Monday, November 28, 2016

Why I Love Chatbooks

Okay let's take a minute to talk about Chatbooks.  There is currently a deal where when you use my link you'll get your first Chatbook for FREE and I have a chance to earn some free books too.  I only get credit if you order your first book in the next week though - so if you're  gonna set up an account to help me out, make sure to order your free book too ;)  So I'm gonna tell you just why I love Chatbooks.

First of all, it's the lazy mom way of scrapbooking.  Listen, I just don't have the time to scrapbook and I know I'll never go back several years to get caught up.  Chatbooks is linked to my Instagram account and every post I make is automatically stored in order on Chatbooks.  Once 60 pages are filled they will send you a book.  BOOM it's that easy.  You don't have to do anything speacial, but if you want, you're able to go and select posts you don't want included through the Chatbooks app.  You can also add pictures from your computer or phone.

One thing I did that was a huge hit was make a special Father's Day book for my husband filled with drawings they made for him.  I simply scanned the pictures onto my computer and added them to a book.  He LOVED it.  You could absolutely do something similar for Christmas guys!  Here are some pictures from the Father's Day Book:

I order the softcover books and they are $8/each including shipping - WIN!!!!  For the Father's Day Book I ordered a hardcover book to make it a little extra special.

So to sum up why I love Chatbooks - It's the cheapest, easiest scrapbooking ever and my kids loooooooove to look through them and talk about all of the memories.

Here's the link one more time if you're thinking of signing up!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Penne Pasta Bake

This meal has been a go to for our family for years.  It's easy, freezes well and everyone likes it.  I like to the recipe up into two 8x8 pans and then freeze one, but you can just do one big 9x13 pan instead.
  • 16 Oz penne pasta noodles, cooked al dente and strained
  • ½ lb. ground beef, cooked (I season with dried minced onions and seasoning salt)
  • 1-2 Jars marinara sauce (If you’re freezing add extra sauce so the noodles don’t get dry)
  • 16 Slices smoked provolone cheese (you can get away with 12 if you’re just doing it in one large pan rather than 2 smaller pans)
  • ⅔ Cup sour cream
  • ⅔ Cup grated mozzarella or parmesan cheese


Put a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan to keep noodles from sticking. Put half of your cooked noodles in the pan. Then add half of your ground beef. Cover with half of your sauce. Create a layer with your provolone cheese.  Spread sour cream on top of provolone slices.  Add the remaining ground beef.  Then the rest of the pasta noodles.  Top noodles with remaining pasta sauce.  Spread out the sauce to make sure all of the noodles are covered.  Do another layer of provolone cheese.  Top with grated mozzarella or parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until your cheese is bubbly and browning a bit.

TO FREEZE - Stop before the baking step and cover it with foil.  When you’re ready to cook this dish, either thaw it in the fridge overnight or bake it at 350 for 1 ½ hours, keeping it covered with the foil until the last 30-45 minutes so the cheese doesn’t get too browned.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Nintendo NES Classic

I don't know about you, but ever since the Nintendo NES Classic was announced I knew it was what I wanted for our family Christmas gift.  I had even been talking to my husband about how they needed to bring back the good old games the week before they announced it.  I felt like I predicted the future :)

Getting your hands on one is TRICKY though.  I was able to snag one yesterday WHEW!  I want to help you get one too.  So here's what I know so far:

Walmart will be restocking today and tomorrow at 2pm Pacific Time.  Here's the link:

Yesterday it actually popped up as available a little early and I snagged mine at 1:51.  I think it depends on your local Walmarts because it's pick-up only.  So if your local Walmarts don't have any instock I don't think it will pull up as available for you, but that's just a guess.

To increase your chance to getting one you're gonna want to be able to check out QUICK so make sure you have a account with a credit card and email already set up.

FYI The price should be $59.88  DO NOT BUY from the greedy people trying to sell them for $400!

May the odds be ever in your favor!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Best Thai Chicken Salad You'll Ever Make

No joke, this salad is seriously amazing.  My husband requests it often and says it's better than salads he gets at restaurants.  The best part is it's easy and a great way to get eat your veggies.  Once time I had left overs, but was out of lettuce, so I made it with a bunch of broccoli and the remaining ingredients and it was FABULOUS.  So that's another option.  I wanted to take a better picture of it with natural light and make it all pretty, but the sun goes down at like 4:00 these days and it just didn't happen.  But trust me, it's much prettier in person.


- 2-3 Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbs Rice Vinegar
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Bunch Cilantro
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1/2 tsp Salt

Shredded Carrots
Red Bell Pepper
Green Onions
Wonton Strips (found with the salad toppings)

- 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce
- 1 tsp Oil (vegetable oil, olive oil or sesame oil work great)
- Salt and Pepper to taste

Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
- 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbs Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce
- 1/2 Tbs Sambal (this gives it a bit of heat so add the amount you desire or exclude it if you don't want it spicy)


For the chicken:
Cut each chicken breast into 2-3 long strips.  In a bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Whisk until well combined.  Add chicken to marinade and let it sit for at least 4 hours to overnight.  Grill chicken until cooked and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and adding to the salad.  You could also bake or pan sear the chicken if you don't want to grill it, but I love it grilled.

For the salad:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except peanuts and wonton strips.  After the salad has been tossed with the dressing and drizzled with the peanut sauce, add the final toppings.

For the dressing:
Combine all ingredients and whisk well to combine. Pour over salad and toss to coat evenly.

For the peanut sauce:
Combine all ingredients and whisk well to combine.  Drizzle over salad.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"Healthy" Ice Cream

Need to drown your election sorrows with some ice cream? I just found out about Halo Top Ice Cream and it's pretty darn good for being "healthy ice cream" the gal on Our Best Bites was raving about it so I had to give it a try.  Where I live, it's only carried at Rosauers in the natural section (not the normal ice cream area).  You can find out where they sell it near you HERE .  They only had a few flavors when I went the other night.  I got strawberry which is just okay and then birthday cake which I enjoyed quite a bit (when I go to Coldstone I ALWAYS get cake batter with sprinkles).  I actually ate the whole pint in one sitting 🙈 but hey it was only 280 calories right!?! Rosauers also had vanilla, chocolate (which I heard is no bueno) and lemon cake. I've heard good things about the lemon cake and look forward to trying it out.  I'm hoping at some point they get oatmeal cookie, mint chip and peanut butter cup which seem to be everyone's favs.  I will warn you that they aren't cheap, but for an occasional special treat I think it's worth it.  I recommend letting the pint sit on the counter for a few minutes so the texture becomes more creamy rather than grainy.  I'm seriously wishing I had some right about now, but alas I'm stuck at home with my son who has the stomach flu :(

Thursday, November 3, 2016

30 Minute Chili Recipe

It's getting to be that time of year again when warm soup, stew, chili, etc. is all you want for dinner.  Well I have a quick and easy 30 minute chili recipe that is delicious and it even has a secret ingredient that takes it over the top.


1 lb Ground beef, browned (I brown my hamburger with dried minced onions for extra flavor.  I also only use 1/2 lb cause I'm just not a BIG ground beef fan).
1 (15 oz) Can chili beans with sauce
1 (15 oz) Can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) Can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (46 oz) Can tomato juice
1 (28 oz) Can crushed tomatoes
3 Tbs Chili powder
1 1/2 tsp Onion powder
1 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Garlic salt
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Stir to combine.  Cook on medium-high heat until it starts to simmer.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Top with your favorite chili fixings.  We are a cheese and sour cream family.  Enjoy!