Overnight Apple, Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Overnight Apple Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Oh my gosh – Overnight Oatmeal in the Crockpot!  Why is this something I’ve only recently discovered?!  It’s super easy, totally convenient, requires no work from me in the morning, it’s healthy AND it’s delicious.

I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of different combinations and recipes and this is one I really, really like.  It’s sweet and creamy and very, very filling.  It’s perfect to enjoy on these cooler mornings now that the season change is coming.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 4 apples (I love Honey Crisps) pealed and chopped
  • 1/2 c pack brown sugar (I use light)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 2 cups water

Coat your crock pot with a bit of non-stick spray or a little extra butter to prevent sticking

Cut the butter into little pats and place on the bottom of the crock pot

Add the apples on top

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Next pour the brown sugar in,  sprinkle the cinnamon over top of the apples and add the pinch of salt

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Add the oats next

Pour the milk and water over top of the oats

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Brown Sugar Oatmeal

DO NOT STIR…I repeat…DO NOT STIR!

Cover with a lid and cook on low for about 8 hours

Overnight Apple Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Wake up and ENJOY!  I serve ours with a drop of extra milk in the morning to make it extra creamy.

Overnight Apple Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

See, I told you it’s super easy and also so super delicious!

Are you a fan of overnight oatmeal?  What’s your favorite recipe?

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Preschool Letter of the Week “A” and “B”

Letter of the Week A and B


So I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my tiny, tiny little baby is growing up and is a full-blown toddler!

Because I wanted to really savor and enjoy my last few months of it being just Lucas and Mommy before little brother (still to be named) arrives, we decided not to enroll Lucas in preschool this fall.  But, I still wanted to make sure we had some “structured” learning (yeah right with a 2.5 year old!) and socialization.  I’ve signed us up for a few classes we are really enjoying and I decided to add a bit more structure to the Letter of the Week activities I started earlier this year (that took a brief hiatus during that nasty first trimester).

I try and do a few things with each letter:

  • A Letter Craft – you know, making that letter into something
  • A Sensory or Fine Motor Skill
  • A “Math” activity – more like counting, sorting, measuring, etc.
  • A Cooking Activity – L loves helping in the kitchen and we keep it really simple
  • A Coloring Page or Another Craft if I can come up with something.

I want to share what we’ve been doing with all of my mommy (or mommy-to-be) readers because we really are having a blast.  I also wanted to say that we don’t put a lot of pressure on ourselves with this (sometime I don’t follow the above list because I can’t come up with things that fit – I try to make it fun for both of us and not something I worry about too much).  I get that my kid isn’t even 3 yet!  This really helps me plan things for us to do during the day (so I don’t go crazy or rely on the TV too much).  Instead of creating a new post for each letter, I’m going to do 2 at a time (I think we’re far enough along at this point).  We started with the letters in L’s name but I’m going to just go alphabetically (so your kids aren’t learning how to spell Lucas right off the bat!).

LETTER OF THE WEEK – “A”

We had a lot of fun with the letter “A!”

We made an “A” Alligator.  I just cut up bits of construction paper and Lucas glued them on (this was one of our first letters, so I was stilling trying to be “perfect” at this point instead of letting him just have at it).

A is for Alligator

A is for Alligator

We also did Apple Paining (but I forgot to take pictures – oops!).  This was really easy – I just cut a few apples in half and let him dip them in paint and then onto paper.  This kept him entertained for quite a while.  I worked counting in my counting the apple seeds!

We did some coloring pages as well – I like Education.com for free printables!

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We also made Applesauce with Daddy!  This one was a ton of fun!  I did most of the work but Lucas LOVED mashing everything up!  And it was really easy – I just added about 3/4c of water to 4 peeled and diced apples, 1/4 cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon  and cooked on the stove until soft.

Once that was cooked Lucas went to town with the potato masher! It was a tad chunky but we loved it – and Lucas loved that he helped make it.

