
adapted from movitabeaucoup

February 19, 2015

Sometimes, it's just beautiful....


Sometimes, it truly is just beautiful. I don't like Winter. I never have and never will. I'm a child of Summer and water at heart. However, there is something that puts me in awe of Winter. When everything is coated in a blanket of fresh White snow and things are frozen over and its silent. It was one of those days, fresh from a new snow fall. Caleb & I bundled up with hot coa-coas and went on a adventure. I am lucky enough to live right across the street from a really nice and large state park. We get the yearly pass there and go year round to trail walk, bike and camp. This morning was magical, everything was coated and we spotted a mama deer and her baby.










February 17, 2015

One way of saying 'I love you'


I wanted to send my mom, Caleb's grandma something homemade from us for Valentines day. I found this idea on Pinterest and went and purchased in Etsy shop AngelsEyeCreations, then took it too a Fed Ex Print store and they enlarged the image on paper to the size we needed to fit my sons prints on. I bought some cheap Red paint at Walmart to coat his hands and feet, easy clean up. Easy to do and turned out great. The little cylinder mailers are perfect to ship these in. This would make a great gift for anytime of the year, all under 10$


This is how we got ours done, the night before. We taped the corners down, I painted and he pressed down.

February 13, 2015

Happy Valentines Day + DIY Homemade Ball Valentines




Happy Valentines Day to you all!

So every year I try my hardest to make homemade Valentines, its more personable and creative. I'm all about being creative and buying those paper ones at the store just are not the same. I want ours to be the "one" Valentine that was different. Yep its a way of life. So I am in love with Pinterest, it is a incredible site that has tons of info at your finger tips, I did a search for homemade Valentines and narrowed it down to the one below and they are so far my favorite ones we have made! The printable is found here

It was simple and affordable, I believe I spent a total of 8$, took a little time to cut out the papers and tape them on the baggies. My son helped me with this and we just got it all done within one night of watching TV and making them. Team work. They turned out AWESOME.



My son this morning before school, he was so excited for his class Valentines party

So we also found something else that we had to try for today, Caleb has a girlfriend {yes I know hes only 8} and we wanted to make her something special so I also found this one while searching Pinterest here. Its a bling "diamond" ring made out of Hershey's kisses and red pipe cleaners. GENIUS and omg so cute. We made one for his girlfriend 


January 16, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe


One of the things I do like about Winter time is the soups, I love cooking and finding new things for us to try. Most days and most of the time I am cooking for one {myself}, my son is a little picky and wont eat allot of the foods that I make. Hoping one day he will outgrow that and enjoy the dinners with me. This soup was amazing and as a added tip, if you like spicy soups add in a minced jalapeno {which I did} This one was crunchy with the home made friend chips on top and full of flavor and I just love avocados.

This one I found over here on lilluna's blog

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 15 oz can corn
  • 1½ 15 oz diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ cup onion chopped optional
  • 1 small can diced green chilis
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • corn tortillas for chip topping we cut and fried corn tortillas
  • avocados cubed
Instructions
  1. Cook and shred (or cube) chicken.
  2. Add all the ingredients, except the cheese, corn tortilla strips and avocados to your crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours).
  3. Add cheese just before serving.
  4. To make this soup extra delicious, add some crunchy tortilla strips. Slice up corn tortillas with a pizza cutter. Flash Fry in hot oil and sprinkle on top of your soup. Add cubed avocados too!


January 15, 2015

Hand Stamped Keychain Giveaway >> Refuse To Sink!



Its been awhile since my last giveaway, think we are due now that the craziness of the holidays are over. This one is from my shop, Yourcharmedlife Inc.

I have tons of really cute hand stamped personalized and non-personalized keychains in the section titles "keychains" go check them out!

Valentines Day is right around the corner and I offer some really cute affordable options for your loved ones! See some examples below

This giveaway is totally free to enter, must live in the USA. Will run for 7 days, will email if won and will have 3 days to answer me back, then moves to the next person if not claimed.

Have fun!





January 12, 2015

Snow Sledding in Colorado



I don't like the cold, we don't get along. I grew up in Texas and lived there most of my life, I like heat. Not cold. I am prob. living in the wrong state then right? No, I do really like Colorado. Just not Winters, it gets down right cold here in the negatives with wind chill factors. One of the things I do like about CO and winter time is that you get to go snow sledding. Every year we do this and own a few sleds for both of us to have fun. This time my brother Gary, was visiting us and got to go experience it as well. I looked up on the net, best places to snow sled in CO and this hill was brought  up on the list here in my city. We all went and had a blast







January 6, 2015

Leftover Ham Bone Soup



So we had a very yummy Ham for our Christmas dinner, I wanted to use the leftovers for future meals and found the perfect recipe. This one is literally one of my favorite soups I have ever tried. Its full of natural flavors and goodness. I had double bowls and tons of leftovers. Think of off the good minerals and vitamins packed in here. I had never thought of saving my ham bone and boiling it for a natural stock for soup but I'm sold now! I think I need to buy another ham, just so we can make this soup again before Winters over.

I frequent Pinterest often looking for good meal ideas and there is one particular website that has not failed me yet and this is where I found this soup here

Ingredients
  • 1 leftover hambone
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover diced ham
Instructions
  • Place leftover hambone in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and add enough water to cover the bone halfway, about 6-7 cups. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until very fragrant, about 30 minutes to 1 hour; remove and discard hambone.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in ham stock, beans, corn, thyme and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in ham until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.


For the ham, I wanted to also share how ours turned out, it was a keeper. Found it here

December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas // Our Christmas 2014

Christmas eve

Did that really just happen? Did another year just fly by? All the prepping, shopping and getting ready for it to be over in a blink of a eye. We had a magical Christmas this year, Santa came and visited and left behind his boot prints in our living area!



We then opened the stocking Santa left

and had a very special breakfast, I got this idea from Pinterest and my son loved it. You dye the pancake batter green with food coloring and then layer it to look like a tree and top it off with a star of some sort. I carved on from a Yellow apple and then sprinkle the pancakes with candies. FUN.



After a change of clothes and a much needed cup of Joe we opened our gifts, my mother and father live in another state and Christmas Eve we opened a package that had a video camera in it. So we all opened gifts over the camera on Skype!!



For this next picture I feel the need to explain the WHY IN THE WORLD DOES THIS KID HAVE SO MY TOYS?! So here it is, he is my only, he is the only grandchild, only nephew, only a lot on my side of the family and...These gifts are from: Santa, me, his dad, his grandma, grandpa, uncle, great uncle, my cousin etc. etc. He is loved and he is blessed, Amen.


So then my son left for a few hours to go and do his Christmas with his dad and his other grandma/grandpa. The kid had 3 separate family Christmas's this year. I took the time to un-wind and enjoy some quite time.

back from his dads
 
So this year was my first year ever to cook a ham for us, I found a amazing recipe here. The glaze was soooo good and sweet made the ham very tasteful
 
 
So that's our Christmas, it was a busy one with my kiddo in and out all day between his dads and friends house. I didn't mind it one bit. We kind of create our own traditions as we go and that's ok./ Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas 2014!!