Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

Fall is officially here which means warm dinners are back on the menu!

Tonight I decided to try something new. I found a delicious recipe for dumplings!

I had the day off and a package of chicken so I decided to make chicken and dumplings!

I put 3 chicken breasts, half of an onion, a can of Campbell’s chicken gravy and two teaspoons or minced garlic in the crockpot with 3 cups of water and let it cook for 6 hours on low.

The last hour I cranked it up to high. After it was done I used a fork to shred the chicken.

Onto the dumplings! I followed the recipe and then placed them into a bowl and covered them with my crockpot chicken deliciousness!!

We have a new family favorite folks!! Mmmmmmmm. Enjoy!!

Saturday Morning Cleaning Routine

Cleaning is my Zen. Some might say I have OCD but to each their own. Right?

On Saturday mornings, I like to get up earlier than everyone in my home to complete the following routine. This allows me to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing or getting things checked off the to do list.

If there is one thing to remember – it’s THE BUN RULE. Everything in your home must be Beautiful, Useful or Nutritious/Necessary.


I take my cleaning bucket with me throughout the entire house. I like to keep stuff to a minimum so I only have one bucket that contains everything I need to clean my home.

I move methodically from one room to the next from top to bottom to eliminate wasted time and trips. If something needs to go downstairs, it either waits until I make my desent to the lower level or if I have to go downstairs I grab it on the way down (no wasted trips!!)

I start upstairs in the room furthest away from access to the downstairs (so I have to clean every room before I go to the next level).

I have a kitchen size garbage can in the upstairs bathroom, so I pull that into the hallway first. I hate having to empty a teeny tiny trash can everyday so having only one large can allows me to save some time during the week.

If this is the first time you are working through the routine, you will need to allow a big chunk of time to really dig in and get the place clean. Then from there it’s really just maintaining cleanliness and order.

If you start getting what I call “stack syndrome” meaning you have tons of things you need to sort or figure out where they go – just start. Don’t make piles in bins, there is no reason and it will (I promise you) turn into clutter. Sort it on the scene. Make one, I repeat ONE box of “sort” and put items that you absolutely cannot figure out if they are important in this box. This box should never get filled – if it starts to look full then you deal with it or throw away (or donate) the items.

I enjoy this routine as I can stay in my pajamas until it’s done. I recommend stashing away some of your favorite snacks and beverages that you can munch on throughout the process.

When I leave a room – it’s “pretty much perfect” aside from putting the cleaned linens/towels back.

If I could put caution tape across the door of every clean room until Monday morning – I would.


I have to admit, when I keep saying “wash” in the post below, but I am basically making one giant laundry pile that I will tackle washing and drying throughout the day.

As each load finishes I dump the basket on the bed (I remove all the dirty sheets on the mattress so nothing gets dirty right after being washed).

Then before bed I make a cup of my favorite tea, turn on a TV show and put my laundry away. It feels SO good to not have to touch a thing on Sunday.

I also love sleeping in clean sheets without having to get up and go to work in the morning – extra snuggle time in clean sheets!


Select a laundry basket that you are going to designate as your “downstairs stuff” area.

Fill the basket with dishes, laundry, books, really anything you find upstairs that belongs downstairs and put it in this box as you clean the upstairs.

This will eliminate all of the back and forth trips. Remember, work smart and be efficient.


Ditch everything you don’t use once a month.

The best way to live is simple – don’t let objects control your life.

I have two bins that I keep on each floor of the hours – fix and donate.

Everything that I don’t want to keep that doesn’t make it into those bins gets trashed (thus the big trash…or recycle – don’t kill the planet).

  • Dust: This has to be first so that you can sweep up the dust at the end.
  • Clean off make-up containers, bottles, etc.
  • Clean Toilet: I like to remove the whole seat and let it soak in bleach.
    • They make neat lids that just snap off (so no tools are required).
  • Then I use a Swiffer duster around the base of the toilet and any baseboards where hair tends to collect.
  • Windex Mirrors / Glass
  • Clean Sink
  • Mop/Sweep Floor
  • I usually only mop once a month and then just sweep up hair the rest of the weeks.

If you have used the bathroom and it’s steamy make sure to let it cool off in the room before doing this otherwise the condensation on the floor won’t allow you to get all the icky stuff.

  • Clean Tub: I won’t lie – I usually do this while I am showing after my entire cleaning routine is over. I take a sponge and cleaner into the shower with me and scrub it down before getting myself clean.

