Monday, March 23, 2015

Modest Mondays: Happy Spring!

We're officially on spring break over here, so I won't be online much so I can enjoy every second of it with Nate and the kids! We don't have anything big planned, just fun things each day that the kids will enjoy. The weather is supposed to be ahhhmazing (70's and 80's!) so we will be outside as much as possible.

I wore this outfit a few weeks back when I was going to a casual dinner with the pregnancy center I volunteer at. It was rainy and cold, so I added tights and boots, but this would be super cute with wedges or flats for warmer weather!

Tucking in a shirt is WAY out of my comfort zone, but the skirt style kind of calls for it, so I did. Thankfully the fuller waist helped hide my post-baby (7 months later, blah) so I felt comfortable in it. The shirt has little polka dots, so there is definitely some mild pattern mixing going on here. ;)

Outfit Details
Blouse: Target (clearance!)

Necklace: Teething necklace that I love and wear all the time. When I'm holding Nicolas he grabs it and chews it and it keeps him occupied while I'm chatting with friends at church. :)

Skirt: Klassy Girl Boutique (gorgeous modest clothing!)

Tights: Gift

Boots: Goodwill 

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Off to enjoy the sunshine with my kiddos. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Tried and True Freezer Meals

When I was about 36 weeks pregnant with Nicolas, I took an afternoon and cooked up a few weeks worth of freezer meals. It was one of the best things I have ever done for my own sanity! We were blessed with meals from friends and family for close to 2 weeks after he was born, but once those were over, I was still trying to recover and get into a new groove with school/homework/4 kids/no sleep/nursing every 8.2 seconds.... you get the point. Pulling out a frozen meal was a total lifesaver. I could add a salad and/or starch and have a complete meal in very little time, plus hardly any clean up from cooking! I was hooked and have been freezer cooking almost ever since! I cook about 2 weeks of meals at one time at it saves me so much time later on, not to mention it's great for our budget!

 I know there are tons of great blog posts out there on freezer cooking, so I'll keep this really simple. I just wanted to compile my favorites that are tried and true in case any of you wanted to try it out or you already do and want to check out some new recipes!

 A few tips:
 1) Make double, triple or quadruple of everything! That way you'll only be making 4-5 meals and have food for a few weeks.
 2) Almost everything listed here besides the casseroles can be frozen in ziplock bags lying flat to save room
 3) Wear comfy shoes when cooking. Especially if you're at the end of pregnancy. I still had swollen ankles at the end of the day, but my feet weren't quite as sore as they could have been. ;)
 4) With every recipe I added salt and pepper to my own taste

 Meatballs in BBQ sauce
 (I used the meatball recipe but just did good ol' Kraft honey BBQ sauce ;). I served with roasted potatoes and carrots.

Slow Cooker Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork
 (I only used the adobo sauce and not the Chipotle Peppers because it would have been a little on the spicy side for my kids) I served in tortillas with taco toppings, but you could also do it over rice.

 Black Bean Taco Soup
 Served with tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
 I kind of threw my own recipe together, but this is similar. Mine has bell peppers and zucchini.  Serve over rice or pasta.

Maple Dijon Chicken
 (I used honey instead of syrup. I've made this with chicken breast in the crock pot, or chicken thighs in the oven baked at 400 for about an hour. I preferred the thighs in the oven, but both were great!) Served with roasted veggies or rice.

 Teriyaki Chicken 
 I did frozen carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. I cooked it in the crock pot for a few hours, and then put it on the stovetop to thicken the sauce before serving over rice. The fresh ginger in this was amazing--definitely the best Asian dish I've ever made!

 Chicken and Dressing Casserole
 I made my own stuffing because we have an amazing family recipe and I can't imagine eating anything else!

 White Chicken Enchiladas
 I cannot find the recipe I used! But this one looks yummy and has good ratings. ;) The one I used had cream of chicken soup and sour cream, which I'm sure could be used in place of the cheese sauce.

I've done my own soup recipes-- Tortilla soup and Chicken soup. Potatoes and pasta do not freeze well, (besides in lasagna) so add that in later if that's part of your recipe.

 I've done a chicken alfredo. I did my own alfredo sauce, thin sliced chicken breast and spinach for good measure. I made the alfredo sauce thicker than normal because I knew the chicken juice would thin it out a bit as it cooked. This is great served over pasta or spaghetti squash for a healthier option.

 I've also frozen muffins, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and bean and cheese tacos for the mornings. These are wonderful for early school mornings when I've gotten no sleep... no effort, and I know she's getting something filling nutritious.

 Hope that helps some of you. I cannot talk enough about cooking freezer meals. I LOVE it!

 If you freezer cook, leave me links to some of your recipes! I'm always looking for new ones. :)

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