• Restaurant Style Insta Pot Refried Beans

    insta pot refried beans

     

    Lets talk about the best Mexican food side of all time. It’s the refried beans. Who is with me? We specifically pick which restaurant we get take out food from, based on the beans. It’s all about the beans (well and the tortillas but that is a post for another time). Making amazing refried beans use to be really hard, and time consuming. Lets be honest, who got time for that? I certainly don’t. With this hack, you can make restaurant quality refried beans in your insta pot. Thats right insta pot refried beans.

    Who is with me, this kitchen gadget is the best thing since sliced bread (oh you want to make that too, check out this post for the easiest bread recipe ever). I must admit, I am a bit of “collector” of the insta pots. We have them in all kinds of sizes. For the house, and for the RV. This thing makes cooking so easy. If you don’t have yet, I would HIGHLY recommend that you get one pronto. You won’t regret it.

    Now there is a big debate, do you soak beans or not. Personally I soak them, because I really feel that it makes the beans easier to mash after you cook them. I know of a lot of people that don’t and their beans turn out just as amazing as these. The preference is completely up to you. IF you choose to soak them, I just do a quick soak. Put the beans in a bowl of hot water and cover. Leave it for about an hour or up to 5 hours, really makes no difference. If I remember I do it in the morning and let it soak all day. BECAUSE the kids get excited knowing that mom is making beans for dinner and they tend to behave better knowing that it is coming with dinner. But if you don’t remember till sometime after lunch, no sweat.

  • Amazing Easy No Kneed Bread

    Easy No Kneed Bread

    Lets talk about home made, straight from the oven bread. Is there anything better? In my world, there is nothing better. The house smells amazing all day long, the payoff for the wait is amazing, and it is a little piece of heaven right there on the table. If you can even get it where it is still a little warm, oh thats the stuff that dreams are made of. Well, here is an amazing, easy, no kneed bread that will wow even the harshest of critics (the kids I mean).

    I love carbs, not even going to try to hide that. I love them them in all forms: pasta, rice, cereal. But my favorite is hands down bread. Sourdough, French, Italian, that super dark that you can get at “fancy” restaurants; there is yet a bread that I don’t love. When it is warm, right out of the oven; simply perfection. But who has time to make home made bread every day? And who even knows HOW to make bread right out of the oven? Yes, some of us fancy bread making machines. Those are great and make lovely home made bread; but it is still not that fresh out of the oven bread.

    This was something that I really wanted to learn to do. With the world as it is, I have some extra time on my hands. (You know when not trying to entertain four little human beings, or keep them from killing each other while stuck at home too) Time though. Who has the time? Where do you start to learn? Well, my wonderful amazing neighbor must have heard my thoughts. She brought me over a lovely, hot, fresh loaf of bread for our dinner one night. I was in love!

    This bread is so easy to make. It doesn’t take all day to make. You won’t be spending hours kneeding the dough. And you will have a perfect, lovely loaf of bread for your dinner table. (Best part, is this actually makes 4 loaves, so you will have bread ALL WEEK by making it once)

  • Quick Easy Family Friendly Meals

    Quick Easy Family Friendly Meals….. I Promise

    It’s a new year.

    • Did you resolve to eat more meals at home?
    • Cook more of your families dinners?
    • Eat healthier by not eating all the grease of fast food?
    • Now come to realize that you have a picky eater? That you don’t like cooking? Or even have the time to cook dinner every night?

    Oh my you are certainly speaking my language there. I certainly want to cook these amazing, full, warm, filling dinners for my family. There are these pictures in my head of kids sitting nicely at the table, while I serve these meals in heels and pearls. Complete with salads, veggies, a few sides and a big main dish. Kids (and husband) eat everything without complaint.

    Then I wake up and realize that (1) I don’t like to cook or spend hours in my kitchen; (2) I don’t have the time to cook these types of meals; with 4 kids now I need a dump and go meal and (3) my kids are picky eaters. The picture in my mind only happens on very special occasions and sometimes big holidays (aka Thanksgiving and Christmas). But I do want to have hearty, healthy meals that the kids will actually eat.