Lastly, my favorite part:

  • Refilling empty supplies (toilet paper, tampons, shaving cream, razors) from my stock and hanging up the (all white) towels.
  • Put the trashcan back with an empty bag.

I like to drop some lemongrass essential oils into the bottom of the tub, drawers and trash can to keep the room smelling nice all week.


Ditch everything you don’t use once a month

Pick up and hang up / fold clothes

  • I like to use type/color hanger in each closet as it makes them look tidy and uniform. Swap out your mismatched hangers and send me a photo of the before and after.
  • Make bed
  • Wash Sheets and Pillowcases

I like to drop lavender essential oil onto my mattress before putting on the sheets and into the corners of my dresser drawers and closet.

I put the drops at the end of the bed where my feet go so that when the bed warms up, they smell is very faint and helps me relax and fall asleep

This could be bad for the mattress, but to me it’s worth the risk.




Ditch everything you don’t use once a month

Organize and straighten any stuff that remains in the room

I like to decorate with a purpose so everything in the room is something we use but “staged” to look like it’s meant to be part of the décor.

Wash and Fold Blankets

Remove Pet Hair



Ditch everything you don’t use once a month

Pick up any clutter

Clean off the table (that’s right, seriously, no joke – CLEAR EVERYTHING OFF THE TABLE)


Then set the table: Usually people won’t pile clutter on the table if it looks like it’s going to be used.


Ditch everything you don’t use once a month

Start a load of dishes. Whatever does not fit in the dishwasher, wash by hand.

Clean out anything in the fridge that you know no one will eat in the next 3 days (assuming you didn’t make a ton of food in the last two days). Don’t waste good food, but don’t keep food that you will end up throwing away in 3 days.

Fill a few pitchers with drinks (Kool-Aid, Ice Tea, Crystal Light)

I like to add Lemon slices or fruit slices (they make me feel fancy).

Wipe down counters (yes, move appliances and clean under them)

Scrub out the sink.

Clean off stove top

Clean out microwave

Clean any spills or anything sticky

Sweep / mop the floor

When the dishwasher is done, put away the dishes.

Usually, I go grocery shopping on Sunday Night and prepare healthy pre-portioned food for the week.

When I am finished cleaning the kitchen, I like to get the coffee pot all ready (filled with water and grounds) so that I don’t even have to do that on Sunday. I just wake up and hit the make button.


Clean out your purse

Organize shoes

Put coats on hangers (I try to check coat pockets as well)


Stack laundry baskets

Wipe down washer and dryer

Clean out lint filter


Clean out car

I like to drop orange essential oil into my floor mats and the carpeted area behind the back seats. It’s a nice clean smell and gives me an energized feeling when I smell it.


I like to pick out the meals we are going to make for the week and then plan my shopping list accordingly. I have a master grocery list that I use along with clipping coupons to save money.


I am dangerously attached to my planner and master yearly calendar.

After I cleared the clutter out of my home I have all of my important documents sorted in boxes in the basement and in an emergency folder.

On Saturday Night I write up a list of my long term items that I need to complete and then fill in all of the items have to be completed each day, chores, bills to pay, events, dinner ideas and birthdays. This makes it easy for me to just fill in things I need to remember vs. having to remember everything each day.

I try to work on completing a long term goal each day for at least 30 minutes so that the tasks don’t feel so daunting. I also have a sheet of paper in my binder that I write reminders to myself on as they come up so that I can add them into my lists I keep to maintain my sanity and calendar the next Saturday.

This also makes it easy for me to avoid just saying yes to helping out or making plans throughout the week because I can take my time on Saturday afternoon to think through if I have the time to really give my whole heart to the task.

Additionally, this gives me an opportunity on Sunday to spend some quality time writing poems and addressing birthday cards which is a way to let the people you care about know how much you love them.

Additionally, if I know I have an event like a Birthday, I have time to plan a killer celebration. I can think through party themes and make my party shopping list ahead of time so that I don’t have to kill myself at the last minute.

I also try to look a week ahead and write down anyone that I will need to purchase gifts for if I have not purchased the gift earlier in the year. I have a list of everyone I should purchase gifts for throughout the year and I use my monthly promotional calendar to save money by purchasing my gifts ahead of time when they are on sale.

This time also allows me to order items online to save time and money.

and… that’s my Saturday Morning!!!

The Best Broccoli Salad

I love my vegetables but sadly, broccoli is not high up on my list of veggie favorites.

