Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dinner Update: Beer Cheese Soup

Happy Halloween!

If you haven't linked up to my Social Stack Up blog hop, please do so here!

Now, on to one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted! Beer Mac and Cheese Soup with Pretzel Buns!

The soup was so delicious, I am totally in love! And the pretzel buns...OMG. I want to make these all the time! The only thing I changed a little is the cheese I used for the soup. I didn't plan ahead and realized I was out of cheddar cheese half way through recipe. I did have some Velveeta that I used. Honestly, next time I make this, I will probably use Velveeta again. I don't want to change a thing!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Social Stack Up Blog Hop!

Welcome to my first blog hop! I am so happy you came by!

Michelle's Pixie Dust

Social Stack Up Rules:

1. Please follow me and the amazing co-hosts.
2. Grab a Social Stack Up button to display somewhere on your page
3. Share this hop with your friends! The more people who know about the hop, the more friends we can all make.

Michelle from Michelle's Pixie Dust

Stacey from Glued to My Crafts
Myranda from Pretty Living
Stephanie from How Many Frogs
Brandi from Cupcakes and Curves
Terri from Rambling Momma

Dinner Update: Doritos and Italian Chicken

My husband actually cooked both of these meals (he is amazing)! He just called me in to snap a few photos. I had to steer away from my original meal plan because I failed to read some directions all the way through. I began making the pretzel rolls yesterday and added WAY too much water. I happened to use my last packet of yeast, so we had to change plans.

Sunday: Mexican Dorito Casserole

This was sooo sooo sooo good! My husband and I decided this would be awesome party or super bowl food. I'm pretty sure people will be begging you to bring it to everything!

We loved this one too! My husband said it was better than the Dorito Casserole, but I might have to disagree. I thought it tasted wonderful, but I think I had really high expectations from all of the Pinterest hype. Either way, we will totally make this again!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blog Planner Printable

I made this blog planner for myself and thought I would share with everyone! On each day I have space for a post idea and a place to link up. In addition to this, I have a daily tip to improve my blog. You can download the PDF version here. Hope you like it!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What's for Dinner? {Second Edition}

I would consider last week's meal planning a success  Maybe we didn't like everything we tried, but we stayed on budget and I did find some AMAZING recipes that I will be making again!

So, on to this week:


Mexican Dorito Casserole from the website Jam Hands.


Beer Mac and Cheese Soup with Pretzel Rolls from the website Closet Cooking


Crockpot Italian Chicken from the website Southern Girl Cooking


Halloween! We will be going to my mom's for Trick or Treating and a party. I think I will make the Bandito Dogs and bring them over. I might use little smokies instead of hotdogs to make it more of an appetizer. 


Pizza Casserole from the site Mom Endeavors


Crockpot Roast Beef Sliders from the site Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour (love the name!)

Maybe we will get lucky and have another date night on Saturday! I will try to update how we like each recipe during the week.

Any recipe suggestions? I will take them!

Happy Cooking!

Searching for Sponsors: SNAP! Conference

I have never been to a blogger conference and I have been dying to go to one for a while! Unfortunately I don't have the extra money in my budget for a conference ticket, hotel stay and travel. I came across an article the other day about bloggers who get sponsors to go to conferences. Logically, I think my chances of finding a sponsor are pretty slim. However, I thought it would be interesting to blog about my journey.

What is SNAP? 

"There is something a bit different about being a creative blogger…Instead of dissecting life and examining the pieces like many online writers, we’re busy dreaming, sharing and building things up.We inspire one another and when we connect in ways that comfort and sustain, it is something truly extraordinary.

That is why we launched SNAP – a community where imaginative bloggers can come together; learn from one another and walk away invigorated.
The hallmark of this community? A three-day conference April 18-20, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah, targeting the best bloggers representing modern handmade, contemporary craft, mind-blowing events and DIY.
Take a step away from your busy life and join us for lots of laughter, hugging and replenishment. You’ll walk away with a stronger sense of community, enhanced skills and an even greater sense of self."
Step one: Learn what a media kit is and create one.
I did some research about media kits. Basically, these are one page sheets that give a rundown of your blog and your stats (followers, page views). Here's what mine looks like:

Step Two: Develop A letter to send out to potential sponsors.