  • Quick and Easy 4th of July Snacks

    Top 5 Quick and Easy 4th of July Snacks That Everyone Will Love!

    The big day is THIS weekend (okay okay it is technically not till Tuesday, but come on we are all going to be partying this weekend for it). Are you ready for the 4th of July? I am surely not!! And we are hosting our annual 4th of July Bash TOMORROW! Oh my oh my do I have work to do. Well the good news is that I have a Pinterest page full of ideas, and better for you, I will be sharing my 5 Favorite Fourth snacks with all of you! These are super easy, yet festive, snacks that can be whipped up in just a few moments.

  • Meal Planning Made Easy

    Meal Planning Made Easy

    Are you frustrated every time someone asks “What’s for dinner”? Are you scrambling to figure out what to make at 4:00, only to realize that there is nothing in the pantry? Are you overwhelmed with the idea of meal planning for an entire month? Then this post is perfect for you.

  • Welcome to Baking Season

    Sprinkles Cupcake

    Can you believe that it is December? We are on the count down for Christmas and staring down 2016. In our house, once we pass Thanksgiving it is not the Christmas Season, we enter “Baking Season”. Personally I HATE to cook, you can’t get around it (cause kids like to eat). But baking, I love to bake; warm bread, cookies right out of the oven. That is why I was so excited to get the opportunity to work with Sprinkles Cupcakes and kick off our baking season with their yummy cupcakes.

    These are no ordinary cupcakes, that you whip up from a box that you picked up at the store. These are gourmet quality, but from your kitchen, cupcakes. They are rich, dense (yet light), moist pieces of perfection. If you are so lucky to live in a city where you can go down and get one I would highly recommend it. Go now. I promise you won’t regret it. If you don’t live near one, no worries; you can order their mixes and make them at home.

  • Looking to Trim Some Calories AND Give Back?


    How it Works

     

    Are you looking to trim some calories, without sacrificing your favorite foods? Are you looking for easy ways to give back this season? Then this app has your name all over it.

    While I don’t obsess over my calories/weight/what I am eating. I do like to eat healthy, and this time of year there are so many sweets, that if I can save a few calories for an extra cookie later, I will take it. But I am certainly not going to diet, or count every calorie. So when Food Tweeks talked to me about this app, I was pretty excited.

    First, this is a free app. And who doesn’t like a free app? You just have to download it, and set up an account. And off you go.

    Once you get all set up, it is so simple to use. You click the search button at the bottom left corner, then type in the food that you are wanting. It will then search, and pull up all kinds of little “Tweeks” you can do. This way you still get to eat your favorite foods, without sacrificing taste; all while saving a few calories.

    IMG_4376

     

    Then it keeps tracks of your progress. So since I have started to using is, I have pulled 240 calories out of my diet. (We won’t mention that I have ate more then that in my children’s Halloween candy that is sitting around the house. But sshhh that is just between us) Which is nice to know, so after a few days, you would have “Tweeked” enough to have a small reward.

    But the best part of this app, is that for every calorie you cut out of your diet, all those calories that you have tweeked, get out into your bag. Once you get 600 calories in your bag, then they donate a bag of food to someone who needs it. Our family tries to help others as much as we can, and this gives us a way to incorporate into our daily lives. My daughters love asking me to tweek my meals, so the calories can go to others. It is helping them feel like they are giving back AND keeping me accountable for making healthy choices with my food.

    If you want more information go their website and check it out.  Click Here

  • Top 10 Uses of Tea Tree Oil

    tea tree oil

    Tea Tree Oil has been one of those products that I hear so much about; how amazing it is, that you can use it for just about anything, that it is good for you, and so on. But to be totally honest, it completely intimidates me. How can one product be an answer to everything? Well let me tell you, it can.

    I received a bottle of 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil from Apothecary Extracts, to help me over come this intimidation. Along with the bottle, I got an e-book with recipes for 53 everyday uses of Tea Tree Oil. I was completely overwhelmed, there are a ton of uses for this product. Things that I have never ever thought to use this for, there are recipes for. After taking a much needed breath, and literally walked away from all the information, I was able to get it in my head that this was an amazing product.

