A Very Late Holiday Cheer 2017 {5} - New Year's Card

I meant to share this back in January but it totally slipped my mind. I loved the design that we used and kinda went a little overboard with matching labels and a fancy insert but who gives! I only buy 10 or so cards and then share it on the blog so there's room for some fancy, right? Also, does it still feel like the beginning of the year to anyone else? There's no way it's almost Easter or even April for that matter. c.r.a.z.y.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The photos displayed on the cards are a sneak peak at the extended family photos we had taken in December when EVERY SINGLE ONE of my family members was in the same state. I was especially excited for these because the last time we'd taken photos was back in 2012 and we only had two of the littles running around then. It was awesome to see them be so photogenic and at some point I'll share those. I just want to make sure all my family members are okay with me doing so :)

Of course, thank you to Brittany Todd for beautiful photos. I feel like these are our best yet!


What's for Dinner {44} - Homemade One-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

I've eyeballed this recipe for the last month or two and when I decided to add it to this week's menu, I was a little skeptical that it would be as good as Iowa Girl Eats said. I love a good chicken noodle but am often disappointed with the lack of flavor. Personally, I think that probably has more to do with me than with the soups I've tried but nonetheless, it's always disappointing. To explain, I don't have a great sense of smell which I do think correlates to my inability to fully taste a lot of things. Food needs to be salty or spicy or brine-y for me to realllllllly like it.

The last chicken noodle I tried had a few more ingredients to prep/use and while I did think it tasted good, I haven't made it since.... But this recipe, I really think it'll become one of the more popular menu planning options! All the boys loved it, even my huge skeptic of a husband. He especially loved the chicken and the broth and the carrots, so essentially all of it.

Also, it should be said that when I planned for this week's meals, I didn't account for St. Patrick's Day. Had I done that, I would have DEFINITELY wanted this recipe again. Perhaps, I will make it tomorrow!

Now for this delicious recipe, but first, let's watch the video Kristen created way back in 2014.

Homemade One-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup from iowagirleats.com

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter (I didn't actually use the recipe when I made this so this got left off by accident)
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled then sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped (I used diced yellow onion but would have preferred a shallot)
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
64oz chicken broth, plus more for reheating
1 chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used 2.5)
8oz spaghetti, broken into pieces (or any short-cut pasta)

Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute. Add chicken broth then bring to a boil. Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to boiling chicken broth along with pasta. Turn heat down to medium then simmer, stirring occasionally until pasta is cooked through. Taste then adjust salt and pepper if necessary and then serve.

1. Add more chicken broth when reheating as noodles will continue to soak up broth.
2. I marinated the chicken in fresh lemon juice for a couple days before. I added the chicken and the marinade to the soup

It took me a little longer to make the soup so while that was cooking, the boys ate watermelon and a salad. Seriously, this surprises me so much because we don't eat salads at home. I gave them 2-3 romaine lettuce leaves for them to rip up, topped it with a little parmesan and ranch dressing. Owen had seconds. 


A Day at Pinters {2017}

We attempted to have another glorious day at Pinter's but a variety of things tried to damper the fun last fall. First off, it was a little rainy and cold. How dare mother nature do that to us? I suppose we've been way too lucky in years' past but here's hoping next year goes back to normal. We struggled with making the decision to go but ultimately we did and we were just chilled the entire time. The other problem was that Bridget had an adorable little babe who couldn't be outside all that much in that weather. Bummer! The last problem was me. I was a legit monster when it came to photos. I love, love, love to document things because I have a terrible memory, but let's just say it got a little out of hand. Gspice tried to keep me in check but the monster wasn't having any of it. That said, I will do my best to not be like that in 2018...

With all the chaos working against us, I'm surprised that the kiddos had fun, but have fun they did!

Bless their little hearts! 

Now, for picture overload :)

See you next year, Pinter's!

Now for the BEST part!

2013 vs 2014 vs 2015 vs 2016 vs 2017

2014 vs 2015 vs 2016 vs 2017
2015 vs 2016 vs 2017
2015 vs 2016 vs 2017