Enchilada Soup

Not sure how long this particular recipe will stick around at my house. It was delicious, but a little more processed than Iwould like. I made it in a hurry, so no pics this time, but I’ve included a pic (so it is pinnable) and link to Paula Dean’s recipe, which was the opriginal inspiration for this soup. The first time I made it, my entire family agreed it was much too spicy, so this is my modified version.

Enchilada Soup

Paula's Enchilada Soup


  • 2.5 lbs hamburger meat
  • 2-3 T taco seasoning (or 2 packets if you’re using store-bought)
  • 1 onion
  • 28 oz can tomato sauce (I think I’ll actually use 2 next time to stretch it out & have more leftovers)
  • 1/2 of a 28 oz can enchilada sauce (I stuck the rest in the fridge. You could just use a 10 or 15 oz can if you had one)
  • 1 can chili beans WITH SAUCE
  • 1 can great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained (I actually just pour some frozen corn in there)
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Brown hamburger meat together with onion and taco seasoning; drain. Add all ingredients except cheese into Crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Top each bowl with cheese. Would be great served with warm homemade bread or tortillas. Super easy and tasted great, but I don’t like using all the canned items. Maybe I can make it a little more “homemade” by cooking the beans myself. Maybe 🙂


Orange Rhino Challenge

I just stumbled upon an amazing idea/blog on Pinterest the other day. The Orange Rhino Challenge. This lady decided to go an entire year without yelling at her kids. Sounds crazy. Sounds impossible. Sounds… wonderful. I hate yelling at my kids, and the more I yell, the more stressed and irritable I become and the LESS my kids listen. A year is an awfully daunting goal, so I’m going to pray about exactly what my commitment should be, but I definitely feel convicted about my lack of patience with my kids, and I think this challenge is something that could help.

Another thing I think will help is reducing my stress level. So I’m going to evaluate what causes stress in my life, and then change what I can to reduce stress as much as possible. Some things I already know: lack of sleep, enormous messes in our house, being behind on chores, rushing to get food ready, rushing to get kids ready for school/bedtime. So here’s some changes I’m going to make already. 1) Make my meal plan every month (or pay period) and ACTUALLY DO IT but be more flexible in case Jason or the kids request something different. That means that every day I need to make sure that we have what I need for the next day readily available. So before I start dinner every night, I’m going to check on the next day’s ingredients. 2) I’m going to start freezing some leftovers instead of insisting that we eat them ALL before I make new food. This way, when the best laid plans of mice and moms go astray, I’ll have something I can quickly reheat and still have dinner ready on time. 3) I’m going to stick to my Crock pot meal idea for dance lessons and church nights. That way dinner will be ready when we get home and I can get the little ones to bed on time. 4) I’m going to throw away a bunch of my kids’ toys. They don’t play with them all, and it makes more clutter all over the house that I either yell at my kids to pick up or pick up myself and resent that my house is a disaster area all the time. 5) I will make a to-do list so that I know what I need to do by when each day. 6) No games, TV etc (for me!) unless I am caught up on my to-do list and chores or nursing the baby. In the mean time, I’m going to be doing some research on biblical references to patience, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. I’m open to suggestions. Any favorites any one would like to share? I plan to do a post on that at some point, but not anytime soon. I will wait until I know what my goal will be at least, and then do an update. If anyone else is doing this challenge or would like to do it with me, leave a comment.

April Meal Plan

If you actually care enough to follow my meal plans (or were desperately hoping for inspiration yourself), I totally flopped last month. We were crazy busy, which makes meal planning even more important, but I just didn’t take the time to do it. I now remember why I take the time. There were so many times Jason would ask what we were eating for dinner to which I replied, “I have no idea. What do you want?” Maybe you can operate just fine like that, but I felt like my whole house was chaos, and I’m eager to get back to a method that’s a little more organized. But I’m also feeling lazy today, so this is not as creative as I might normally be. But I did it 🙂

3- Smoked pork tenderloin, steamed veggies, Texas Roadhouse Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Honey Butter (The rolls were a little dense, and I didn’t have enough honey so I used agave nectar, but it was amazing!)

