Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Crockpot Corner: Chicken and Dumplings

So I have recently gotten into the whole crockpot scene (yes it's a scene.. and it'll change your world). I'm all about keeping things simple and the crockpot definitely does just that. All you do is throw everything in and voila! You can get so many things done while it sets there cooking! Multi-tasking at it's best! So I have been looking for recipes to try out on my days off and I came across this one through PINTEREST. Of course I added some things to it and so can you. Here is the basic recipe that I found:
1lb of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 cans (10.5oz) Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can (14oz) Chicken Broth 
1 medium White Onion, diced 
4 Large Flaky Refrigerator Biscuits (half a can)

Here are the couple changes and additions I made: Instead of an onion I added a half a bag of mixed frozen carrots, corn and green beans. I also used Chicken Stock instead of Broth, but same thing really. I also used a special herb addition of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup for some extra flavor as well as some Cumin.

You can honestly tweak this recipe however you want, you can't really go wrong here! Now this recipe does serve about 6-8 people. I plan on making extra to pack for my lunches at work and maybe even freeze some for later on. So with out further ado here are the instructions:

  1. Place thawed chicken in crockpot. Top with butter add cream of chicken soup, chicken broth and onions. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours (I did high, because I was ready to eat it that day!).
  2. After the chicken has cooked through, cut each biscuit into small pieces(appox. 9 each). Add biscuits and continue to cook 30 mins to an hour longer, or until the biscuits are done. 
  3. Remove chicken and shred. After shredded place chicken back into crockpot and mix. I added a little bit of Parsley, Cilantro, Salt and Pepper to taste to finish it up!

See easy as 1..2..3! I also made Roasted Sweet Potatoes to go with (I'll share this recipe on another day!). I'd love to here feedback about this post! Since it is my first "try it out" recipe post on my blog, I want to know if YOU found this helpful and if YOU have in fact become just as much as a crockpot junkie as I have! Sending you the best, this Holiday!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

While enjoying the fact that I can do absolutely nothing on my days off of work, I also look forward to sitting on my couch with my warm fuzzy blanket, lit candles and a good movie. All this wouldn't be picture perfect, however, without a nice cup of coffee in hand. Now let's face it, it's fall so to make it better it's Pumpkin Spice! Now I realize this makes me a so called "Basic" girl, but I mean come on. If you can honestly tell me that you wouldn't enjoy doing any of these things in any combination I'd be surprised. I would also completely reconsider our friendship.....that may be a bit dramatic.....but I'm okay with that.

So today I enjoyed my ritual and I thought I would share my "recipe" for my Pumpkin Spice coffee (which honestly is probably what the majority of you guys do). So be prepared to be un-amazed at my mad coffee making skills!

Starbucks House blend Keurig Cups
Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice Creamer
Whipped Topping
Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg

There you go! Like I said nothing special. I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin or peppermint. I do have a question for all of you though.....What coffee brand do you use? If you do use Starbucks, what blend of coffee do you prefer. I bought this to try it and I like it, but I'm open to more!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Cruelty Free

So for every 20 something year old there's going to be changes happening. Whether they are planned for you, by you or unexpectedly, changes occur 24/7. So with the obvious stated for you, here's the not so obvious. I decided to make a lifestyle change about two months ago. I've always had a soft spot for animals. And for some time now I've been donating money to the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States). It's not an outrageous amount by any means, but it's something to help each month. Through social media, however, it was brought to my attention more and more of the on-going issue of animal testing and animal cruelty. I felt the need to do more, I had to do more!

This is where http://www.gocrueltyfree.org came into play. This site helped me realize what I could do to help end this outrageous problem, by simply replacing the products I use daily with those that are cruelty free (not used on animals). I was shocked to find out that so many products that I used were not animal friendly. But this website gave me options to use in place of those. It made it easier to make the transition. I by no means am at 100%, I am still a work in progress with this lifestyle change. I also don't claim to be perfect, so if you have any information that will help me or educate me more in this process I am more then willing to take that in.

So with all that said, I wanted to share some of the swaps I made in order to work toward a Cruelty Free lifestyle. Now I won't post the products I used to use, but I can verify why I chose the new ones!  I tried to choose products that were in my price range. I've also shared the links so you can see you pricing for yourself.

At an average price of $5 depending on where you purchase from, Tom's of Maine was an easy switch from my previous toothpaste. The cruelty free bunny of the back of the product immediately let's you know there was no animal testing with this product. A company pays to have that symbol on the product. From what I learned though, there may be a company that is cruelty free that does not have the symbol, but you'll need to do research on that. But I look at it this way, why wouldn't a company want it's consumer's to know it's cruelty free? Just a thought.

This brand was a lifesaver because usually Cruelty Free makeup can be a bit on the expensive side. This brand comes at a reasonable price and delivers the bunny! I use a Matte and loose powder as my foundation, but they have other options as well. Other options for cruelty free cosmetics are (but not limited to) e.l.f cosmetics, Tarte, Bareminerals and Stila cosmetics.

One of my favorite places to go because the staff is always so helpful. They will also let you take samples of items if you aren't sure. Not only are the cruelty free, but they are also a very GREEN company! I've used their face cleansers and masks and can attest to them working. My skin feels amazing afterwards! You are able to pick the amount you want and that depends on your price. It may get a little more pricey at times, but it's worth it and depends on what you get.


For a definite honorable mention I wanted to include Burt's Bees. They sell several different products that you can easily incorporate into your life. I use several of their items (below) and still want to try more! 

So it's safe to say there are a lot of options out there for you to make the switch to CRUELTY FREE products. Doing your own research will definitely help to grasp a better understanding of what it means to be CRUELTY FREE as well as what options are better for your lifestyle. It's taking the time to make the change that seems to be the hardest part for most people. Once you do though, you will feel like you are making a difference and will want to share how easy it was (case and point myself!).

I do not claim that these are my pictures. Found with the help of GOOGLE.