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Friday, January 19, 2018

13 Series To Binge Watch on Netflix in 2018

We love Netflix in our house and watch it often.  And we usually find ourselves binge watching series rather than picking a specific movie to enjoy.  Today I am sharing some of our favorite series we have already enjoyed or those that are on our must watch list. 

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Series To Binge Watch on Netflix in 2018


Stranger Things - When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends, must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.

Orange is the New Black - Convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend, normally law abiding Piper Chapman is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life changing prison can really be.

Jane the Virgin
- A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.

Life Unexpected - After 15 years in foster homes, Lux decides to get emancipated, which leads to her meeting her birth parents.

Lovesick - After finding out he has an STD, Dylan must get back in touch with every girl he has ever had sex with to let them know the bad news.

Ozark - A Chicago-based financial advisor secretly relocates his family to the Missouri Ozarks when his dealings with a drug cartel go awry.


Bloodline - A family of adult siblings find that their past secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep of a brother returns home.

Grace & Frankie - Finding out that their husbands are not just work partners, but have also been romantically involved for the last 20 years, two women with an already strained relationship try to cope with the circumstances together.

Better Call Saul - The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Crown - Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

Riverdale - A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade.

House of Cards - A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.

Wormwood - A family story of one man's sixty-year quest to identify the circumstances of his father's mysterious death. A quest which brings him face-to-face with some of the darkest secrets of the United States.





I'd love to add more series to our list!
What is your favorite series to binge watch on Netflix?  

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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!!


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

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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?


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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.  


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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!!

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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!  

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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
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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.  

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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!  

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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!  

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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.

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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™?


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