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LETTER OF THE WEEK – “B”

**I’m going to preface this by saying Lucas is REALLY into butterflies but there are LOTS of other “B” things out there!

We made a Bumble Bee out of the letter B.  I used yellow construction paper for the B and cut out wings from black.  I used a pipe cleaner for us make the antenna.  I gave L a black marker to add the stripes but you can see that wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do.  By this point I had stopped trying to be the “perfect Pinterest mom” and just went with it!

B is for Bumble Bee

B is for Bumble Bee

We also did some Pom Painting on a Butterfly.  I found the butterfly at Walmart in the craft section for like $0.49.  A few clothespins, poms, an egg carton and paint and we were in business.

B is for Butterfly

B is for Butterfly

Our counting activity was counting butterflies (see the pattern).  My mom found some plastic butterflies on Amazon a while ago and we would line them up and count them.  It was super simple but I can tell he’s really stating to “get” the point of counting (and can actually count things pretty high – not just say his numbers).

For our food we made Banana (or Blueberry for Daddy) milkshakes!  Lucas loves helping with the blender and he LOVED his milkshake!  We drank them while we watched a Bubble Guppies episode as a family!

B is for Banana Milkshake

B is for Banana Milkshake

B is for Banana Milkshake

Like I said, I’m keeping it pretty simple and trying to incorporate it into our daily routine.  I am starting to see it paying off for sure.  Just the other day Lucas told me “D” is for Dinosaur and “E” is for Elephant and I was really impressed.

Are you doing any preschool activities at home with your little ones?  I’d love to hear what you’re doing – I’m always looking for fun new activities for us so make sure to share!

Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit Casserole

Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit Casserole

Y’all I am so ready for fall!  Even the dinners I’m making SCREAM fall!  Remember this goodie that I made in August (yes, I know that’s still summer).  Here is another dinner that’s all creamy and full of comfort-food goodness and perfect as the leaves start to turn and the weather takes on a bit of chill.

I’ve been making this meal for a while.  Part of me hates that I use the biscuits that you can buy in the pop can at the store (I really try and limit processed foods) but you can’t beat the convenience!

This meal comes together pretty quickly (especially since I use the crock pot to cook the chicken) and there is certainly enough for our family plus a lot of leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • Shredded Chicken Breast (I cook 1.5lbs in the crock pot in chicken stock, garlic and thyme and then shred)
  • 2 16oz bags of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I use 1%)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 package of biscuits (I use Pillsbury Grands!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the frozen vegetables

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Once they are warmed, add the thyme and a bit of salt

Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir to coat and cook about 1 minute.

Add the broth and milk and stir until thickened (usually about 5-6 minutes)

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Remove from heat, stir in the chicken, taste for seasoning and then pour into a 9×13 prepared baking dish.

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So usually I put the raw biscuits on top and cook for around 40 minutes BUT I didn’t give myself enough time the night I made this so I cooked the biscuits at the temperature on the package for 1/2 the time suggested on a baking sheet.  Then I transferred them to the top of the chicken and veggie mix and baked for another 10 or 12 minutes at 375 (until golden).

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This is a family favorite – I make it a few times per month throughout the year.  The biscuits aren’t awesome left over but we don’t mind the at all!

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Oh…We’re Halfway There!

20 Week Photo

It’s official – I have hit the halfway mark of this pregnancy.  I’m both shocked it’s gone by so fast and yet still can’t believe I have another 20 weeks until we get to meet this little nugget!

I figured now would be a fun time to fill everyone in on the pregnancy so far, since I really don’t think I’ve shared too much.

When Did I Know and How Did I Tell Darrin:  One morning I woke up around 5:00am and just “knew” I was pregnant.  I had a few tests in the house and took one, and then another because I didn’t really believe the first one.  With those positive tests I ran up to our room, threw on the lights, woke up Darrin and proceeded to tell him Lucas was going to be a big brother! I was around 4 weeks at that point.

How Have I Been Feeling: I’m not going to lie, the first trimester was tough!  Around six weeks or so the all-day sickness hit and I was hardly able to cook food.  I’m not ashamed to say we did a lot of take-out in those first few months!  Now that I’m well into my second trimester I feel like a new woman!  I’ve got energy, most foods don’t make me sick and my head has stopped pounding 24/7.

