Friday, February 27, 2015

Kristin's Enchiladas

Years ago my dear friend and co-worker from the salon I use to work atKristin  shared her yummy enchilada recipe with me. It's a family favorite. Truthfully my hubby would rather our enchiladas were made with red sauce, ground beef, and flour tortillas. But I love green sauce and chicken. And I am making them. So our children are brought up on green sauce enchiladas.

When I first made these my hubby asked what all the green stuff was. I told him cilantro, which is true. But there is also spinach. I love that this recipe has extra greens in it. And is still super tasty. Eventually my hubby found out about the spinach. But there is cilantro in it as well (Yum!) So what I told him was true. From a certain point of view.

Gandalf loves this. Probably his 2nd favorite meal, after pizza of course. And Draco loves this too. And he even eats the spinach now, instead of picking it out. He has come so far. I'm sure your family will love this meal as well.

Kristin’s Chicken Enchilada’s

5 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded. (Use the paddle attachment on your Kitchen Aid. It works great!)
1 block cheddar cheese, grated (Sometimes I cheat and use the pre shredded cheese)
1 block Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated
1 bag of spinach
Las Palmas medium green sauce (The best!)
18 corn tortillas, fried
½ white onion chopped
½ bunch of cilantro

Layers in a 9x13 pan
1.      Sauce
2.    6 tortillas
3.   Chicken (1/2 of it)
4.   Spinach (1/2 of it)
5.   Cheeses (about 1/3)
6.   Onions (1/3)
7.  Cilantro (1/3)

Repeat 1-7 starting with the sauce, and top with cheese.

Cook at 350* for 30 minutes. Allow at least 10 minutes to cool. Add avocado or sour cream if needed…

The fried tortillas make this dish extra amazing. And I love how you layer the ingredients. It saves so much time. Sometimes I'll make an extra one and freeze it as well. If you need a guacamole recipe to top it off check out my favorite one here.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Favorite Things

I wanted to share a few of my favorite things today. It's always nice to share things that make us happy. The lesson in my women's church group was about sharing the gospel from this talk. She started by explaining we share things because we love others and we love sharing things we love. She then shared some delicious chocolate treats. I love how she likened sharing the gospel with other things she loves. It was a yummy object lesson.

1. Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 

When we first decided to move from beautiful Orange County to Arizona my dear friend Karen told me about these water bottles. We ordered two and I LOVE them!!! I was sold when she told me she went on a hike and accidentally left one in the car. They came back hours later and it was still ice cold.

These water bottles are a life saver in Arizona. They don't have condensation on the sides so they are great for everything. They don't leave water marks. They don't get water on your projects or phone. We ordered the wide mouth lid which is super handy. And they are easy to clean. The only thing to watch out for is if your absentmindedly throw it in your purse. The wide mouth lid isn't double insulated so there is some condensation there. I just make sure it have it upright in my purse and the problem is solved. This will be perfect for when I am pregnant again and wake up at 3:00 am wanting ice cold water. Where ever you are I am sure you will love this water bottle. I'm sure glad Karen told me about them!

2. Spotify Web Player

My hubby shared this treasure with me. On your computer you can create playlists from tons of music. And it's FREE!

I love that I can build playlists of what I want to listen to. And I can make sure every song is appropriate for my kids to hear. It's been fun to see what songs and bands they like. ( The ending song from Big Hero 6 is currently their favorite right now) I probably listen to my Musical Playlist the most these days, though I still need to remove Lovely Ladies. Sometimes we will play a game where we guess what musical it comes from. A little tricky since Julie Andrews sings in a couple of them.

And it gets better. They have an app and you can listen from it for free as well. You choose the playlist and it has to be in shuffle mode. There is a Premium service with a fee that gives you perks where you can listen without shuffle mode. I love this app, but I have to make sure I use it where I have free internet access so I don't overuse my data.

Listening to Spofity makes cleaning my house and sewing more fun! Life is better with music.

3. Younique Mascara

This is my favorite mascara ever!!! Seriously! My cousin sells it and I bought some last fall. It is the best! My eyelashes are dark which is nice but they aren't long.  I dream of longer lashes!!! It makes the biggest difference. I love using this mascara on the days I wear make up. It makes my lashes look thicker and longer. And right now I have a girlfriends who is having a party. All the funds raised are going to help her with her medical expenses. It's only $30. So pretty much your eyelashes will look amazing and you get to help an amazing person. It's a win-win!

