Friday, January 11, 2013

01/11/13 Heart 2 Heart challenge: Snow Much Fun!

I’m in love with these snowmen! I incorporated snowflakes from several different stamp sets to create the random-stamped background, and had to add a little sparkle to the snowflakes surrounding my little friend. Simple, but fun Christmas Thank You cards.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

01/09/13 What a great morning

We had a great morning at our house. This may be routine for most of you, but it’s been a real struggle this year to get up and off to school at our house. We are working on the issues diligently, so a good morning is a real treat and a blessing. I’m so grateful for all the the wonderful people we have helping us!!! And we were greeted with a gorgeous sunrise with lots of pinks and corals against the clouds. Not the best pic with my phone, but you get the idea…

So far, we’ve enjoyed the turkey chili from freezer cooking day and yesterday was the hamburger soup bubbling in the crock pot all day. It turned out even better than the first batch, and was such a blessing to have when we finally were able to have dinner after a very long day where our morning did not go well.

Remember the cut celery? You know I had to try it out for stamping. Here it is in  the middle of the paper I made with it! Perhaps today I can make something with the paper… I have plenty of chores to do, but my soul yearns for some good craft time. Now to decide what to make first!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Freeze-ahead crock pot meals: aka How to have more time to craft and still feed my family :)

Usually, I use my blog for craft happiness and Heart 2 Heart Challenge posts. Well, this  year, I believe I will expand my repertoire and include my life in general: crafting, Thirty-One, organizing the house after a very hard, painful year. Through some intense counseling, I’m forming a vision for how I want my life to look in the future. I have a great stamp set that has the phrase “Life if not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” So, not sure anyone will follow along, but my new life begins now. I’m creating it along with my dear husband and Elyse. One of the things that help me figure out a new vision was a craft room I found on Pinterest that I would like to recreate in our spare bedroom:

Craft Room craft-rooms

My crafty little brain is spinning with wonderful ideas on how I can make a space like this for me and my peeps to be creative and preserve our memories.

That leads to the other wonderful Pinterest find of freeze-ahead meals for the crock pot. I’m starting to develop a nice menu. This week, I made two recipes we already love and am trying two new ones:

  • Weight Watchers turkey chili
  • Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (tastes like Nana’s)
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Weight Watchers turkey chili (oh so delicious); it’s bubbling away on the stove right now for dinner tonight, and there’s another bag in the freezer for later. We all loved the Savory Vegetable Beef Soup, and we shall see over the next few weeks about the other two. Here’s how I did this…

Lots of fresh vegetables plus some cheater frozen carrots, green beans and corn. I started with boiling some frozen chicken breast for the Tortilla soup, and then began all the chopping with the onion first. Once it was prepped, I started to brown both the hamburger with onion and garlic for the hamburger soup as well as the ground turkey with onion for the chili.

While the meat sizzled, I chopped the rest of the veggies (green and red pepper, potatoes, cilantro, parsley, and celery). Who knew celery could be so beautiful?!? Love this picture, cause I’m a dork and easily amused.

Once all the veggies are prepped and the meat is browned and cooled (minus half the turkey which became tonight’s dinner), I began with one recipe at a time and put together future meals.

Happy little stovetop friends getting prepped together! Now for assemblage. I added ingredients to freezer bags and placed labels on the outside with directions like how much water to add and how to fix the tortilla strips for the day each recipe is used.

Now for dinner tonight, I have this fantastic and beautiful chili:

And there are 7 bags of happy, healthy dinners in the freezer to be used over the next couple of weeks. Phew! Now I can focus on more fun stuff, like stealing some time in my current craft room!!!

If anyone is out there, leave a comment so I know you’re there. Here’s to a happier, healthier, more crafty 2013!