Chicken Pot Pie Casserole Recipe

Okay everyone, I originally had another meal planned for today, but knew this one had to go out first. You’re going to want to make this as soon as possible.

This casserole is easy to throw together and tastes GREAT! Mila ate a whole bowl full.

Here’s all you need:

  • 4 cups of shredded chicken (any cooked chicken will do, I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic and Onion Powder
  • Butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can Grand Biscuits
  • 4 cups of frozen veggies (I used carrots, green beans, corn, and peas)
  • Cheese (optional)

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

While oven is preheating, take large skillet and put it on medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add frozen veggies to cook for 10-15 minutes. Then, place biscuits on a baking sheet.

When oven is preheated, Place the biscuits pan in the oven to prebake them for 8 minutes. They’ll finish baking when you put the whole casserole in. When they’re done, take out of the oven, but don’t shut the oven off.

Add the chicken, milk, cream of chicken soup, and spices to the frozen veggies. Stir for 5 minutes, until it’s bubbly hot.

After it’s mixed and heated, pour into a 9×13 dish. Then take the prebaked biscuits and put them on top of the mixture, baked side down and raw side up.

Before placing into the oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, mix in garlic powder, and pour over the biscuits. This will make your biscuits tastes extra delicious. At this point, I also sprinkled cheese over top of them too.

Then, bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

This meal is mouthwatering.

It feels great to find some meals that aren’t Mexican that Mila loves. This tastes like home and makes me feel all warm inside. I’m glad it made her happy too!

I’ll make sure to share the other recipe next week. Spoiler alert, it’s Mexican inspired, but just as yummy.

If you make this recipe, let me know what you think!

PSA: You’re Still a Good Mom If…

In a perfect, social media world, beautiful dinners are made every night and the house is always clean.

As much as I’d love for all of that to magically happen, I live in reality. Some nights the floors go unswept and quick meals look like this.

Guess what… I’m still a good mom and had a happy kid. We even snacked on carrots after too.

Whatever you need to do to get through the day, night, or minute, do it. Sometimes that means pizza bagels for dinner and not doing the dishes after.

You’re still a good mom if you don’t make Pinterest worthy meals every night or have a perfectly cleaned house. In your kids eyes, you’re always the best.

Just keep doing you.

Documenting Gratitude in 2021.

Earlier this week, I talked about how I failed to even remember 2020’s word of the year. I also didn’t keep up with something that was important to me.

I’m sure you’ve seen it on some type of social media, but it’s a gratitude jar. Every day or week, you write down something that made you feel grateful. Last year, I tried to do every day and I succeed until March.

This year, I’m challenging myself to one every week. Plus, Mila is going to be accountable to tell me what made her smile this week.

I want Mila to know she’s important and that she has a big space in our home. Even though she told me chocolate milk was the best part of last week… which is also funny if you read yesterday’s post.

Anyways, every Sunday, Mila and I are going to have a little chat about our week. Whatever we’re thankful for, I’ll write it down. Then, I’ll keep it locked up tight in our jar.

By the end of the year, there will be 52 or more pieces of gratitude on paper.

Hopefully, this will make the both of us smile. If 2021 is relatable to 2020, we’ll need the moments of gratitude next New Year’s Eve.

Have you thought about ways to document this next year? I’m also keeping a journal too.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Six.

It’s 2021 and toddlers are still weird as ever; especially mine

Sometimes I’m shocked by her new phrases and what she comes up with. Her latest proclamation has me constantly giggling though.

If you didn’t know, Mila is still nursing. She’s not ready to stop and I’m just following her lead. Now that she can talk and understand what I’m asking her, she’s let me know more about her experience with ‘boobie.’

Curious to why she likes it and still wants to nurse, I asked her a specific question. What does it taste like?

Without any thought, she told me it tastes like chocolate milk. But, she likes boobie milk better.

Since chocolate milk is her go to drink, I guess I’ll take her comment as a compliment. At least I somewhat understand why there isn’t an end to nursing in sight.

Kids say the darndest things, right? Or maybe my toddler is just super weird.

Here’s to 2021

Did anyone else think 2020 was going to last forever or was it just me?

To be completely honest, 2020 wasn’t all that awful in our household. There were so many victories that are worth celebrating. I’m so close to reaching my goals and last year was a big step towards those.

Of course, there were troubles. Besides the obvious ones everyone went through, my personal issues were hard to get through. I’m glad I did and I know with them in the past, the future is so bright for my family. Will there be future hiccups? Of course, but I’m doing the very best I can to prepare.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in today to again wish everyone a happy new year and I hope this first week back from post-holiday madness is going smoothly.

Last year, I tried to come up with a word for the year. It failed miserably because I can’t even remember the word. For 2021, I wanted to come up with a word I could really get behind and stick with. Something that would be relevant to all my life’s situations and wouldn’t be too out of grasp.

My word of 2021 is…

Heal.

I know. It’s simple. But with the chaos of the last five years of my life, it’s the only word that felt right. In every aspect of my life, i could use a little healing. That’s why it’s my word for 2021.