4. Brooklyn Nine Nine

It's my favorite new show. Okay, it isn't that new. We started watching it in 2013. My husband heard about it (Gosh I am so thankful for him!). Who doesn't love Andy Sandberg? Of course we had to give his show a try. We instantly loved it. The characters are hilarious and lovable! It's not unusual to laugh our loud while watching this show. It's also available on Hulu. If you haven't already you should check this show out. Especially now that Parks & Rec is over!!! :(

5. Percy Jackson and the Overdrive app

Gandalf read these books years ago. I meant to read them as well, but time gets away. We decided to plan a Percy Jackson birthday party for Gandalf so I knew I need to read these books to prepare. Last weekend we listened to the audio book. The reader did an AMAZING job. These books are so clever and funny. Draco was cracking up in the back seat. (He wanted me to read it to him so the audio book was perfect!) We are planning to watch the movie soon. I am really looking forward to the rest of these books. I know Yoda and baby girl will love them as well when they get older. So if you, like me, haven't gotten around it, do it! You'll be glad you did.

One of my many friends named Julie told me about the Overdrive app. It connects to your local library with your library card number. I love having access to wonderful audio books. Instead of having your kids watch TV have them listen to a great book. I can only read about 1 chapter out loud at a time. I love putting down legoes or getting out coloring books and having my kids listen to books. Or even follow along if you have a copy. There are so many wonderful books that we need to read.

What are your favorite things these days?

Some of these items are affiliated links. You are welcomed to buy from anywhere. But I don't mind if you buy them from here. I only share items I really like or use. Thanks for your support!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I love to see the Temple...


Last week or so my little girl turned a 1 1/2. We celebrated by taking pictures. I just love this dress my friend Karen got me for baby girl. It's perfect for spring. I tried taking pictures at the park, but it was too bright. We headed over to our Temple across the street instead and I am so glad we did. I love them even more. This building is so dear to us and will be her temple. It will be where we take her baptism photos. Where she can go to do baptisms for our ancestors when she is 12. And where she might even get married.

I love the windows with the agave plant. I love the colored specks in the planters around the temple. I love the flowers. And I love the feeling when I am here.

In our church when children turn 18 months they can start going to nursery for the last two hours. They play, have a simple lesson, read books, sing songs, and color pictures. She has been visiting and is loving it. Her leader Donna is sweet as can be. She adores my girl. I know she will be taken care of when I go to class. 

I got her a bracelet for this little milestone. Even though it is a small one. I want to remember how small her wrist was when she was only 18 months. It's already so much bigger than her blessing bracelet. The little charm says "I am a child of God". I hope and pray that she can have a testimony of this for herself. That she is Heavenly Father's child. And He loves her dearly. And He is always there for her. I am so thankful for nursery and the leaders that teach good things to these sweet little ones.

This picture is my favorite!!! I love her smile! And I love how you can see all the teeth she is getting. I love her blonde hair and green eyes. And I love how she looks in white, especially at the temple. This little ray of sunshine is such a light in our family. She has such a sweet, loving heart. She adores her brothers. And they simple dote on her. I think each of them has only gotten frustrated with her once in their lives. They are so patient and loving. I love the love they have for her.

And I love her love for shoes, jewelry, dogs, and now bows. This beautiful one is made by my dear friend Alex. I love how feminine she is. And I love that she also loves Star Wars, Pokemon, and Superheros like her brothers. She is working so hard on standing and getting stronger everyday.

She loves her doggie stuffed animal my mom got for the boys years ago. She is always giving him hugs and kisses. It was hard to get him out of her hands to take these pictures. 

This little girl has my heart! Thanks for letting me share her pictures. Time is going so fast. Trying to remember and cherish every moment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday!!!

It's that time of the year! Fat Tuesday!!! We have been celebrating Mardi Gras since Gandalf was a baby. In 2008 I learned about King Cakes. My of my favorite people, Leslie, had just returned home from a mission for our church. Her husband were serving as Mission Presidents. They were in charge of the missionaries in Louisiana. The King Cake is a symbol of Christs' crown. Inside of the cake you hide a bean or plastic baby. Whoever gets the piece of cake with Baby Jesus inside gets to be King or Queen of Mardi Gras. I love the religious aspects of this holiday.  

Every year my kids look forward to eating this cake and hope to find Baby Jesus in their piece. We try to dress in Mardi Gras colors and we might even put on some jazz music.

My sweet treasure!!

Having friends over makes it a party! 

I learned this clever trick from Kristen Duke where you can guess where the baby is by putting in a stick or straw. So much more fun! Before I would have them line up and I would slice it up for them. This year I must not have put it in very well. I knew who would have the baby before I was cutting that piece.

Can you spot the baby???

And the King of Mardi Gras in 2015 is....

My sweet Yoda!!!

He was pretty excited. But them just wanted to play with his friends. Baby girl loved the cake. For the recipe check out Todays Mama. Before I used a recipe from the Food Network, but last year I tried this one and the it's SOOO much better. It's a moist sweet bread with cinnamon and lemon zest. And there is lemon juice in the glaze as well. I also found this recipe using Grands Rolls if you were in a hurry but still wanted to celebrate with your family. 

