Pumpkin Patch Pudding

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by Laura

The leaves are changing colors up here in Midwest land while my Vegas friends are experiencing their new season, Wind.  No matter what kind of weather you are in, these little pumpkin patches are a very sweet treat for you to whip up with the kids this weekend.  

What do you need to make these?  15 minutes and a few ingredients.  

  • 2 boxes instant pudding
  • 1 package oreos
  • candy pumpkins
  • green frosting
  • plastic cocktail cups

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Directions:

Whip up 2 boxes of instant pudding and let it set in the fridge for five minutes.  I told you guys this was easy.  I didn’t even know you could make pudding in five minutes, but who am I to question these things.  

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Crush up 1 package of Oreos in a food processor, blender, or a ziplock bag and some agression.  

Layer the pudding and crushed Oreos in a small cup.  You can tap the cup as you go to disperse the pudding and Oreos.  On the top use some green frosting to create a vine and then place your pumpkins on the vine.

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This recipe makes about 14 pudding cups.  You can eat them immediately, but if you have to wait keep them in the fridge. 

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They are so fun for a pumpkin carving party, classroom treats, or a surprise neighborhood drop off.  Have a happy fall with this totally adorable treat!  

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Butternut Soup Recipe

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by Angela

My family and I experienced a trip of a life-time a year ago to visit some special friends in New Zealand. One of those friends had us to stay for a few days and made us some wonderful Pumpkin Soup. I loved it, my family loved it and I came home needing to find a way to duplicate it!! Pumpkin is a bit different in a NZ, than America, so I substituted with Butternut Squash and couldn’t be happier with the results. We had it almost every week last Fall and can’t wait to begin enjoying it on the Dinner Meal Planning again this Fall. Scroll all the way down for Recipe Card 🙂

Start with the Butternut Squash (obviously!) Cut the skin off and cube it up.

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Heat up some olive oil so you can start cooking that squash up.

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And while its heating up, start slicing your onion and potatoes to add to your squash

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At this point I am tired of peeling and chopping, so I substitute peeling and dicing carrots for baby carrots.

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Add those easy carrots into the colorful delightful-ness and listen to that pot sizzle!!!

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Give a few stirs every so often as veggies get tender. I love stirring a full pot.

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Once tender, transfer to crock pot…look at those roasted veggies.

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Add Chicken Bouillon over top.  This is my favorite brand to use…better-than-bouillon

Poor boiling water over and let that crock pot do its thing. Warning you will enjoy delicious smells from the kitchen.

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Now you can sit back and relax all afternoon knowing that dinner is cooking. Ok, maybe not. Maybe you should work on the things you’ve been putting off on your to do list instead.

Ok, once you are about ready to eat. Use an Immersion Blender to blend the soup together.

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Add in some salt and pepper to season and continue blending until smooth. It is so smooth and creamy and sweet we don’t ever add in half and half cream. You just don’t need it, I tell you!

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Serve the soup up and enjoy. It’s like a Harvest in your Bowl!

 

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Helpful Tip:

When I first made this soup, I was not sure how to even cut into an uncooked Butternut Squash to cut it into cubes. So I did what all 2016 women do, I YouTubed it. Here is the link, incase you don’t know how to either.

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Butternut Squash Soup
Delicious Fall Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 medium- large Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
  3. 1 medium onion, sliced
  4. 1-2 carrots, peeled and diced
  5. 2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  6. 8 cups of boiling water
  7. 3 tsp Better than Bouillon Chicken Base, or 3 tsp chicken granules
  8. Salt/ pepper
  9. Ground Cardamom (optional)
  10. 1/2 cup half and half (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat oil and saute squash, carrot and potato until they begin to soften. Transfer to a crock pot. Add the chicken stock over top of veggies and pour over boiling water. Stir. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. (Modify to your crock pot for cooking time). Use a immersion blender to liquefy soup. Season with salt, pepper, and ground Cardamom, (opt) to taste. Can add cream if desired.
Notes
  1. Gluten, soy and dairy free, (if you don't add cream).
http://itssodelightful.com/
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Top Picks to Carry Over into my Fall Capsule

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by Angela

New season means a New Capsule Wardrobe 🙂  I start my new season capsule by shopping in my closet.  My hubby likes when I shop in my closet! It saves money right off the bat. I refresh myself what I had from last Fall and what I am currently loving in my Summer Capsule. Then I start by pulling those two things together. I then make a list of what pieces I would like to add.  These are my results from shopping in my closet with what I already had.