4- Jason’s Potato Soup

5- Chili Waffles- Inspired by this with homemade chili and genera-Jiffy cornbread mix

6- Spaghetti

7- Chicken Pot Pie

8- Breakfast for dinner

9- “Beef” & Broccoli with deer meat

10- Chicken Fiesta Burritos

11- Ashley’s Shepherd Pie

12- Buffalo Chicken Wraps

13- leftovers & apple pie cookies

14- Enchilada Soup

15- some kind of smoked/ grilled meat and veggies

16- Black beans in the crockpot

17- Gooey Chicken Burritos

18- Ashley

19- Grilled meat & twice baked potatoes

20- leftovers

21- Octopus Hot Dogs with Homemade Mac & Cheese

22-  Quesadillas

23- Lemon & Garlic “DUMP” Chicken over pasta

24- Mexican Pizza

25- Ashley

26- eat at BB’s

27- Grilled Cheese and/or leftovers

28- BB’s leftovers

29- Stuffed Taco Shells

30- BBQ Chicken Calzone

Saw-It-Pinned-It-Did-It Saturday: Bath Toy Storage

My kids love bath toys. They just can’t get enough of them. And they want to play with them ALL. EVERYTIME. But I don’t want bath toys taking up all the room in my bathtub.

And those silly turtles don’t stay up.

Munchkin Bath Super Scooper Turtle

Hubby even tried using epoxy to glue it to the shower wall. Still fell off. So we stored the toys in the turtle and just laid the turtle in the tub when no one was in it and stuck it in the sink when we needed to shower sans toys. But I was inspired by to buy a tension rod to somehow get them off the floor of the bathtub.

For the Home

I couldn’t find any baskets to store the toys and was losing hope when I came across this post which mentioned using mesh laundry bags to store bath toys. And a light went off! I could put the mesh laundry bags on the tension rod and still hang the toys up. Yay!

If you want to do this too, just find a tension-style curtain rod with rubber ends long enough for the wall behind your tub. Here’s the one I got at Walmart.


I already had these mesh laundry bags from Dollar General that we put our bras and other delicates in before washing. They look kinda like this. You need one zips on the front, not the top.

So I cut a few strands of the mesh on the back of the bag big enough for the curtain rod to fit through. I cut two, each a couple of inches from the sides and about an inch and a half from the top.


Then just slide the curtain rod through


and extend it to fit on your wall.


And here’s the finished product in our bathtub a little closer up. Yay!



Edited 2/19/13: Do not use that curtain rod. It rusted horribly! I went back and bought an actual shower curtain rod that is working much better. I highly recommend doing that instead!


Love it? Repin here!

Baked Chili Pie

So, what happened was…

I had this whole month planned out for our dinners every night. I was prepared and organized. And maybe a little over-confident? 🙂 Most of my recipes for the crock pot say to cook on low 6-8 hours. So on Wednesday I didn’t even look at the recipe for my BBQ Pulled Pork until after the meat was thawed and it was time to start cooking.

Uh oh. This recipe says to cook on low 10 hours, and there’s only 7 hours until dinner. Haha.

So I improvised. I saw a recipe like this online one day and thought, “Ooh. That sounds quick & easy.” And then I tried to go back and find it again, but I never could. I don’t know exactly what the original recipe called for, but this was a passable meal-in-a-hurry.

2 boxes of cornbread mix, with oil, eggs, etc added*

2 cans chili

2 c shredded cheese (I like Colby Jack, but Cheddar would work too)

*I found this recipe for a similar-to-Jiffy mix, and I love it. Remember, you need 2 batches though. I’ll be nice and do the math for you 😉

2/3 Cup Flour                                                                       1 1/3 c flour
1/2 Cup Yellow Cornmeal                                               1 c cornmeal
3 Tablespoons Sugar                                                         6 T sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder                                         2 T baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt                                                               1/2 t salt

Add: 1 egg, 2/3 c milk, 2 T vegetable oil                  2 eggs, 1 1/3 c milk, 4 T vegetable oil

Pour prepared cornbread mix in the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish.


Top with both cans of chili.


Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.


And bake according to the cornbread directions plus 5 minutes. (If you used the above recipe for your cornbread, cook a total of 20-25 minutes at 400F.)


Love it? Repin it here!

Flavored Vanilla Frosting

I’ve only made this a couple of times and made it with this recipe for  sugar cookie bars (delicious!). But I didn’t like the frosting in this recipe, so I played around with it a bit and made a few adjustments, and here is my new-and-improved version.

3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but not melted

2 1/2 c powdered sugar

1 T vanilla extract

2 T (more or less to taste) pureed fruit

I’ve tried it with cherries to make cherry-vanilla frosting and with blueberries. They were both excellent! Next I will make a blackberry syrup and try blackbeery-vanilla frosting. Mmmm!


Hi! Welcome to my blog. I’m a stay at home Christian mom to a 16 year old, a 3 year old, and a 10 month old. This blog will be about my day-to-day life- posting recipes and meal plans, planning out activities with my kids, and sharing our successes in life. Welcome to a tiny peek at our life 🙂Image