Hope your Fat Tuesday was wonderful!! For more February traditions check out here. Today is also Shrove Tuesday. I will post those pictures tomorrow!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentines 2015

Our family had a wonderful Valentines Day. We started our day with our traditional breakfast: heart shaped pancakes. We used the recipe from Cooking Classy here. This is the first year I made the cream cheese glaze and it was a big hit! Our boys wanted more pancakes and we made them share things that they love about our family before taking more. It was great focusing on things we love.

Do you spy a diabetes test kit?

She brings our family so much joy!!!
Our day consisted of taking baby girl's 1 1/2 pictures and playing at the park. We came home and the brothers played nicely while baby girl and I got a nap. We then made cookies, played video games, (rooms were clean!), and played a Scattergories Valentine edition. Our afternoon snack was the yummy Cupid Floats from Somewhat Simple. Dad worked hard on homework while we played all day. so we took him up a float as well.

They give it three thumbs up!

That night I gave the boys special Valentines before our fancy dinner. The kids love having dinner by candle light. Every night we share our favorite thing from that day. I think it was mostly Minecraft and cupid floats that day.

Baby girl loved getting flowers from her daddy. She wanted to keep holding them. Daddy sure loves his little Valentine!!! Thanks for letting me share. I hope you had a great day filled with love and thoughtfulness! I love the saying love is spelled T-I-M-E. Making time for those who are dear to us is always worth the sacrifice. I am thankful Valentines was on a Saturday this year. I could be with my family all day. And because we had Monday off, we pushed our work off till then. Days are extra special when we carve out a little time to play with our kids or serve someone. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Galentine's Day

Last year I started celebrating Galentine's Day. "Only the best day of the year." according to Leslie Knope. I love taking time to celebrate my amazing girlfriends! Below is a link to some awesome Cards from Reese Dixon. What better way to say "Thanks for being an amazing friend" than sending a friend a card.  
(By the way Parks & Rec is one of my favorite shows ever, Check it out!)

Check out more Galentines Day Cards here
Below I made a collage of some of my favorite ladies. I am trying to take more pictures of myself with my friends because I don't want to forget these amazing women. I love having inspiring women in my life. Isn't it wonderful when we can uplift and encourage each other. 

For more awesome quotes from Amy Poehler check some out here

For more Leslie Knope way to tell your bestie how much you lover her check out here

I kind of want to verbally thank all my dear friends who have helped me through the years but I would hate to leave anyone out. I am so thankful for such great friends!!!
Love you girls!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentines Pictures

I heart my sweet kids

I finally got around to snap some pictures of my kids for Valentine's Day. I made this dress for baby girl a couple of weeks ago. I thought leopard would be perfect for a dress for Valentine's Day. We both wore leopard last Sunday for church. I just love matching with my daughter! Taking advantage that she isn't complaining yet. 

I'll post a tutorial on her dress later. I love that I was able to score this material at Walmart a couple months ago. Sometimes sewing can be more expensive than buying it already made. But when you get a deal on fabric it really helps our budget. I think I paid $3 for this material. And I may need a matching head band too. And maybe some bow ties for the boys.

I just love how you can see her green eyes in the photo above. She has such an adorable smile, but doesn't like to smile when I get my camera out. We just love this little girl so much.

 I love stinker faces!!

Yoda was driving me crazy with closing his eyes. I guess he was being some kind of Pokemon in this picture. 

She just adores her brothers. Draco is especially loving.

 Doesn't she look so big standing by herself? We were taking pictures and I noticed her leaning up against the wall. The boys moved out of the way so I could get a shot. She liked being up on her own. She has stood up before. (First time in November) But it's always for a short time. She is getting stronger and practicing a lot. When she fell down she tried to get back up against the wall. She loves playing "Up.Down." where she puts her hips up or down when we say the word. The bottom right is when she wanted something from Gandalf and kept screaming "Ease!". She wants so much to be like her brothers.

Thanks for letting me share some pictures. I'm trying to practice shooting in manual. It's a process.You can check out other fun traditions in February here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February Traditions

Though of you who know me know how much I love traditions and holidays. I love celebrating the simple things. And I love how simple or crazy traditions can increase family love and encourage great family memories. Valentines Day is a wonderful holiday that encourages love, friendship, and thoughtfulness. We love celebrating as a family. But that is just one holiday we celebrate this month.