What your letter should include:
  • Who you are and where you blog
  • Information about the conference
  • A request for sponsorship
  • Why you think this company would be a good sponsor
  • What you can do for the company (promotional ideas)
Step Three: Look for and contact sponsors!

I am in the process of doing this now. I have been going to different sites that I feel fit the "brand" of my blog. I have been looking for PR contacts to send emails to.

I will continue to post about this adventure! Does anyone have any other ideas?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dinner Update: Hotdogs and Ham

On Thursday we cooked the Bandito Dogs and Friday we made the Ham and Cheese Sandwiches.

We LOVED the Bandito Dogs! They were so easy and so delicious! My son and husband loved them as much as I did. If you're a fan of chili cheese dogs, this one is for you!

We did not love the Ham and Cheese Sandwiches. The onions were very overpowering and I had only used 1/2 an onion. The sauce mixture didn't seem to go with the ham and cheese. You may like these if you love onion. I like the concept of cutting all of the rolls at one time and baking them with the cheese. I think next time I might look for a garlic butter sauce instead of onion.

We were pretty good all week with not eating out! I had Jack in the Box tacos one day at work, but other than that, we ate at home every night and I packed my lunch with leftovers or sandwiches.

Sooo...the hubby and I are going out for dinner while our son goes to Kid's Night Out at the YMCA. I think we're going to Outback Steak House, yum!

Tomorrow I'm going to shop and meal plan for this week. I have a few ideas. Any other suggestions?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Kid's Game! Guest Post at Glamorous, Affordable Life!

I absolutely loved to play this game at Halloween parties when I was younger. Truth be told, I still have a blast playing it with the kids I teach! Check out my tutorial for the game over at Glamorous, Affordable Life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feed Me Friday Blog Hop!

Welcome to Feed Me Friday Blog Hop, hosted by Nap Time is My Time, Great Contradictions and Just Us Four and Eco Baby Mama Drama! Feed Me Friday is a Blog Hop to help you meet new bloggers and build your e-mail subscriptions.

Want to be a part of Feed Me Friday? 

Just follow these simple rules:

Sponsor Spotlight: Hurley Love

Meet Hannah! She is the blogger at Hurley Love. Hannah has taken the time to answer some great personal blogger questions!


  • Why did you start blogging? I started blogging about 4 years ago, just when my husband, then boyfriend, proposed to me. I thought that I would record my life, like a personal diary. I didn't really get into blogging until I had our first baby, a little girl named Lilly Mae.
  • What is your favorite thing to write about? I think my favorite thing to write about is parenting advice. I love to share what I am learning as a new momma.
  • Where is your favorite place to write? I love writing in a coffee house, but I usually am in bed while the husband and baby are asleep
"My name is Hannah Hurley and I am the blogger behind Hurley Love. I love to run, read, cook, bake, and be a mommy and wife. I was a teacher just before I had our little miss and enjoy teaching children as well. On my blog you will find posts about things I love and rants about what I hate. I love to post DIY tips."

You can find Hannah on: 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dinner Update: Cajun Fettuccine

Tonight I made the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo from the blog "Comfortably Domestic". It was amazing! I just used regular Cajun spice because it was cheap and I didn't feel like looking for a special blackening spice...sometimes I'm lazy like that :) I also used fat free half and half instead of heavy cream. I saved a few calories on that one. 

Even with my substitutions, the recipe still turned out delish! And it looks pretty too!

Sponsor Spotlight: Simplicity Interrupted

Today's sponsor spotlight is Kerri, from the blog, Simplicity Interrupted. One reason she is awesome is because we both have wonderful dogs named Stella! Take the time to check her out, I bet you will be glad you did!

        Simplicity Interrupted

hi, i'm kerri.

a little about me:
by day, i'm an attorney.
the rest of the time, i'm a doggie-mom to Stella, 
a 5 year old lab/hound rescue & constant companion of mine ...
i'm the girlfriend of an amazing man,
who just so happens to be a (just as amazing) father of two ...
i'm a sissy to my beautiful & ridiculously smart older sister,
and an auntie to her two adorably goofy, giggly girls.

simplicity interrupted 
is my space to be creative.
i post everything from 
recipes to tips & tricks,
from kids activities to fashion 
... its all in here.
life isn't simple ...
it's chaotic & disorganized & messy.
but its beautiful & its in progress, 
so all we can do is 
... breathe ...
& stop trying to control everything.