Honestly, I have no idea what this year holds; besides healing and growing. I’m hoping the world will calm down a little so we can go to the beach. It holds my last semester of college (for now) and maybe a new job at the beginning of the next school year. For writing, I hope I can get back to feeling comfortable about sharing certain things. Maybe that will be a post for the near future.

Jensen will turn five. Yeah, year five feels really big, but here we are. It’s sort of scary knowing he’s been gone for half a decade. This grief journey has been… so many things. I’d like to explore that more this year since I’ve lacked the ability to do it the last two years.

Mila will be three and will most likely start preschool in the fall. I know we’ll continue doing all our activities and I’d like to write a little ahead of time to help others who follow along with our activities.

And me… I’ll be healing and trying to figure out this part of the journey.

Do you choose a word for the year? If so, let me know what yours is in the comments.

Toddler Activity: NYE Firework Painting

If you enjoyed last weeks Christmas activities, I have a few New Years ones too!

This first one is a firework painting. Mila loves to paint and experiment with how brushes work. That makes these DIY paint brushes even more interesting for her and toddlers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • Scissors (kid and adult)
  • Paint
  • Canvas
  • Paper plates

I had all of these supplies at home, but most everything can be easily purchased. Feel free to use whatever color of paint. Mila just picked these three and I added the silver in.

First, you’ll want to cut the paper tubes to make the brush. If your child is learning how to use scissors, guide and help them with this. You can also get this step done beforehand.

We did three different firework shapes to get different looks.

Then, we put our paint on paper plates. Mila poured the red, which might have been a mistake. One recommendation is to spread the paint around. This way when your child pushes down with their brushes, all the bristles get paint on it.

After you get all your desired paint ready, it’s time to start painting.

I let Mila know we were making fireworks because that’s how we celebrate the new year. She’s seen fireworks before, so she understood what they were.

Of course she doesn’t grasp the concept of a new year, but it’s fun to begin those conversations with her.

I did have to show her how to push down on the brush. She got the hang of it pretty quick!

It helped when I really pushed the bristles down to make them more flexible. They are quite stiff at first!

With their finished project, you can either write over top of it or just leave it. Mila ended up making two. The canvas will have ‘2021’ written on it and the paper version will be untouched.

I’ll update this post with a finished picture after her artwork is all dried.

This activity is pretty quick, but a lot of fun. Toddlers and young kids will love making their own brushes. Plus, what kid doesn’t like fireworks without all the noise.

If you try this activity out, let me know in the comments below!

Toddler Activity: Salt Dough Santa

Okay, okay. I know it seems like we’ve been making a lot of ornaments around here, but they’re fun!

These salt dough ornaments are easy to do and make great, last minute DIY gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need for these:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • Water (no set amount. I’ll explain!)
  • Paint
  • Glue *optional
  • Glitter *optional
  • Yarn/Ribbon
  • Knife

Admittedly, I have not had the best track record with salt dough. I think I’ve added too much water in the past. This time, they turned out great though.

First, preheat your oven to 250°.

Then, if your child likes to help mix ingredients, they’ll think this is really cool. Add the flour, salt, and a little bit of water together. Then start mixing with a spoon or your hand.

Here’s where the water ingredient is tricky. I just kept adding a little bit at a time until it got to a play-doh consistency.

Next, Mila and I rolled the salt dough out into circles. To get the Santa shape, I told her to keep her four fingers together and she kept her thumb held a little out.

For this part, just press their hands in there. It will imprint nicely. I trimmed around her hand to get more of the shape. All I used was a knife!

I ended up getting four hand Santa’s, a ‘snow globe’ with two of her hands, and two little circular ornaments so Mila could paint however she wants. Then I stuck them in the oven.

They’ll need to bake in the oven for two hours. Then take them out and let them completely cool before you start painting.

If you’re child is older, they’ll be able to paint the Santa’s on. Mila likes to paint crazy right now, so I did this for her. I used red, white, and tan paint.

After the paint was dried, I put glue and glitter down where I wanted it. Then, I used yarn to complete it. You could use ribbon too!

Honestly, I think they turned out so cute. They were simple to do and Mila just loves them.

Happy creating and making with your child.

Toddler Activity: Grinch Ornament

It’s finally Christmas break! That means packing Mila and I’s Christmas activities in a few short days.

Here’s a fun one that includes a movie and cuddles afterwards.

Mila absolutely loves the Grinch. We’ve watched the three different movies and I figured I needed to get her the book too. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime!

I came up with this activity after seeing a similar one on Pinterest. Obviously, I’m sure others have done this before, but I wanted to share what we did.

What I used:

  • ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ by Dr. Seuss book
  • Craft Pom Poms (preferably green, but we used rainbow colors and it turned out adorable)
  • Clear plastic bulb
  • Red paint
  • Paint brush
  • Grinch movies – Netflix and YouTube

I started off the activity by talking to Mila about the Grinch. She told me he was mean. We then talked about how Christmas made us feel. Then I asked why Christmas would make the Grinch want to be mean.

Then, I read her the first page about the Grinch’s heart being too small. At this time, I took the bulb and drew a small heart in the middle.

