Tasty or Terrible: Slow Cooker Chili

Good morning, friends!  Today’s recipe will be perfect for those summertime chili dogs.  I have another favorite fall/winter chili recipe.  I think I found the perfect spring/summer one.  My orginial chili recipe calls for something like 40 ingredients and takes some time to put together.  This recipe has less ingredients and is so much quicker to put together.  Perfect for those end of year or summertime meals.

I made this on dance night.  We don’t get home until after 7 and by then, it’s too late to get anything started.

This recipe comes from Cooking Classy.  I have to admit, when I saw cocoa powder listed as an ingredient, I was hesitant and almost left it out.  Because I’ve made many things from Jaclyn, I knew I could trust her ingredient list.

The recipe called for 2 lbs of ground beef, but I did a pound of ground beef and pork.

I made a few changes to the order of instructions.  I cooked the meat first, then sauteed the onions and garlic.  All because I didn’t read the instructions before throwing the meat in the pan 😉

The recipe said to add the beans in the last 10 minutes, but I didn’t think they’d be hot enough.  I cooked the main mixture for 3 hours, then added the beans and cooked for another 4 hours.


There was enough for another meal so I froze the leftovers.  We’ll be enjoying chili dogs this week with the leftovers.

Do you have a tried and true favorite chili recipe?  Growing up our mom used to add meat, beans, and tomato sauce.  That’s it.  I’ve branched out since those times and love the variety of flavors chili has.  Please share your favorite below!

Clutter Challenge Week 8

Good morning!  It was recital weekend in our house and it was adorbs!  Sterling loves being on stage so there was no worry of stage fright.  I’m pretty sure I’m not signing her back up for fall with the same academy.  I just didn’t get the vibe I’d like to receive.  Maybe we should go back to Omaha.  I’d put her back in the Omaha Academy of Dance 😉  But, she’s wanting to do gymnastics so we might be making a switch.  Which will be weird since she’s been dancing for three years  🙁

Last week I had to work on the last areas of focus in this challenge.  It was a challenge this week finding time just because I was trying to get other things done.  My tasks were:
26:  Guest Room
27:  Craft Supplies
28: Control Center
29: Address Book: I had this done in week seven 🙂
30: Calendar and Schedule

I started in the office and finished laminating my command center stuff.  I also decided to laminate Sterling’s phonics summer program.  We’re going to work hard on it this summer.  No summer slide in this house!

Sterling and her baby were great assistants.  The command center never did get set up.

I didn’t think I’d get to the crafting area.  However, the kids and I headed down to work on Father’s Day gifts and while they were working on their masterpieces, I was cleaning.  It worked out perfectly!

I’m still not sure where to put the wrapping paper.  Where do you store yours?  I have four canvas’ that need to be finished and hung in the kids’ rooms.  I want inspirational quotes to put on them.  This little area is the perfect craft room 🙂

The (second) guest room.  It’s been known as the catch-all room.  Clothes too small?  Throw it in the catch-all!  What, you don’t need that blanket?  Throw it in the catch-all.  Not anymore!  Not anymore!  At the end of the month, I’m going through the three totes of clothes and shipping them out!

There are still a few things to do in here, but it’s better.  Sterling wants me to put the purple quilt on the bed for her cousin and it needs another vacuuming.  I’ll probably rearrange the pictures too.  Hubs put those up 😉

I’ve been working on my calendar for the past month and I think I finally have it customized to me.  I’ve always thought I was a paper planner.  They’re so cute and fun to decorate!  Realistically though, my phone calendar is the best scheduler for me!  It has saved me many times this month from double booking a time slot.  I always have my phone on me and never carry my paper planner.  Look how busy I’ve been.  I’m looking forward to this week.  A CLEAR schedule! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I still use my paper planner, but leave it on the counter.  It’s used more for the kids’ extra school stuff and sports.  Now that schools out, I’ll probably put it away until August.

And that’s a wrap.  Well sort of.  Now that this challenge has ended, I’m not going to stop.  I still have an entire basement storage room to go through.  It’s a lot and will take days to finish!
What content would you like to see on the blog next?  We’re looking for some fresh ideas 😉


Friday Favorites: Hello Summertime!

Good morning and HAPPY Friday!  Summer break is finally here.  I’m excited!  To stay home. No rushing around. Taking it easy. Vacations. Family. Friends. Fun. Oh, my!  It’s also my first summer in four years that I have not signed the kids up for a summer camp or sport.  Nothing.  Their all mine this summer.  Wish me luck!  Next week I’ll probably be asking if it’s August 28th already, haha 😉

I’m linking up again with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites.Hello, Summertime!

These two riding their bikes without stabilizers will always be a favorite!  It’s life changing.
Sterling and I were grabbing a few air filters.  As I was putting some in the cart, she demanded a picture. #futuremodel

This video from Xander’s kindergarten program was the cutest.  Polar bear, underwear…always a favorite for kiddos!

Xander and two of his best buddies

Sterling had her class picnic on Monday, then later in the week wanted one with just her and I.  We opted for the living room floor.  We had a gourmet donut, fresh fruit, and yogurt 😉
My favorite find this week?  Starbucks London Fog.  SOO good!
Yesterday Xander had his last day of school.  It was only a half day, but it was a great day!

After pickup, we headed to a yummy surprise to Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt.  It was our first time going and we loved it.  Except for Xander.  After a few bites of his concoction, he decided he didn’t love it anymore.  He chose watermelon yogurt.  Nuff said!
She declared it her favorite and always wants to go there.  Smart girl kept hers simple.
What are your summer “must do’s” with your family?  We’ve made a list, but would love some new ideas 😉


Tasty or Terrible: Chicken Caesar Salad

Good morning!  I took a lazy Sunday and made a batch of all-purpose chicken.  This is a perfect staple to have on hand to throw in lots of different meal ideas.

The recipe comes from the Damn Delicious cookbook and it’s perfection!  The chicken comes out juicy and full of flavor.  I used chicken breast tenderloin, EVOO, lemon juice, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.

We made a caesar salad with the chicken and it was scrumptious.  I buy Marzetti supreme caesar dressing, the only store-bought kind I like.

What you need:
Three all-purpose chicken tenderloin (already cooked of course)
Hearts of romaine salad blend
Marzetti supreme caesar dressing
Garlic and Butter croutons
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Parmesan Cheese, grated
What to do:
1. Place a bed of romaine on your plate
2. Slice your chicken, add it on top of romaine
3. Sprinkle on your dressing, croutons, and cheeses

That my friends is yet another quick weeknight meal.  My favorite type of meal.  Quick, easy, and tasty!

Do you have a favorite salad?  Do you add fruit to salads?  I would like to try one, but not sure what to start with.  Please share your tips and tricks to salads!
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