Building Our Story Yum

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This is 35

Today is my birthday, today I am 35.  I have never been a person who freaked out about age and I also do not flinch when someone asks my age.  So, here I am - 35!  Now what!?!?  2017 proved to be quite the year.  My blog was successful and I was able to quit my full-time job to then turn around and work full-time on my blog and social influencing.  What a huge jump that was for me but here I am 7 months later and loving it.  That being said, I want 35 and 2018 to be even better than 34!!


35 Things I Want To Do This Year.  Things to do before your 35th birthday, bucket list for 35, 35 things I wish I did before 35, 35 things that every woman should know by 35, Bucket list before turning 35

For my birthday post this year, I will be sharing some of the things I want to do this year!  

35 Things I Want To Do This Year.  Things to do before your 35th birthday, bucket list for 35, 35 things I wish I did before 35, 35 things that every woman should know by 35, Bucket list before turning 35


35 Things I Want To Do This Year



  1. Read more than 12 books. 
  2. Go on dates with my husband more. 
  3. Go to the theater. 
  4. Transfer my blog to WP. 
  5. Learn how to use my Cricut!
  6. Remodel our bedroom. 
  7. Purge every room in the house! 
  8. Visit my best friend. 
  9. Take a family vacation. 
  10. Go back to Pilates class. 
  11. Tackle video in my social influencing position. 
  12. Make those lunch plans with friends. 
  13. Find a new hair style! 
  14. Have a "no kids" party this summer. 
  15. Take time for me - self care. 
  16. Go to the doctor - yeah, I need a well check. I take care of everyone else but not myself. 
  17. Continue to work on my family relationships. 
  18. Take a sick day and binge watch a TV series. 
  19. Pay off another credit card. 
  20. Go to a drive in movie - I have never been!  Weird right?
  21. Volunteer more at my kids' school. 
  22. Take more weekends off from work. 
  23. Find more positive in life. 
  24. Go to a movie by myself. 
  25. Send more hand written mail. 
  26. Have a weekend away with my husband. 
  27. Dive into more consulting work in the social media field. 
  28. Laugh more! 
  29. Stress less. 
  30. Take more bubble baths. 
  31. Finding more confidence. 
  32. Get more sleep. 
  33. Create a work space for myself. 
  34. Have "date nights" with my kids. 
  35. Enjoy my HAPPINESS! 


Well, there you have it.  My 35 things I want to do and focus on for the year.  


What are your goals for this year?


 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Well friends, we are back on the meal planning wagon.  The holidays are over, we have bills to pay, the schedule is finally getting back to normal and we bought a car over the weekend sooo....it is time to be planful and on budget!  

One of the ways that we are really working towards saving money and staying on budget is by planning our meals every week.  This not only gets us all on the same page for what our week looks like but it makes us eat at home and save money!  Last year, I got an Instant Pot and over the last year we have been trying out new recipes, it works great for those super crazy week nights.  I decided to try a twist on one of my very favorite dishes, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and create a casserole in the Instant Pot.  


Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, easy instant pot recipes, instant pot casseroles, Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole recipe, Chicken Cordon Bleu recipes, Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole, casserole recipes, instant pot, how to use an instant pot, make dinner in an instant pot, instant pot dinner recipes

Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole 

Free printable recipe here. 

Ingredients:

16 ounces Rotini pasta
1 lb chicken breast
1 lb cubed ham
12 ounces Swiss cheese
8 ounces Gouda cheese
8 ounces heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth
1 TBSP mustard
2 TBSP butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Direction: 


1.  Pour uncooked pasta into your instant pot cover with 2 cups chicken broth. 

2. Cut chicken breast into strips and place chicken and ham on top of the pasta. 

3. Set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 15 minutes. You could also use your poultry button.

4.  While cooking, brown the bread crumb topping by melting butter in a small pan and add panko bread crumbs stir until all are toasty and golden brown about 2-3 minutes. Set aside. 