Guest Post: Kid Craft! Ghost Luminaries for Halloween

I am so happy to have Fotini as a guest blogger from  Glamorous, Affordable Life! I hope you all enjoy reading her writing as much as I do!

Hi! My name is Fotini and I blog over at Glamorous, Affordable Life! I’m thrilled to be guest posting today, thank you Michelle ;)

Today I’m going to be sharing a fun, easy craft project to do with the kids! Ghost luminaries…
Here’s what you’re going to need:
  • ·         Brown paper bags
  • ·         White craft or body paint, paintbrush
  • ·         Plastic plate (to put the paint on)
  • ·         Googly eyes
  • ·         Craft glue
  • ·         Decorative scissors (optional)
  • ·         Flameless candles

Grab your paper bag, paint, paintbrush and plastic plate.  Get your little ones bare tootsies out and begin to paint. My son is soo ticklish, he could barely stay still! Once the entire foot (toes included!) are covered in paint, place it firmly onto the bag (the heel should be towards the opening of the bag).

Repeat for your desired number of luminaries. I did two for each of my kids. Let your paint dry. I trimmed the top of my bags with decorative craft scissors, just for looks! Next, glue on your googly eyes. 

I was able to pick up two-packs of flameless candles at the dollar store, $1 per pack. Add your flameless candles to your bags and volia, ghost luminaries!

How cute would these look lined up your driveway for trick-or-treat night?!  I added mine to our hallway in front of the kids’ rooms. They look so cute lit up and the kids love them!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dinner Update: Cowboy Casserole

I royally screwed this thing up! I feel like I can't really give an accurate review of this casserole because I messed it up so badly :(

I really went wrong with the potatoes. Like I did for the previous casserole I made this week, I used fresh potatoes instead of frozen and I made this ahead of time. Two things went wrong with this. First, the freshly cut potatoes oxidized in the refrigerator and turned a purple-gray color. For someone who definitely eats with her eyes, this is no good. Second, the fresh potatoes require a longer cooking time so they are not crunchy, this took an additional 40 minutes.

I didn't add the meat the recipe calls for either (shhh don't tell my husband there was supposed to be ground beef)...I am not a vegetarian, but overall, I can do without most meats, especially ground beef.

So, there you have it. The overall taste wasn't bad, I just couldn't get over the gray potatoes. I'm a little bit weird anyway, so I am sure that contributed. I will not be making this again. I feel like even if it was done the right way, I might not be a fan.

There's always tomorrow!

Dinner Update: Buffalo Chicken and Potatoes

I made the Buffalo Chicken and Potatoes from the website "Tablespoons". I made this casserole on Sunday and we ate it on Monday. My husband is not a fan of green onions, so we skipped out on those. I also used fresh potatoes instead of frozen. When I went to the grocery store, we already had a big bag of potatoes at home, so I figured it was silly to buy frozen. I did cook the dish a bit longer (like 20 min) because the potatoes were kind of crunchy (not in a good way).

Here is what our version looked like (not as pretty as the original, lol):

Overall this dish was very yummy! It was just spicy enough without being too hot. Another meal I will make again! 

Sponsor Spotlight: Photos By Pab

Today's sponsor spotlight is Trish, from the blog Photos by Pab. Trish takes some amazing photos and also runs her own online store...of the adult variety *wink* *wink*. I think she's pretty cool and I think you will too!

My Art, My Life, My Blog

"Originally from Maine. . . I now live in midtown Sacramento, with my boyfriend, a collection of dolls, my mannequin, and 2 spoiled cats. I’m also the owner of
I love the Beach, my Cameras, horror movies, flea markets, converse high tops, Cemeteries, black & white photos, purple, my darkroom, trolls, Mannequins, skulls, flowers, Silver, creepy antique curiosities, 120 film, fairy tales, tattoos and the color pink. All of this has influenced my art, which has been described as hip-chick with a twisted beauty of mundane things.
Please contact me if you need some new creative and unique photos.
I wish to thank everyone who has appreciated my work."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Cassie's Life

Today's Sponsor Spotlight is the blog, Cassie's Life. Her blog gives some great tips on weight loss, healthy eating and exercise. Cassie has her own line of awesome skin products, check her out!

