I'm a Bzzagent and I received Coppertone Clearly Sheer for free to share and review. Opinions are 100% my own.
Living down in the Florida Keys you NEED sunscreen, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Even during the rainy season, when it's cloudy and overcast you can get a sunburn if you're not careful. If you're on the water you can turn into a human lobster (learned that the hard way).
I really love this sunscreen (and I've tried quite a few). It comes in a spray and in a lotion, the spray good for when you're in a hurry (or have wriggly kids like mine) and the lotion is light and easy to apply.
Pictured: wriggly kid on the go
I have really sensitive skin lately and I'm also more prone to breakouts (not to brag but I have the forehead of a teenager!). The lotion doesn't clog my pores, doesn't leave a greasy feeling on my skin, and doesn't have an overpowering "beach" smell. The spray is the same. It's easy to just spray & go and great for sunscreen touch ups and reapplication. You just have to towel dry beforehand if you've been swimming or actively sweating.
They're both water resistant for 80 minutes. The lotion is SPF 30 and the spray is SPF 50. I'm more likely to use the spray because of the higher SPF (gotta love my Irish skin). I really recommend picking up a few bottles!
My husband loves his hot sauce. He puts it on anything and everything, the hotter the better. Meanwhile my tastebuds are sissies, I'm a mild salsa kind of girl.
So for Fathers Day I whipped up some Buffalo Chicken in the crockpot to satisfy his heat-seeking appetite. Here it is, courtesy of Wannabite.com via Pinterest.
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
Note: Genius me picked up the wrong chicken, de-boning = not fun
2 lbs raw boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 oz bottle of Buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank's Wing Sauce)
1 oz packet of dry Ranch mix
2 tbsp light butter
2 cloves garlic minced garlic
Place the chicken breasts in your slow cooker.
Pour the bottle of wing sauce over the top of the chicken.
Sprinkle the packet of ranch mix over the top of the wing sauce.
Add your minced garlic to the slow cooker, making sure to cover it with sauce.
Place the lid on your slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat shreds easily.
Remove meat and shred it using two forks.
Return shredded meat to the sauce and add the butter.
Stir to combine.
Continue to cook on low for another hour so the meat can soak up the sauce.
Now when it finished cooking it did have a bit of sauce left. I let it sit and the chicken did indeed soak up the remaining sauce. I also read some of the reviews saying that it came out too salty. I used Kraft ranch dressing mix but you can also make your own (which can be found on Allrecipes: Dry Ranch Mix).
We put it on rolls with a little ranch dressing, husband had 3 sandwiches. It's safe to say he liked it. Believe it or not Lil Man loved it, looks like he inherited his Daddys tastebuds.
I love this recipe because it's entirely flexible and it can be tweaked to suit your personal palate. It's not quite a cobbler, it somewhere between that and a dump cake I think.
I've seen this recipe floating around Facebook and Pinterest so I'm not sure of the exact source. If you do know feel free to message me!
The first time I tried this it was apple pie filling and yellow cake mix...not a success (it wasn't quite a failure either since the hubby had a few bowls of it).
My second try was Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mix and cherry pie filling.
I had to taste test it...yea that's it, taste test
Its not a great picture but oh my word is it good. The cake isn't solid like a regular cake but it is just right amount of gooey deliciousness. I should've added chocolate chips but that's just because I'm a chocoholic.
Pictured: ooey gooey sweetness
The difference between my first try and my second try was the butter.
The recipe above calls for 1 stick butter melted and poured over the cake mix (which is what I did the first time).
This time I cut the solid butter into the cake mix and then added it to the crockpot.
I also let it cook closer to 4 hours in low instead of 3.
I just wish I had vanilla ice cream because it is sweet and decadent. I would've liked to used chocolate cake but believe it or not they were sold out! Who sells out of chocolate cake mix?
I think my next try for this particular recipe should be lemon cake and blueberry pie filling...sounds good doesn't it?
After a little hiatus and a trip through a wormhole I've returned with some delicious comfort food!
Who doesn't love mac & cheese? There's so many ways you can make it and many different things you can add to it. Sure the easiest way would be straight from the box or the faster microwave cups (add water, microwave, add cheese) but a good homemade meal is hard to beat.
1 lb freshly cooked pasta (I used rotini but whatever kind of pasta floats your boat)
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour (or 2 Tbsp cornstarch if you're out of flour*)
2 C cold milk (anything from half and half to whole, whatever you prefer)
10 oz of shredded cheese (I used a block of mild cheddar and cut it up very small)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it starts to foam; then whisk in the flour. Continue whisking until the mixture turns golden-brown and smells “cooked”. (The fancy term is making "roux"**)
Whisk in a few ounces of the cold milk, until there are no lumps. Keep adding and whisking until all the milk is added.