5. Once the Instant Pot is done, carefully do a quick release.  

6. Pour in heavy cream, mustard and both of the cheeses into the pan. 

7. Stir mixture until creamy and smooth.

8.  Serve and sprinkle browned bread crumbs on top of cordon blue. Enjoy hot!!

Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, easy instant pot recipes, instant pot casseroles, Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole recipe, Chicken Cordon Bleu recipes, Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole, casserole recipes, instant pot, how to use an instant pot, make dinner in an instant pot, instant pot dinner recipes


This recipe was so easy to throw together on one of our busy nights during the school week.  It made a TON of casserole and we had leftovers for a few days.  Perfect!  

 


Now, time to work on my menu plan.  Help me out - What is on your meal plan this week?


Post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!

 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Monday, January 15, 2018

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega + Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs

Disclosure:  We were provided with a free Luciana Doll and Accessories in exchange for this post.  No other compensation was provided.  

I am so excited to have Teagan entering the American Girl phase, mostly because I am ready to jump back into my love for all things American Girl.  Growing up, my mom and I read the original American Girl books which later moved into all of the American Girl Dolls and accessories.  Now that Teagan is getting more into playing with these 18 inch dolls I knew she would LOVE to get her very first American Girl Doll.  When I saw the announcement of American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega™, I instantly knew that Luciana had to be Teagan's first American Girl Doll. 

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

Meet American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™ - Luciana Vega™


Luciana is a creative, confident 11-year-old girl of Chilean descent with a serious science streak, who loves the idea of exploring new territories in space. She’s an aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. And, while she has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step.

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

The moment Teagan walked into the living room she was so excited to see her new friend, Luci.  Teagan was sent a Luciana Vega doll that came with a book, Luciana's accessory set and the second book in her series.  

When Teagan first saw Luciana she asked if she would need to get her a space suit too?  Adorable.  One of the reasons I loved the idea of presenting Teagan with Luciana was the focus on a girl being interested in science and space.  Look, Teagan is our girly girl who adores make-up, unicorns, dresses and all things pink but she is also a strong smart little lady that I believe, with that strong will of hers, go far in any of the male dominated opportunities.  She has the personality that will let her stand out and make waves or in this case - go to Mars!  

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

Once we let Teagan open up Luciana's box and accessories she was occupied for a few hours.  She absolutely fell in love.  It was a fun way to start our weekend.  I should also disclose that Teagan has already told us she will be putting purple in her hair too!  I don't doubt that at all.  I know one day it will happen!  HA!


The accessory box comes with the following items from Space Camp:
  • A shiny holographic backpack with a constellation graphic
  • A star chart for nighttime gazing
  • A pretend smart watch to keep her on track
  • Pretend dehydrated space ice cream—just like the astronauts eat!
  • A Space Camp log book to record her progress
  • A Space Camp graduation certificate
Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

To continue our Luciana Vega celebration we decided to add a little fun to our afternoon snack with Luciana's help.  We made Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs.  This is such a simple but healthy snack idea that Teagan loved!  Notice Luciana had to sit with her during the preparation of our snack.  

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

How To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs:


Ingredients:
Pineapple
Grapes
Strawberries
Melons 
Wooden skewers 


Directions:

Parents will need to wash and prep the fresh fruit before putting the rockets together.  Cut the tops off of the strawberries, cut the pineapple into pieces that resemble "fire" for the rockets, and slice the melons into bite size pieces. 

Carefully start the rocket by putting the strawberries on first.  Next add a few grapes and melons.  To complete the rocket, add your pineapple "fire".  

Enjoy for a nice Space themed snack with your new favorite friend Luciana!  

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

When we were enjoying our special Fruit Rocket Kabobs we sat with Luciana and read a few chapters in the first book together.  While the reading level is too high for Teagan to enjoy the books on her own I am excited to read them to her and experience American Girl with her just like I did with my mom.  So special!  I can only hope she gets into it as much as I was because I am totally excited to get back into the American Girl scene!  

Luciana went to church and a dinner theater with us this weekend.  Teagan has certainly found a new favorite doll.  After reading all about Luciana's trip to Space Camp we started looking at what other accessories we could purchase for Luciana and oh my gosh!  We fell in love with them all.  I am so excited to see the accessories centered on the STEM systems, a system and I am so excited to have our kids more involved in as the get older.  Oh and hi Robotic Dog!!  I want one!  