With the empty bulb and small heart on it, I told her the Grinch is mean because his heart is this small and empty. BUT, we could help him out by filling it up with love and Christmas cheer.

After this, I asked her to fill the ‘heart’ with the pom poms every time she thought the Grinch needed some love.

I continued reading her the book and she filled the heart. The moment I flipped to the last page, she put the last pom pom in the bulb.

Then, I reread the part of the Grinch’s heart growing three times it’s size. With that, I painted a bigger heart over the smaller one to visualize this.

Mila and I talked about how Christmas isn’t about presents, but I still think she’s looking forward to that most of all. She hung the ornament up on the tree and we watched two of the Grinch movies to end our night.

It was a fun night and the activity could be modified by the questions and painting for older kids too!

I thought it was a fun and easy one to share, especially with Christmas right around the corner.

If you happen to do this activity, let me know on the comments!

The Next Stage of Toddlerhood.

Potty training… a journey that’s not for the weak.

Last year, I introduced Mila to her little potty. She did okay on it, but would rather go outside like Max. It’s okay. It’s funny and you can most definitely laugh. She’d sit on it through fall and most of winter, but she really was not interested.

Around when COVID hit and when she turned two, we really hit potty training hard. I bought her underwear and she did a good job of letting me know when she had to go. All summer, she’s been amazing with it. When I started working full time at the end of August, she had a few mishaps, but is back to no accidents. She can nap without having one and has slept through the night a few times too.

I’m so proud of her.

The last time I bought diapers, I told myself this was it. It’d be the last time I ever bought them and I’d only buy pull ups from then on. Honestly, I thought it was a lot of wishful thinking. Then, last night she wore her last diaper and were in the land of panties and pulls ups for night time and long periods away.

This is a huge deal. She got a coloring book today to celebrate and a popsicle after school. I tell her she’s my big, good girl so she knows how good of a job she’s doing.

Lasts of anything are hard, even the last diapers.

Ever since losing Jensen, the first and lasts with Mila have been monumental. I know they have a bigger meaning, but I try not to put it all on Mila. I just hope she knows how proud I am of her and all that she does.

Tonight, we’re celebrating being diaper free and the next stage of toddlerhood. I’m so happy to be her mom and can’t wait to see what she does next.

Monday Recipe: Kielbasa Power Bowl

On Instagram, I noticed this hashtag: #quarantinerecipeswap. So many people are running out of ideas of what to cook next and want to revamp their meals for the month. Believe me, Mila and I are right there too!

Today, I figured I’d share one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I make frequently: a Kielbasa Power Bowl. It can be converted to what you have on hand AND made meatless. Honestly, it’s a pretty simple recipe and seems really basic. Sometimes, that’s all we need though!

Ingredients:

  • One Package of Kielbasa (or a can of chickpeas if you want it meatless)
  • Two Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • Head of Broccoli
  • 2 Medium Peppers (whatever color you like best)
  • 1/4 cup Quinoa
  • Cheese – to sprinkle
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Olive Oil
  • Spices: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning

Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand. I typically have all of these at my house. Mila loves broccoli and peppers, so it works out for us. I’ve also made it with carrots, brussels sprouts, and zucchini!

First, preheat your over to 400. Then get to cutting. Everyone has their cutting preference, but this is how I do it. Everything is really ‘eatable’ and not too big. Then I take the veggies and put them in a bowl. I get a coating of olive oil and the mix of seasoning on there. Make sure everything’s covered and put it in a baking pan. After your oven is preheated, put the veggies in there for 10-15 minutes. Put the kielbasa in the same bowl with olive oil and seasoning and wait to add in later.

Then, start boiling water (or broth) for your quinoa. Rinse the quinoa off in a small strainer, or you can do what I do and rinse it off to the best of your abilities without one. It’s always a fun challenges You can follow the packaging directions, but I usually just double the amount of liquid to quinoa. Sometimes I add more, depending on how it cooks. When the water starts boiling, pour your rinsed quinoa in the pot, and turn down the heat some. Stir every so often. It doesn’t take too long to cook; maybe 15 minutes. While it’s cooking, I usually add some spices to taste! After that time, remove from heat, let it stand for about 5-10 minutes and fluff it with a fork.

In the middle of cooking quinoa, your timer will go off for the veggies. Take them out and add the kielbasa in. Give it all a good mix. Put it in for another ten minutes. I usually then take it out, mix everything up once more and stick it in the over another 5-10 minutes too.

Once everything’s cooked and cooled, assemble!

I usually start with the quinoa on the bottom, then lay the kielbasa and veggie mix on top. To add a little something with it, Mila asks for cheese on top (which makes it better, I’ll admit) and ill drizzle balsamic glaze on top. If I have avocados, I’ll slice some for on top as well.

It’s truly an easy meal that’s packed with veggies and taste so good! Mila, Miss Picky Eater lately, are her whole bowl.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it soon! This week I’ll make a new recipe and share how it goes with you guys. If you have any recipes to share for the swap, comment below and I’ll try them out!