    Here were my Top 10 Uses For Tea Tree Oil:

    • Skin Care-
      1. Facial Toner-
        • What You Need
          • 1/4 Cup of Witch Hazel
          • 7 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 3 Drops of Jasmine Oil
          • 1 Cup of Room Temperature Green Tea
        • To Use-
          • Steep tea until cooled to room temperature, mix in Witch Hazel and oils. Shake well and store in sealable jar. Apply small amount to cotton ball and apply to clean face.
      2. Sweet Banana Scrub-
        • What You Need-
          • 1 Over Ripe Banana
          • 1/3 Cup Stone Ground Oats
          • 1/4 tsp. Tea Tree Oil
        • To Use-
          • Mash banana until no longer lumpy. Add in oats and oil, mix well. Apply to body, scrub with a circular motion and rinse off.
      3. Silky Smooth Lip Scrub-
        • What You Need-
          • Superfine Sugar
          • 5 Drops of Olive Oil
          • 9 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 2 Drops of Peppermint Oil
        • To Use-
          • Mix all together until a paste forms. Apply to lips with fingers in a circular motion, then rinse off.
    • Hair Care-
      1. Cradle Cap Treatment-
        • What You Need-
          • 5 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 1/2 Cup Almond Oil
          • Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
        • To Use-
          • Mix oil together and rub onto scalp
          • Use shampoo and wash out the oil
      2. Detangling Tea Tree Conditioner
        • What You Need-
          • 10 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
          • I Cup Distilled Water
        • To Use-
          • Mix all together and spray onto clean damp hair.
    • First Aid Uses- 
      1. Soothing Autumn Balm-
        • What You Need
          • 2 Ounces of Beeswax
          • 2 Cups of Avocado Oil
          • 10 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 10 Drops of Geranium Oil
        • To use-
          • Melt Avocado oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in oils before storing in a clean jar.
      2. Soak for Sore Muscles
        • What You Need-
          • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • Epson Salt
          • Bath of hot water
        • To Use-
          • Mix all into a tub of water and soak for as long as you want
    • Aromatherapy Uses-
      1. Bye Bye Anxiety Bath-
        • What You Need-
          • 7 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 7 Drops of Bergamot Oil
          • 6 Drops of Sandalwood Oil
          • 2 Ounce of Jojoba Oil
        • To Use-
          • Store in dark jar, and pour about 1/4 ounce in running water when you need to relax.
      2. Sleepy Time Diffuser-
        • What You Need-
          • 10 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 5 Drops of Bergamot Oil
          • 10 Drops of Chamomile Oil
          • 8 Thin Bamboo Rods
          • 1 Cup of Water
        • To Use-
          • Pour water and oil into jar, let bamboo rods soak for 10-15 minutes
      3. TGIF Diffuser
        • What You Need-
          • 10 Drops of Tea Tree Oil
          • 5 Drops of Geranium Oil
          • 3 Drops of Frankincense Oil
          • 2 Drops of Orange Oil
        • To Use-
          • Mix all oils together and place a few drops of mixture in the bowl of a diffuser with one tablespoon of water. Light candle and let burn until there is no more scent being expelled.

    So these are my Top 10 Uses. Did I miss any? What are your favorite uses for Tea Tree Oil?

    Want more information then be sure to check out here.

  • 9 Must Try ASAP Pumpkin Recipes

    Pumpkin Collage

    I love me some pumpkin!! In fact, I do tend to a go a bit crazy this time of year on the pumpkin stuff. And not your traditional pumpkin pie or Starbucks pumpkin lattes; but real pumpkin food with just about all meals. It is a great thing that my poor family likes pumpkin, maybe not as much as I do, but they don’t complain about my crazy obsession with this amazing food.

