Friday, December 6, 2013

DIY Tinkerbelle Shoes

When we decided to have Britt be Tink for Halloween I wanted to spend as little money as possible. I got her costume using a merchandise credit I had saved from Disney Store but didn't want to spend the money on the Tinkerbelle shoes. I found TONS of examples on Pinterest of people who bought cheap shoes and made them Tinkish. So I went for it!


  • hot glue gun
  • shoes 
  • green sequence
  • green glitter
  • white poofs
  • mod podge
I found these shoes at Goodwill for $4


1) I first hot glued the sequence. I originally planned to put the sequence all over the entire shoe but when I realized how TIME CONSUMING it was I totally changed my plan of action. If you use Crocs type shoes it would totally look cute covered in it though! Instead I just glued it around the rubber part of the shoe.
2) Once that was done I covered the shoes in the Mod Podge then poured the loose glitter all over them. WAY quicker and easier than the sequence. However, I also had glitter EVVVVERYWHERE. 

3) I used hair spray and covered the shoes with it over and over and over again. Yes, they were sticky but it really helped the lose glitter to stay put! Her dress ended up causing more glitter than the shoes did which was good! Once I felt like they had enough layers of the hair spray I hot glued a pom-pom on each shoe and they were good to go!

I learned a valuable lesson when making these shoes. Sometimes, "doing it yourself' is NOT worth it. This was one of those times. It took me a LOT of time and energy to make the shoes and I don't even think I really saved much money. The Disney version of the real shoes were $10. Yes, I'd have to pay shipping but I spent close to $10 on the shoes I made and I would gladly pay the $5 shipping cost to NOT spend the hours I spent making them. Especially when THIS was how they looked by the end of Halloween:

Captain Hook No-Sew Vest

We liked to have themed family Halloween costumes but I don't like to break the bank to make it work. I hunted Pinterest for ideas for my husband to be Captain Hook (I was Wendy, Kye was Peter Pan and Britt was Tink!) and found this great tutorial! I put my own spin on it to make it work for an adult and I really love the finished product!


  • hot glue gun
  • red t-shirt
  • black felt
  • gold ribbon
  • scissors


1. First I cut off the sleeves of the shirt and then cut the shirt down the middle of the front part. Making it a "vest" rather than a t-shirt!

2) Next I cut the felt into strips and made a larger portion of the felt for the bottoms. I hot glued them onto the shirt. The strips went along the opening of the vest and the larger parts went at the bottom.
 3) Finally I cut the ribbon into strips and hot glued it on where I wanted it!
 Finished Product!
We already had the hook and I bought the hat at Hobby Lobby for $3. I had Zach wear a white dress shirt under the vest and he paired it with gray jeans and Captain Hook was born! Simple, CHEAP costume that I really loved!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

This is a great meal to prepare and freeze! All you have to do is unthaw and warm the mixture, heat up some noodles and you're good to go! I often will double this recipe...we eat what we want for dinner then freeze the rest :)

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 bag of wide egg noodles (we use whole wheat)
  • 1 lb ground beef

  1. Brown meat
  2. Let big pot of water come to a boil then add noodles
  3. Boil noodles for 7 minutes then strain
  4. Add soup and sour cream to meat, stir and allow to warm
  5. Once it's warm, serve meat mixture over noodles!

Chicken Pockets

One to please the kids for sure and quick enough to make on those nights where dinner time seems like a rush! 


  • 4 chicken breast halves (I often use less)
  • 1 can (8 oz) crescent rolls
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cook chicken and cut into pieces
  3. Separate dough into four rectangles. Firmly press the perforations together to seal.
  4. Pat out each rectangle and put chicken in the center of each.
  5. Fill with cheese and fold dough over to close. Press edges firmly to seal completely.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown
I often double this recipe (use two cans of the crescent rolls) as my family enjoys it so much we all gobble it up!

Crock Pot Pesto Ranch Chicken

A very yummy crock-pot meal...wonderful served with rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta!


  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 6 oz jar of pesto
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth 


  1. Place all ingredients in crock pot and mix together
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
Usually I won't even defrost the chicken and will let it cook ALL day (9-11 hours). It will be falling apart and I will shred it in the crock pot about an hour before we eat so it can all soak in the chicken! 