"I am 24 years old will be married to the man of my dreams for 4 years on this November 2nd. I just had a healthy, beautiful baby boy August 3rd 2012. He is my life right now, and because of him my husband and I want me to stop working in the "real work world" and stay home and raise our son. Obviously leaving a job will most likely cause financial changes and for us these changes are going to be HUGE! I say this in future tense because I am still receiving disability for being on pregnancy leave, but soon will be bringing in zero dollars to our home! SO, to hopefully help I am going to use my God-given talents and passions and create a skin care line. I am beginning with lotion and will sell online on"

Dinner Update: Lemon Garlic Turkey

I made the Crockpot Lemon Garlic Turkey Breast from the blog "Spending My Days with Moose and Elephant". It was fantastic! My husband and I had it for dinner with enough left over for me to make a sandwich for work today. I took a picture before I sliced it. I took it with my phone, so it isn't great, but you'll get the idea. I will definitely make this again!

October Giveaway!

Hi Everyone! Check out this awesome giveaway that I am so happy to be a part of! :)

The Great October Giveaway is here!
My amazing Sponsors and I have teamed up to bring you some great prizes. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mom's Monday Mingle!

Hi Everyone! I couldn't be more excited to co-host my first blog hop! Have a blast!

Welcome to Mom's Monday Mingle!
Last week we had 253
moms ready to mingle!
Please help spread the news on this growing hop!
Please tweet about this hop!
1. Please follow each hostess. They are 1-6 in the list!
At Home Take 2- Hostess
Ponder Wonders
Life's Sweetest Little Blessings
Chase The Star
Michelle's Pixie Dust
We do FOLLOW back and we really love all the comments! If you are new let us know and leave your blog address so we can return the follow ;)
2. Try to visit at least 4 blogs that interest you. Just don't throw your name into the link up, hoping to gain followers. Participate, make friends, and have fun! I know I have made a lot of great blog friends ;)

3. Feel free to grab the new button and display it on your sidebar or link it to the post.

Would YOU like to "Co-host" with us?
Email Jessica
at At Home Take 2.
We are scheduling now!

Check Out This Months Sponsor:

What's For Dinner This Week?

In a never ending effort to make my life a bit more organized...I decided to go to the grocery store today and meal plan my week. I even pre-made a few casseroles :)

I have also been dying to try some of these recipes I pinned on Pinterest (I know you all know how that is)!

Here are the link ups and pics to what we will be eating this week. I will try to update you all on how we like them!


Crockpot Lemon Garlic Turkey Breast from the blog "Spending My Days with Moose and Elephant"

(No pic, but I will take one when it's cooked!)


Buffalo Chicken and Potatoes from the website "Tablespoons" (this one I made ahead)


Cowboy Casserole from the blog "The Cutting Edge of Ordinary" (I made this ahead too).


Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo from the blog "Comfortably Domestic" 


Hawaiian Roll Ham and Cheese Sandwiches from the blog "Beyer Beware"


Bandito Dogs (made in the crockpot) from the Blog "The Prairie Cottage"


I told my husband if we have been good all week and not bought any extras (like fast food) then we can treat ourselves out one night. :)

I plan on searching for some random side dishes to go as well. Maybe a veggie here and a rice side there. I hope I can keep this up!

*P.S. I want to let everyone know these are not my pictures, they are from each individual website. Gotta make sure we give credit where credit is due! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm Sorry Toilet Paper

As any mother will tell you, sometimes we have those days that are overwhelming. Since getting married, Jasen has struggled with accepting my husband as an equal parent. I try patience and making positive changes. I know we are making progress slowly but surely. The other night I had one of those overwhelming moments and I needed to get out of the house. I left to run some errands and when I returned I was given the "I'm Sorry" toilet paper:

How could I possibly stay angry after receiving an I'm Sorry letter written on toilet paper? This is just one of the many reasons I love my crazy family!


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