Simmer on medium-low, whisking often, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5-10 minutes), then remove from heat.
Add the cheese by handfuls and whisk until each addition is melted. Taste, and add any salt, pepper or seasonings.
Stir the sauce into cooked pasta and add any other additions.
I also added about a cup of shredded Mexican blend from Publix to give it a bit more flavor. It made a lot and came out super cheesy, just how I like it! Along with different flavors of shredded cheese, some other good options would be salsa, hot sauce, bacon, hot dogs, peas, chicken, or even chili. It was a big hit with Lil Man and Lil Miss who are mac & cheese connoisseurs.
"Mom I'm trying to eat!"
"Sooo good" face
* Cornstarch thickens twice as fast as flour so only use half the amount required (ex: 4 Tbsp flour = 2 Tbsp cornstarch). It also means there will be less in the pan so keep a close eye so it doesn't burn.
** Roux (pronounced "roo") is a thickening agent for soups and sauces with roots dating back more than 300 years in French cuisine. Made by mixing oil and flour.
Lil man's been waking up in the middle of the night and hopping into our bed. As adorable as it is, he's a fidgeter. It takes him awhile to get comfortable, kind of like a puppy settling down. Night 1 he hopped in next to me until I had to get up and see why lil miss was fussing, then he rolled into the middle next to daddy. Night 2 he jumped up on the end of the bed and snuggled in between daddy and the wall. Not to mention the fact that he brought his blanket and stuffed mickey with him this time.
Most people would kind of freak out if something just started touching their feet in the middle of the night, nope not me. I was kind of like "whaaaa....? oh yea, toddler...zzzzzz". Hubby didn't even realize that he was there until lil miss woke up. Yea, he sleeps like a rock.
Two and a half weeks of driving, family, and more driving! We're coming from where all the warm weather escaped to so I had to pull all my winter clothes out of storage. I'm a New Englander born and raised so trust me I know about cold. I was even born in the middle of a snowstorm, I love wearing boots and sweaters, and who doesn't like hot cocoa with a nip of Baileys? I'm just glad that the kids have warm clothes (some new, some hand me downs) so we don't have to go out and buy any. Except maybe some warm shoes for lil miss.
We're visiting his friends, my family, and his family. Also maybe one or two of my friends if we have the time.
It's absolutely mind boggling how much stuff we're going to need. Between the kids stuff and ours, the cooler, the double stroller, the pack'n'play, and all of the this & thats...my brain's going to explode. I've been all over the world wide web doing research on how to entertain the kids, stuff to eat that's easy to pack, what & how to pack for long trips...I'm exhausted and we haven't even left yet.
I'm definitely going to miss my kitties. Thankfully there'll be someone here to watch them. I just hope that they don't tear up the place too bad.
Oh! And lil miss is going to be 1 on Thursday, I can hardly believe it.
Stay tuned for pictures!
Ladies and gentlemen, another warm bowl of delicious from my crockpot :)
2-4 chicken breasts
1 packet Zesty Italian dressing seasoning
1 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
Layer chicken on the bottom of the crockpot.
Add cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, & Italian dressing seasoning.
Cook on low for 4 - 5 hours.
If sauce is too thick, add a little milk. Serve over pasta or rice.
I made rice with mine and it came out great. I made mine a little too thin so added 2tbsp of flour to rethicken it. It dulled the flavor a little bit for me but if it happens again I can just add a little bit of Italian seasoning.
I was also thinking about maybe using either flavored cream cheese or that cooking cream cheese. If not in this recipe then maybe another. Just imagine the flavor combinations...
My adventures over the weekend! Well mostly today but it's been productive.
I've been researching (read: searching Pinterest for) different crockpot and fudge recipes, plus a few no bake desserts. There's some good stuff coming in the next few weeks!
Today we filled out lots of paperwork to get Monkey started with Early Steps in April. We were supposed to get all this started back in November but we had a few hiccups. He's not talking at 2 so it was recommended just in case. When he's 3 he gets to start school that goes hand in hand with Early Steps. It all makes me a little nervous but I know he's going to do well.
We FINALLY got our double stroller from Albee Baby. They didn't have the color we wanted but as long as it does the job I'm happy. It was a really great price plus free shipping. I saw that and I was all over it. Now we can take both the kiddos for a walk without using 2 strollers.
The 2nd thing I got today was my birthday present! There isn't much selection down here on our little islands but I thought it was a good choice.
It had good reviews on Amazon and it has wifi upload so no more cords. It seems like a good beginners dslr camera. I can't wait to try it out!
And to end my post, here's a picture of a fluffy sleeping kitty:
Daddy has to work all day so these are mommys valentines.