My 1st instagram picture in 2012

Making Valentines

 I love stamping homemade cards though I rarely have time to. My kids have grown up watching me stamp at Valentines. Every year they want to make their own Valentines too. They don't want  to have boxed ones or the adorable ones from creative blogs. They want to make there own. And I love it! (Plus it's easier and cheaper)

Valentines Cookies

Making Sugar Cookies

We love making chocolate desserts or use the Pampered Chef Heart mold for a Heart Cheesecake, but our favorite Valentines dessert is Grandma Jean Campbell's sugar cookies. They are our favorite! We use pink frosting and red sprinkles. It's what I give my sweet heart every year. They make a great afternoon snack. It's always a treat to get a cookie after school.

Isn't it so fun to look back?
Our Little Valentine

Baby Yoda was so cute!

Best Brothers

Photo Shoot

I try and get a picture of the kids in red and send it to the Grandparents. It's always fun to send Valentines. Speaking of which I really need to get on that....

Valentines Gifts

Long before we had kids Grady and I agreed that I would buy the boys a special Valentine and he would get our girls flowers for Valentines Day. I read how Stephan Covey would get his girls flowers every year. As they got older when flowers would come at their office or such they would wonder if they came from their dad or sweetheart. Grady has got off easy for the last 11 years. I think it will be great for baby girl to grow up getting flowers regularly. (I usually get some too!) They don't have to be pricey. They can be picked from a garden. The idea is thoughtfulness. My boys love getting special Valentines from me as I ask each of them to be my Valentine. Sometimes they get a treat from me too. 

Eating Valentines Crepes. His looks are the best

Valentines Day

Our morning beginging with heart pancakes. A couple of years ago I made red velvet ones. They were a big hit. We usually drop off Valentines to our friends. I am trying to train my boys to give Valentines to girls because girls like getting cards. My boys know it doesn't mean they "like like" them (although sometimes they do) but it is about being thoughtful. Guy friends like getting them too. One time my dear friend shared how her son was having a hard morning and getting a card from Yoda really turned his day around. Thankful for the whisperings of the Spirit. Sometimes we will have a picnic at lunch with family or friends. That night we have a special dinner that is usually red in color (idea from my great friend Michelle) and we use fancy glasses and candles. The boys love it! Dessert follows! It is a great day to show love to our family and others. A possible favorite night was when they recieved Glow Stick light sabers. We turned off the lights and put on Star Wars music. My kids were in heaven.

We love King Cake

Mardi Gras

When Gandalf was a baby we started celebrating Mardi Gras by making masks and listening to Jazz. One year I was talking to one of my favorite people who told us about King Cakes. She and her husband served as Mission Presidents (The president over a Mormon mission who presides and has stewardship over the missionaries in that area) in Louisiana. She told me all about this great tradition where they make a cake that is shaped like a ring (to remind us of the crown Christ wore). It's a sweet bread with lemon and cinnamon. It's drizzled with icing and topped with sprinkles for the Mardi Gras colors. Inside you hid a baby Jesus and whoever gets the plastic baby in their cake is the King or Queen of Mardi Gras. Isn't that the funniest thing ever??? We have been making King Cakes ever since. It is so much fun. And who would have thought there was any kind of religious symbolism in that holiday. I am sure when my kids grown up and realize how the rest of the world celebrates they are going to be shocked.

Yoda with his pancakes

Shrove Tuesday

I was telling my dearest friend Alex, who is from England, about Mardi Gras and inviting her family over to help us eat the cake. She then told me about Shrove Tuesday. Turns out they are on the same day. It's a similar idea that you clean out your cupboards and eat all the yummy stuff before Lent. They make pancakes with lemon juice and sugar. In American terms they are crepes, or English pancakes. And we prefer them with Nutella, strawberries, and whip cream. Typically we head to her house Tuesday morning where she makes us pancakes. And then they would join us for cake in the evening. And later she would do double duty with pancakes as her school aged kids and husband wanted some too. I am going to miss her even more when Shrove Tuesday comes around. She can even flip them in the air when she is cooking them. I love that we can celebrate our heritage with this holiday. 

Our 1st Chinese New Year 2016 Gandalf and his best bud Hobbes

Chinese New  Year

Again this tradtion was started when Gandalf was a baby. We got together with another mom who also loved doing holidays. We went to Little Siagon and once even to China Town. We got cute Asian clothing. This is a really great holiday rich with tradition. We love eating Chinese food and reading great books. Our kids love getting red envelopes with money in it. One year we even borrowed a Dragon head to have our own parade.

I love these little things even when they take up some time. My kids look forward to these wonderful traditions. But when life is crazy and we can't make them all fit they are really good about understanding that life happens. They know they need to be flexible if they want fun things to keep happening. Below is a drink I pinned a couple months ago. I think it will make a great family night drink. Check it out! I hope your month is filled with love and great family time!

What are some of your family's traditions this month?

Source: Somewhat Simple