    Mix that small addiction with Pinterest and you get a lot of really great ideas. So here is my list of “9 Must Try ASAP” pumpkin recipes. (They are in a random order)

     

    pumpkin 10

    1) Pumpkin Chili
    This is one of my favorites, and my family absolutely LOVES it. Plus it is so unbelievably easy to make. We do add ground turkey to it though. Typically we put it over Fritos, I know everyone that we tell that rolls their eyes. But try it, it really does make chili so much better.
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumkin 9

    2) Gooey Pumpkin Cake
    Is there anything not to love about pumpkin and cake? Then make it yummy, warm and gooey; it is just perfection. My mom always said growing up ice cream fixed everything, well then this is the answer to world peace. It is a dessert that everything thinks is homemade and took lots of time. But it is easy easy!! SSHH it will be our secret.
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumkin 8

    3) Pumpkin Fudge
    Fudge is without a doubt my favorite holiday snack/treat/dessert/whatever you wanna call it. And I have been known to down pounds of this stuff all by my pretty little self in a single sitting. I have zero will power, and even if I had some it would just be to eat more of it. So when I found a recipe for a pumpkin version, I both love it and hate it. There goes all the weight I lost this summer (but hey, we lose the weight in summer so we can indulge with all the winter treats….right?).
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumkin 7

    4) Pumpkin French Toast
    French Toast is my girls favorite morning breakfast. And while I like it just fine, it gets a little boring. This is such an easy twist to this loved classic. And the nice thing is, the pumpkin has such a sweet, strong flavor, that it eliminates the need for any syrup.
    Woo-Hoo
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumpkin 6

    5) Pumpkin Shake
    Does anything else have to be said about this amazing concoction? But to make it that much better, it is actually a weight watcher recipe. You don’t have to feel all that guilty of enjoying this treat, more then once.
    Found on Pinterest here

     

    pumpkin 5

    6) Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats
    These little treats rank right up there with fudge. I tend to make these late at night, then eat them all before the kids get up. All that is left is the empty box of Rice Krispie and the pot on the stove. These were another great twist. They were so yummy that I even saved a little bit for the kids to try. They gobbled them right up.
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumpkin 4

    7) Pumpkin Chocolate Truffles
    These were a bit harder for me to make. I ended up with a huge mess and lots of frustration. There may have been a bottle of wine involved when I gave up. HOWEVER, seeing the look of ecstasy on my hubby’s face when he tried the few that made it to completion, made all the trouble so worth it. So while I won’t make them often, I know the trouble will be worth it.
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumpkin 3

    8) Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cake
    Yes I have a thing for sweets and cakes. But this time of year is all about the sweets. Along with pumpkin I have a thing for salted caramel, so this mixing the two of them, is simply wonderful. This cake has it all, salty/sweet mix, pumpkin, caramel, all baked into a yummy cake. If you are a caramel and a pumpkin fan, then you need to whip this up ASAP.
    Found on Pinterest here

    pumpkin 2

    9) Pumpkin Butter
    Everyone raves about great apple butter, but if you ask me, it doesn’t hold a candle to pumpkin. And this is simple, through it in the crock pot the night before and have yummy pumpkin butter in the morning. But a word to the wise, make small batches.
    Found on Pinterest here

    And because I love you all so much, and during the fall season, we must never forget,

    pumpkin 1

    10) No Bake Pumpkin Pie
    While I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, this one looks light and perfect. While it is not made from scratch, it looks like something easy to whip up on your way to a holiday party or family dinner.
    Found on Pinterest here

    Did I miss any? What are your favorite pumpkin recipes this season? Please tell me there are some other pumpkin fanatics out there.

     

  • Sunday Breakfast

    photo (14)

    For us, Sunday means lazy family pajama day. What is better then a lazy family pajama day? Starting that day with French Toast, of coarse. This is a go to staple in my house, super easy to make and pretty hard to mess up. Today, we did a pretty straight forward French Toast, but on special occasions I will coat them in corn flakes before putting them on the griddle. Hope that you are a having a fantastic  Sunday as well.

    PS- Tomorrow is another Monday Morning MakeUp Linky Party!!! I am hoping that you all pop by and post something of yours! 

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