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

Fantastic Luciana Vega opportunities:

To engage girls and boys with Luciana’s message, American Girl—in partnerships with Scholastic, NASA, and Space Camp—has funded Blast Off to Discovery, an educational program to help third though fifth-grade students explore the wonder of space through Luciana-inspired content, including STEM-based lesson plans and classroom activities, videos, a game, and more. The program will be available on www.scholastic.com starting January 31, 2018. In addition, American Girl and Scholastic will host a Mission to Mars Sweepstakes where families can go on a series of weekly missions for a chance to win several prizes, including a grand prize trip to Space Camp valued at over $2,000.

Luciana Online Play:  
Girls can visit americangirl.com/play/girl-of-the-year/luciana/ to read excerpts from the Luciana books and enjoy fun space-inspired activities.

American Girl WorldApp: 
Fans can step into the worlds of Luciana and their other favorite American Girl characters and experience their stories in a whole new way. The app is available to download later in January through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle.

Luciana-Themed Space Camp:
 
Girls and their families can train just like astronauts—including taking a tumble spin in the Multi-Axis Trainer and designing a robot—at a special Girl of the Year experience created in partnership with Space Camp starting in summer 2018. American Girl is also sponsoring 20 scholarships to attend Space Camp. To learn more, visit americangirl.com/meetluciana.

Meet American Girl Luciana Vega, Learn To Make Luciana's Fruit Rocket Kabobs, my first American Girl Doll, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega, Luciana Vega, Recipes for American Girl, Activities to do with American Girl

I am excited to see how Luciana can teach girls all over to reach for those goals, even the ones that must defy stereotypes.  I am hopeful that this American Girl will get even more girls interested in STEM careers.  Luciana is ready for fun, space and Mars and so are we!! 

Stay Social with American Girl:





What are you most excited about when reading all about American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year™, Luciana Vega™?


 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Friday, January 12, 2018

Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath

Now that the Christmas decorations are put away and our house is back in order, well maybe not in order but we are getting there.  It is time to bust out the reds, pinks and hearts!  Hello lover, it is almost Valentine's Day.  

Over the years I have shared that I love door wreaths, especially making my own.  I have a great Vintage Picture Frame Valentine's Door Wreath that I love but I wanted to try something a little different this year, so I got creative with some old playing cards.  

Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy

Just like all of my other DIY tutorials, this one, I promise, is super easy for anyone to create!  


Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath


Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy

Materials Needed:

Scissors
Playing Cards (hearts only)
Glue Gun/Glue Sticks 
Decorative Tassels 

Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy

Directions:

1.  Cut foam board into heart shaped frame.  This was the hardest part of this wreath.  The foam board is a bit hard to cut, you might need a knife but the great part about this is that the frame does not have to be perfect.  Simply get a nice heart shape and you will be great.  


2.  Using the hot glue gun, glue playing cards (face side up) onto the frame.  I set all of my cards out on the frame first to get an idea of the layout. Also, for the size of my wreath I need 2 decks of cards to fill in the whole frame.  

Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy

3.  Once all of the cards are glued to the foam board, let dry.  

Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy

4.  Using the hot glue gun, glue the tassels to the back of the heart, also create a ribbon hanger and glue that to the back of the heart.  

5.  To keep those items secure on the back, hot glue an extra playing card over them.  

6.  Once the hot glue is dry you can hang the wreath.  So fun!!  

Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy

I love the way this wreath turned out.  It is so cute and festive.  Not only would this wreath be a great option for Valentine's Day but would also be perfect for an Alice in Wonderland or Queen of Hearts party!  Simple but perfect!  


Playing Card Valentine's Day Wreath, valentine day wreath, DIY Valentine Day Wreath, Alice in Wonderland party decorations, Queen of Hearts party decorations, Valentine Day decorations, DIY projects with playing cards, playing card valentine, easy door wreath diy


What Valentine's Day decorations do you put out every year?


Post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!

 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Get Widget