Chicken Devine

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law when my husband and I first started dating. Now he prefers my versions over his mamas! I call that a win! :)


  • 5-6 chicken breast halves
  • 1 box ritz crackers
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Boil chicken for 20 minutes
  3. Cool chicken in cold water with strainer
  4. Mix sour cream and soup in a bowl then season with salt and pepper
  5. Tear chicken into small pieces
  6. Layer chicken, half of soup mix then lots of crushed crackers in the glass dish
  7. Layer it all once more
  8. Bake for 24 min or until bubbly
It's also GREAT as leftovers!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

For sure not the HEALTHIEST choice for a family dinner...but it's def a yummy one! And it's a crock pot meal so that makes it also an easy option :)


  • 1 (32 oz) bag of frozen tatar tots
  • 1 (3 oz) bag of bacon pieces
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray
  2. layer 1/2 tater tots on bottom
  3. sprinkle with 1/3 of bacon pieces
  4. top with 1/3 of shredded cheddar
  5. add chicken (uncooked) on top then season with salt and pepper
  6. add 1/3 bacon and 1/3 cheese
  7. cover with the other half of the tater tots
  8. finish with remaining 1/3 cheese and 1/3 bacon
  9. pour milk over the top
  10. cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours
This was actually a favorite meal of my daughter's when she wasn't even a year old yet!!! A guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tasty Baked Potatoes

My husband is a typical "meat and potatoes" type guy so I like to find a variety of ways to serve up one of his favorite side dishes! This is a SIMPLE twist on the typical baked potato and he's in LOVE with it!

  • Baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt (or regular table salt is fine too)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wash potatoes and prick lightly with a fork 2-3 times
  3. Cook in microwave for 8 minutes, turning after 4.
  4. You want to be able to feel a little give in the skin but not so much that it breaks
  5. Remove them from microwave and brush with olive oil and salt
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes
This recipe makes the skin SUPER yummy! I cook four for myself, one for the kids to split and two for Zach ;)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Broiler Corn

One of my personal favorite side dishes, and super quick and easy to whip up for the whole family!


  • frozen bag of corn kernels
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Put oven on High Broil
  2. Lay corn (still frozen) out on baking sheet. I have a family of four and typically only use 1/2 a bag at each meal as this isn't very good left over!
  3. Drizzle olive oil over corn
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Heat for 5 minutes in oven
YES! It really is THAT SIMPLE!!! And it's delicious! 

Butternut Squash Fries

Orange vegetables are a tough sell in my house and these allow me to make sure my kids get the nutrients they need!


  • 1 butternut squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel and cut squash into strips
  3. Coat lightly in olive oil on a baking sheet
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Cook in oven for 30-40 minutes, the longer you bake the crispier they will become
I serve them with a little side of ketchup for my 4 year old and he gobbles them down! I keep them in a tupperware and serve at lunches!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Frozen Bananas

My kids enjoy eating bananas each morning for breakfast. Since I only grocery shop once a month I've had to get creative to make them last! Both of my kids love the frozen bananas so much that they prefer them over the fresh ones!

  • I buy roughly 20 bananas at the start of each month
  • I wait until they are starting to turn this:

  • Then I PEEL each banana and break it in half
  • Next I place each half in a Ziploc freezer gallon sized bag (and in this case I do think the brand name is worth it as it tends to cause less freezer burn than other freezer bag brands)
  • I am careful to lay each one flat in the bag

  •  After all of my bananas are in the bag I carefully lay the bag in the freezer making sure it stays laying flat so the bananas won't stick together after frozen!

  • Each morning I grab one half of banana for each child and let it thaw a little before cutting it into pieces for them! They are also EXCELLENT to add to smoothies!
  • I recommend if you're going to eat them to do so rather quickly as after a while, when they get fully thawed, they get very mushy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Poppy Seed Chicken and Noodles

My sweet sister-in-law made this dish for me after I had surgery and it was SO GOOD I ate it for several meals while resting in the bed :) When I cooked it for the first time my son said it's his most favorite thing I've cooked yet!