Today's a day to celebrate love. It's also great time to show love to those who don't get enough of it. Animal shelters (go pet a kitty, play with a puppy, whatever your heart desires), hospitals, retirement homes, you get my meaning. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, get some of those kids valentines from the store and pass them out, whether to random people or kids in the hospital. A little love goes a long way and is never under appreciated.
Here are some other awesome ideas:
A cheesy romance movie party. Invite friends over, watch some cheesy romance, have love inspired cocktails (or beers, whatever floats your boat), lots of chocolate, and just have a blast.
Love yourself! Get a pedicure, a massage, a haircut, or buy something you really want. It's all about showing yourself some tender, loving care.
Give Mother Earth some love. Plant some rose bushes (it is V day after all), a tree, tulips, daffodils, you name it. Although for most of the country it might have have to be in a pot inside until the mountains of snow melt.
So since the hubby had to work alllll day today, I decided to make him some two ingredient fudge. Another recipe found on Pinterest courtesy of cookiesandcups.
Lots of delicious recipes on there so go check her out!
Strawberry 2 Ingredient Fudge
1 (16 oz) can of strawberry frosting 1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
How to Make:
1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by spray lightly with cooking spray.
2. Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt your white chocolate chips.
3. When chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strawberry frosting, evenly.
4. Spread in your prepared pan and place in fridge to set for 30 minutes.
5. Cut into squares to serve.
Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
* I couldn't find my 9x9 pan so I had to use my rectangular pan. They came out thinner, so I'll have to double the recipe if I use it again.
* I did two batches, both Pillsbury strawberry frosting, one with white chocolate chips & one with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
* I used a makeshift double broiler (a glass bowl over a pan of hot semi boiling water). If you have to use the microwave only heat the chocolate chips in short shortest it doesn't get all grainy.
* Last note I promise! If it's been in the refrigerator for awhile let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting. Otherwise you'll end up like me with fudge crumbles, still tasty but crumbles nonetheless.
From what i've heard from the hubby the fudge is a hit! The semi sweet/strawberry combo is the more popular one. It kind of tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry.
There's so many combinations that I'm already planning St Patrick's Day & Mothers Day. I'm also curious to try the recipe with the whipped frosting. If you've tried it let me know!
Lots of love from my little loves and I to all of you out there! <3
So since a lot of you are getting snow and ice (pretty much anywhere outside the state of Florida) I figured I'd share my latest crock pot attempt at something to warm you up.
I found this recipe on Pinterest courtesy of http://elleandelleblog.com, a very nice blog with a little bit of something for everyone. Of course I changed it a little bit but it came out rather well. Of course I forgot to take a picture until hubby was on his second bowl.
Creamy Salsa Chicken Crockpot Recipe
(This is the recipe straight from the blog, I noted the changes I made.)
1.5 lbs of boneless chicken breasts * I used a package we had on hand which was 2.36lbs. It made a lot of chicken but I love me some extra chicken.
1 jar of organic/natural salsa * I used a 15.5oz jar of Tostitos mild since that's what we had on hand.
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 packet of taco seasoning * I used mild but you can use hot if want a little more of a kick
1/2 block of fat-free cream cheese * I used a whole block, came out super creamy.
Rice of choice OR taco shells/tortillas * I used white rice but I'd love to try it in a lettuce wrap.
Steps to Perfection:
Thaw chicken breasts + arrange in bottom of crockpot
Dump jar of salsa over chicken
Add cream cheese, corn, seasoning, and black beans to crockpot
Cook on high for 5 hours, stirring occasionally
While still in crockpot, shred chicken with a fork
Serve over rice, or on taco shells/tortillas
Add lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and your favorite toppings
It came out pretty good for my first attempt. I even used it as a dip with some Ritz crackers which was tasty. As good as it was I think next time I'll add hot sauce and use a hot salsa to mix it up a little bit. Perhaps I'll even make some creamy chicken nachos, throw it on some tortilla chips and add some mexican blend shredded cheese. Then throw it in the oven to melt the cheese and voila! Chicken nacho deliciousness, oh yea.
If you have any easy crockpot recipes to share please feel free! I love anything that I can just throw all together and cook without much fuss.
I recieved two coupons for Pampers Swaddlers from Crowdtap, one for myself and one to share.
I have to say these are my favorite diapers. I used these with my son (who has sadly outgrown the swaddlers) and now my daughter.
Oops time for a change
All clean! Dressed and ready to play
Pampers Swaddlers now go up to size 5 which is great since Zoe is still in size 3. They have that awesome yellow stripe that turns blue when she's wet plus they're a softer diaper. So no more sniff and squeeze tests, just look for a blue stripe. You can usually see it through most of her onesies too so I don't have to strip her down to check. We've also never had any leaks during the day or during night, which rocks in my book.
Pamper in general is an all around great brand, the proof is on my babys behind.