Friday, September 19, 2014

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken Tomato Soup

Instead of posting my normal "Friday Favorites" post, I thought I'd share this recipe with you all today. This soup is my favorite lately. I'm absolutely in love with crock pot cooking and this is one of those recipes that just gets thrown together in the morning, then you go about your day and hey- at dinner time, it's there! Perfectly done and waiting! 

In case you just want to skip to the full recipe, go ahead and scroll to the bottom of this post.
Dump into your crock pot 1 can full-fat coconut milk, two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce. Mince some fresh garlic and throw that in as well.
 Next, roughly chop up an onion.
 Dump the onion in and generously sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
If you have fresh oregano and basil, roughly chop those and add them. If you don't have fresh herbs, just go ahead and use dried ones.
Stir it all together, add 3 frozen chicken breasts, turn the crock pot on and then walk away. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-6 hours or until chicken shreds easily. Shred chicken and return to crock pot.

Garnish with cheese, sour cream and avocado.

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken Tomato Soup

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (full fat)
2 (14 ounce)cans diced tomatoes (add the juice)
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoon dried (or fresh) basil
1 tablespoon dried (or fresh) chopped oregeno
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix coconut milk, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes along with onion, garlic and seasonings in your crock pot. Add chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours or until chicken shreds easily. Shred chicken and return to crock pot. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Garnish with sour cream, cheese and avocado. 
Serves 6-8


Thursday, September 18, 2014

This Moment

Today I'm joining in with SouleMama and sharing a favorite moment from this week. I guess I'm breaking the rules a bit, since I couldn't choose just one photo to post. 

Fall afternoons outside with the kids, after Judah gets home from school, have been especially appreciated lately. We've intentionally committed to very little, as we're getting settled into the new schedules and the outcome has been lots of family time at home. I was so addicted to always being on the go, that I forgot how much I adore these simple times with my kids, blowing bubbles, pushing them on the swings....talking about whatever. Being a homebody is better than I remembered it to be.

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo (oops! broke that rule)- no words (broke that one, too) - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Elephant Toothpaste- A Hydrogen Peroxide Experiment

I've seen science experiments like this one floating around for awhile and today, we decided to give it a try. Oh man, this was literally a blast! I've got to say one of the things I'm loving about having a child in kindergarten is that we still have lots of time home together. For us, kindergarten has been the perfect mix of school and time at home. When he IS home, I'm trying to be more intentional about doing a bit of "school" here as well. And hey- school doesn't have to be all workbooks and reading. School can be blowing things up on cookie sheets in the kitchen.

We had the BEST time doing this little experiment this morning and I can't wait to do more creative activities like this one with my kids.

To make your own Elephant Toothpaste, all you need is Hydrogen Peroxide, a package of yeast, a few squirts of dish soap and some water.

Step by step instructions:
•Begin by adding one package of yeast into 1/2 cup of very warm water. Mix well and set to the side.
•In your narrow necked bottle, add 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide or if you're using two small bottles like we did, add 1/4 cup to each bottle.
•Add any food coloring, sprinkles or glitter to the Hydrogen Peroxide.
•Squirt a little dish soap into each bottle.
•Swirl it together carefully.
•Place your bottle into a container to catch the foam (we used baking sheets), and then add the yeast mixture through a funnel (we added half to each bottle).
•Quickly remove the funnel and enjoy the explosion!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Courage To Be Too Much

The best piece of mail came the other day. Inside of a big envelope, sent from MOPS International, was this "Be You Bravely" book and this Courage key, made by The Giving Keys. I wasn't sure if I was going to be part of MOPS this year. This is my 5th year now and although it's been amazing, I've felt like it's possibly time to close the MOPS chapter. For various reasons, I decided to go ahead and continue on and gosh, I'm glad I did.

The theme this year is all about being YOU bravely and the gals at my table are amazing. We have the best mix of different backgrounds and personalities and I've never appreciated such a diverse group of women more. This will be the year where we truly sharpen each other and help each other become more like the Moms that God created us to be. From the bottom of my heart, I love each one of those women.

Yesterday I read one of the stories in this book and it completely blew me away. To be honest, I loved it so much so that I looked the gal up on Facebook and sent her a message, telling her how awesome it was. I'm just like that. I guess I'm a little over the top, but we'll get back to that in a moment.  

Mandy Arioto is the gal that wrote this piece called "Courage To Be Too Much" and I just can't get over how good it is. All my life, I've been a feeler. I feel other people's emotions so strongly that it's distracting for me, when I'm trying to just have a conversation. I feel so strongly that I can't watch things that are scary, because to me, they aren't "just movies". I cry easily, talk loud sometimes, get upset, love BIG, laugh HARD and when I feel sad, sometimes it feels like the end of the world. I;m a deep thinker, I don't like small talk and I wish more people talked about what they'd like to do with their life. I've been told that I'm too intense. I've wished that I wasn't such a feeler.
I've told myself that one of my kids, who's also lives LARGE, is also too much. I've tried to put myself into a box and I've wondered if there's something wrong with me because I'm not an "Even Steven" like some of them.

What Mandy wrote in her post touched me so deeply, because it reminded me that the world NEEDS people who allow themselves to feel. The world needs people who aren't numb. 

As a mom, I need to allow my wild child to be too much. That one who can be a bit much? Well, she needs to be able to dress crazy, dance, sing loud, and live BIG, just they way God made her.

Mandy writes, "For me, giving myself permission to be too much means that I show up in big ways. I bring a gift when it wasn't expected. I re-write a song for my friends 40th Birthday and force my husband to perform it with me. I go out of my way to let people know how much I love them, I give myself permission to feel. This can be embarrassing for my kids. They question why I dance in the store when my favorite song comes on. 

Giving ourselves permission to feel means we are free from over analyzing our every move. We get to live in the freedom that our uniquness if a gift to the world. Meant to be shared. Meant to be lived. 

We need more insanely brave people who are willing to offer their "too much" to the world. "

Gosh, I love that. 
Go be too much. 
Love too big.
Laugh too loud. 
Let your kids be too much and don't let anyone ever tell you that you're too much. 



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