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds or more if desired
  • 12 oz sour cream (I used 1 and 1/2 of the 8 oz serving containers)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 box fettuccine noodles (I used whole wheat)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook 1/2 box of noodles, according to package
  3. Boil chicken on high heat until boils then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and then shred.
  4. Mix sour cream and soup in a bowl...I also seasoned with salt and pepper
  5. Combine butter, crackers and seeds in a separate bowl
  6. Pour 1/2 soup mix in baking dish then top with chicken, noodles, remaining half of soup mix, finally top with cracker mix
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes
When I made this I realized once I had already started preparing it that I had bought sesame seeds rather than poppy ones! Oops! I just didn't have seeds in it and it was still SUPER yummy! I can't wait to try it again with the seeds next time ;)

Garlic Green Beans

I don't like to use canned goods often but this is a quick way to eat some green vegetables when in a rush to get dinner on the table!

  • Canned green beans (any type)
  • Garlic (I buy the big container of it and keep it in the fridge to have on hand)


  1. Pour green beans (including juice from can) in pot on stove
  2. Add 1 tsp of minced garlic
  3. Let cook on a low setting for 20 min or so (I just let it cook the entire time I'm making the rest of our dinner!)

Honey Carrots

None of my family really enjoys eating carrots...yet we ALL love this recipe!!! 


  • Whole carrots (as many as you'd like...I usually do 4 or 5 carrots for our family)
  • 3 Tbl olive oil
  • 3 Tbl honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

  1. Clean and peel carrots then cut into sticks
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Place on baking sheet and toss in 1 Tbl olive oil along with salt and pepper
  4. Roast in oven for 20 minutes
  5. Drizzle with 2 Tbl olive oil, 3 Tbl honey and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  6. Put back in oven for 5 minutes
This is a wonderful side dish however I'm always mindful to only make enough for us to eat immediately as they aren't very good left over!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Butter Beans

I had NEVER heard of "butter beans" until I moved down to South Ga but now they are a staple in our home!


  • Pressure cooker
  • 1 bag of frozen baby lima beans
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 packet of Goya Ham Flavored Concentrate (found in the "ethnic food section" at the grocery store)

  1. Put frozen limas in bottom of pressure cooker
  2. Put water in pressure cooker and fill to just barely above the peas but so they are covered
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Add packet of seasoning
  5. Lock pressure cooker lid and put on stove top on medium-high heat until whistles
  6. Once it whistles turn heat down to one setting below medium and let cook for 9 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and wait for lid to unlock to serve
They are great re-heated too! We eat them for dinner one night then have them as left overs another night later in the week!

This same recipe also works great for ford-hooks and queen zipper peas as well!

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

I love crock pot recipes! Super easy to prepare and always very yummy! 


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 8oz box of yellow rice - cooked (I can't ever find it sold in 8 oz portions so I've used both 5 oz and 10 oz size and it turns out great either way)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (15 oz) can whole kerneled corn, drained
  1. Place chicken in crock pot
  2. Spoon gallops of soup on top (I also sprinkle with salt and pepper)
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours
  4. Before serving add rice, corn and cheese. Stir to combine then serve hot!
I usually don't even defrost the chicken first. I stick the breasts in the crockpot first thing in the morning with the soup and just let it cook all day. Then I shred the chicken up once I am ready to add the rice and corn!

Lemon Butter Potatoes

I first had this recipe at my son's thanksgiving celebration at school. It was so good I went back for seconds and asked for the recipe! I now make this as a side dish for our family at least a couple times a month, it's one of my personal favorites for sure. 


  • 1 bag dutch baby potatoes or honey gold potatoes (I use the honey gold)
  • 2 Tbl water
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon (I used the lemon juice concentrate and 3 Tbl of that equals one lemon)
  • 1 tsp Everglades Seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray
  3. Clean potatoes and cut in half 
  4. Place in a bowl with the water. Cover and microwave for 7-8 Minutes
  5. Cut butter into small pieces over the bowl then add lemon juice and seasoning and stir until well mixed with potatoes
  6. Spread in single layer on baking dish and bake for 10-12 minutes
I usually will go ahead and clean potatoes and put them in the bowl earlier in the day so they are ready to cook in microwave when I'm ready to prepare dinner!