 

Cardigans-

Cardigans may be my favorite things to add back in after a long hot summer.  They are just what I need to keep myself from complete summer capsule boredom the last few weeks of hot weather.  They are an easy way to add a finishing touch to complete my outfits and add variety with some of my tank tops, shorts and summer dresses.  Make a note of how your cardigans are looking. Do you need to replace some that are not looking so good? Do you want to add in a color that you know will go with at least 3 or more of your outfits. Add that color to your Capsule Wardrobe Worksheet.  cardigan-sweaters

 

Flannel Shirt-

I have taken notice in the few store catalogs that I get in the mail that flannel shirts are still on trend. I was glad to see this, as I liked my flannel shirt that I bought last Fall and was excited to add it back in. I have noticed a cute way they are being accessorized is by tying them around your waste with a comfy dress.  Little freebie- This adorable t-shirt dress is my new LulaRoe dress. It is a capsule must- have 🙂 I went over to Kirstin’s, my LulaRoe friend, and wore the dress home it was such a perfect fit.

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Converse Style Tennis Shoes-

I like when on trend is causal. These comfy shoes can be added with your jeans, shorts (nice change from your sandals) and even your causal dresses (like my new LulaRoe Dress- so so so so cute!) They come in all sorts of colors- I went with a neutral color last year and am not sorry! The best known brand of this style is Converse,  but there are many other stores that carry some. These are from one of my favorite store- Maurices. converse-style-tennis-shoes

 

Tassel Jewelry-

Tassels are everywhere. And like with many trends I was skeptical of all this fringe and tassels at first. But it has stayed on trend. And it grew on me and I like it. It will add a new twist to some older pieces of my capsule by giving them an updated look.  Premier Designs Jewelry offers some fabulous Tassle Necklace Options. Each one of these necklaces pictured can be worn in multiple ways!

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Don’t let the in between of seasons rattle you. Embrace the mix of summer and fall. Wear your jeans with your sandels, your hoodies with your shorts.  Soon enough we will be talking about our sweaters and boots!

Want to refresh yourself on the Capsule Wardrobe?

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Want to get in touch with a Premier Designs Jewelry or LulaRoe Consultant, comment here and we will get you in touch 🙂

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Back to School: A Tribute to Teachers

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by Angela

We couldn’t end our Back To School Series this month without a special spotlight on one of the most important part of the classroom. The Teacher 🙂 So if you are a public school teacher or a private school teacher or a charter school teacher, tutor, teachers aide, part time art teacher, homeschool teacher by day and Mom by night…etc You get the idea. You, who are helping a child learn you,  are special.  And I wonder sometimes if you just don’t get enough thank yous.

Thank you for your patience with a child who is teary and anxious on the first few days of school!

Thank you for your persistence to explain the math problem one more time.

Thank you for the smile and gentle reminder to the little guy who has a hard time sitting still.

I remember most of my teachers. Some just stand out in my memory because they were kind. I remember the teacher who read us books everyday after we came in from lunch recess. I remember my 2nd grade teacher who had an extra hard name to get right so their Last Name became one of our spelling words. Some teachers I remember because they challenged me and I learned and was stretched and was inspired. I am sure that I didn’t thank my teachers enough.

Thank you teachers, for your preparation and time you have spent over the summer taking classes and learning yourself- even during your vacation time.

Thank you teachers, for raising a bar just a little higher for your students to reach for.