Craziest Pregnancy Dream: The pregnancy dreams have been extra crazy this time around.  A few nights ago I had a dream that I was a spy and someone was breaking into my house (but it wasn’t my house – it was the house from the first season of American Horror Story) and I had to get my family to safety but that crazy kid from Home Alone had booby trapped the house and we couldn’t get out.  Honestly, I feel like if I were to journal my dreams as soon as I woke up each day I’d be able to write a killer screenplay!

Food Cravings:  In the beginning I craved sushi (it’s one of the ways I knew I was pregnant actually – it was a major craving in the very beginning with Lucas).  I haven’t had one particular food that I’ve wanted but every now and then I get this idea in my head and I have to have it.  Donuts were one of those things for sure.  And fried cheese sticks.  I’ve also been wanting milk again this time around and fruit, lots and lots of fruit!

First Movements:  Honestly, I am 99.9% sure I felt my first flutter near the end of my first trimester.  Now this little guy is moving all the time!  He might even be more active than his big brother was – which I didn’t think was possible.

How Much Weight Have I Gained:  Oh, this one is tough to share.  At this point in my pregnancy I’ve gained right around 10lbs (some days right at and some days just under).  I feel like by this point with Lucas I had gained a lot more (but I went into this pregnancy still holding on to that last 10 pounds of baby weight!).

So far this pregnancy is going pretty well.  We had a few scares in the first trimester (I had low progesterone again and had to use supplements until I was 12 weeks) and then I had an episode of bleeding as I was entering my second trimester.  And as of my last ultrasound I have marginal placenta previa. I go back for another ultrasound on October 1st and we are hoping for good news and that the placenta is moving in the right direction.  But honestly, now that I’m feeling better I’m loving this pregnancy.  I can’t wait to meet this little boy but I’m definitely not rushing it.

 

The Honest Co. Organic Belly Balm – Just Want the Belly Ordered!

The Honest Co Organic Belly Balm Review

In case you missed the memo, Lucas is getting a little brother in January of next year.  We are all very excited!

I’m sure it’s because this is my 2nd pregnancy in less than 3 years, but at 19 weeks, I already feel HUGE!

I’m also so insanely itchy it’s not even funny.  I am constantly itching my stomach.  It’s so bad that I had a friend ask if I thought I had PUPPS (I do not by the way!).

I tried coconut oil. I tried coco butter.  I would have tried anything to get the itching to stop (or at least get  less annoying).

I was putting together my Honest Company Essentials bundle a few weeks ago when I noticed their Organic Belly Balm.  The description said it was “A nourishing and revitalizing belly (& body) balm to soften, tone, and moisturize pregnant belly skin. Perfectly light & quickly absorbed for everyday moisturizing!”  I thought, “What the heck!  I’ll give this a try.”

Oh man am I glad I did!  I am so much less itchy and my stomach feels so smooth and soft.

It comes in a 3.65oz jar and it is fairly solid( that’s my only complaint – I’m not good at getting products out when they are packaged that way).  It goes on kind of like an oil when you rub you get it on your fingers.  It’s definitely not a lotion – which I like.

The Honest Co Organic Belly Balm

I feel like it has a mild scent, but it’s not scented if that makes any sense at all.  It’s a pleasant smell though and very “natural”.

It’s not secret I’m a huge fan of Honest Company products.  We use the diapers and wipes, a ton of cleaning supplies, some personal care items and I’ve even started using the vitamins and Immunity Boost for Lucas.

The Honest Company Reviews

We use a ton of Honest Co products. These were just a few I had within arms reach of my sink a few nights ago.

I’ve always been blown away by their customer service as well.  They really do go above and beyond to make their customers feel valued in my opinion.

I’ve you’ve not checked out the Honest Company yet, now is the time.  They are constantly adding new products and while there have been a few I don’t love (the shampoo and the dryer sheets) I have been really satisfied with everything I’ve tried so far!

And besides, any product that can make me stop walking around scratching my stomach raw is one I want to make sure to share with other mommas-to-be!