Thank you teachers, for the extra time you put into the school day before and after the students go home.

As a parent, my kids teachers have blessed our family. This first grade teacher singing, “Happy Trails to You” every day as the students left her room. Greetings of big hugs and smiles. A homeschool co- op teacher passing on a passion for government and civics. Coaches and now a days professors who believe in and come along side cheering on efforts. Special I tell you, and I am not sure you always hear it!

Thank you, for being patient with students with learning disabilities.

Thank you, for giving your time to students when you also have children of your own at home.

Thank you, for sometimes making learning hard things fun!

I hope as this new school year is fresh and goals are set, that you are encouraged, teacher friends. I hope that when you deal with kids who might not respect you or parents who might complain that you remember the light bulb of understanding that went off in one of your students head that day.  I hope that through administrations changes and district standards that are new that you are gracious with your self! I hope you know you have a lot to offer students. I hope you know that you are special. I am not sure you hear that enough 🙂

Tell a teacher thank you today!

Rachel and Mrs. Johnson

Mrs. Johnson hugs were the best!

 

 

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Back to School: Shopping!

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by Laura

One of my favorite things about fall is the clothes shopping for the next few seasons.  So I thought I’d recycle an old post from our Capsule Wardrobe series and spruce it up for those awesome fall sales!

In short, a capsule wardrobe is a closet that has a limited number of clothes that work well together to save time and money.  The little bit of planning goes a LONG way.  You guys are going to love the printable at the end of this post! 

To plan kids capsule wardrobes it’s different from adults.  

Kids wear warm weather clothes for six months, and cool weather clothes for six months and then they grow out of them.  So, I did a little math, and if they wore a shirt every other week, they would only wear that one shirt 12 times total. Was that worth the money I was spending?  SO I decided, shirts could be worn more than once every 14 days, but not less than seven because-honestly, who wants to see the same 7 shirts every week.  Tops=10.

malachi capsule

I thought through the rest of the categories, starting with my boy first, (way easier).  Taking into account; laundry, what season it was, wearing pants more than once before wash, potty training or not, how often we dress up, how many layers the season calls for, etc.  I came up with this!

Boy Capsule Wardrobe 

Tops:10

Bottoms: 9

Park and Play Clothes: 3 tops, 3 bottoms

Shoes: 4

Outerwear: 2

Dressy Outfits: 2 tops, 2 bottoms

Grand Total: 35 Items

I created a worksheet and filled in the clothing for a boy’s wardrobe.

Malachi Spring Wardrobe

I made sure to note the colors I had, and collar or length, so that I could diversify, and make matches. So, I was ready to go for Malachi, now to take a deep breath and get to the girl capsule.  THRILLING.

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I mean, maybe your daughter only wants to wear skirts and dresses, maybe she puts clean clothes in the laundry, maybe she hates strongly dislikes the clothes you love on her.

I decided I would print out a template for her, haul out the clothes I had in storage and just start chipping away at it.  I didn’t need to know what the end result was, I just needed to start and worry about the numbers later.

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It came together!  Hey, I might have to do some flexing,we’ll try these numbers for three months. And here it is:

Girl Capsule Wardrobe 

Tops: 10

Bottoms: (pants, leggings, skirts): 12

Park and Play clothes: 3 tops, 3 bottoms

Shoes: 4

Outerwear (including cardigans): 3

Dress Clothes: 2 dresses

Grand Total: 37!

With Eva, I realized I have some shopping to do.  I’ve got my plan in place, the worksheet helps me see the blank spaces quickly.  I took good notes including the color of clothes, so that I didn’t buy all navy shirts and navy shorts.  

Then, I took a picture on my phone of the list, so I’ll have it on hand when I’m at the store and see a sale.  GENIUS.  I mean… what a great idea.

To download your own kid capsule worksheet, 

click here: Printable Kid Capsule Wardrobe Worksheet

Happy Planning!

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