I don’t like the way it smells when you cook it and I don’t like the soggy texture when it’s cooked.

I LOVE raw broccoli. I love it even more in this tasty broccoli salad.

It’s a super easy way to get in some extra veggies.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar


  • 2 heads of broccoli (or two bags of frozen broccoli)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 small red onion
  • 12 slices of bacon (you can skip the meat if you don’t want to include it)

Note: You can add in nuts (peanuts or almonds) but I have a nut allergy so I skip this step.

How to Make It:

  1. Mix mayo, sugar and vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Cook bacon so it’s good and crispy and chop into bits.
  3. Cut broccoli, chop onion, and dressing.
  4. Boil 2 cups of water and quickly “dunk” the broccoli into the water (I do it in the strainer for no more than 30 seconds)… this makes the broccoli a little softer.
  5. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  6. Let sit in fridge overnight so all the goodness mixes and soaks into the broccoli.

My Four Favorite One-Dish Chicken Dinners

Summer is almost over and our weekday routines are back in full force.

Here are five of my favorite one-dish dinners so you can avoid turning on the hot stove, get out of the kitchen and spend the spare time that you do have with your loved ones.

ONE: Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup 

This is one of my favorite things to make because it’s so easy and it makes SO much!

I get a rotisserie chicken for dinner. After we are done eating the bulk of the chicken, I take the leftover chicken and bones and toss them into a crock pot and cover it with water. I let this cook down for a few hours so the chicken falls off and it makes a nice broth.

After 3-4 hours I pull out the bones and toss in frozen vegetables, grains and noodles.

Let that cook until the noodles are tender an you’re done!

I really like a lot of seasoning in my soup so I add salt and pepper at the end.

For the picture below I did save some of the chicken breast and cut it up into cubes to dress it up a little.


TWO: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

This is SO easy. I like to purchase the Taco “Kit” that comes with the shells and seasoning. I use the amount of chicken listed on the seasoning packet and just put the chicken, seasoning and double the amount of water into the crockpot and let it cook for 8 hours (or a full work day) on low. Then when I get home it’s usually so tender that I can just stir the meat and it pulls apart.

If there is still some extra water in the crock pot I turn it up to high and let it sit for an hour and it usually evaporates.

THREE: Grilled Chicken 

My favorite way to make grilled chicken is to soak it for a few hours in Olive Garden Italian Dressing!

Then just place it on the grill and cook! I like to cook mine until it has some burnt spots (I think they make it taste the best!


FOUR: Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie 

This recipe is something my mom has made for years! You can use anything you want for the crust – Phyllo Dough, Pie Crust, Crescent Rolls or Crushed up Crackers!



Breastfeeding 101

I grew up in a family where breastfeeding wasn’t the norm and was maybe even a little frowned upon.

When I had my first baby I knew it was something I wanted to try and if it didn’t work out… formula it was.

Let me tell you… it’s NOT easy. You have to be prepared to give all of yourself to your little one on demand.

Here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way:

The First Few Weeks:

  • It won’t be easy. Try to wait it out until you have completed the first month and a half (that’s when it got a lot easier for me)
  • Wait until your little one is four weeks old to start pumping. No one told me this so I pumped from day one and my body didn’t regulate to my babies needs and I ended up with an oversupply
  • Never skip a feeding/pumping session unless you are trying to decrease your supply

Enjoy the Ride:

  • Have a support system. I joined the Milky Mama Facebook group and it made all the difference!
  • Set a goal
  • Don’t quit on the bad days
  • Meet with a Lactation Consultant
  • Get a handheld pump you can take with you so you aren’t chained to an outlet


  • Make sure your pump and all your pump parts are clean and dry
  • Ensure you have the correct flange size for your nipple
  • Use this for sore nipples

Foods that help increase milk supply:

To increase output when pumping:

  • Massage your breasts or use one of these nifty massagers

Stay Hydrated:

Freezing Your Stash:

  • Lay the bags flat when you freeze them and try to keep out any extra air – when you have a lot of milk stored up
  • If your milk tastes or smells like soap when you thaw it you might have high liapse (my son wouldn’t take any of the milk I made – you can prevent this by scalding your milk)

If you get Clogged Ducts:

  • Take Sunflower Lecithin
  • Use a heating pad (warm and moist is best) – try filling up a diaper with warm water and placing it on your breast or take a warm bath
  • Nurse as much as you can
  • Dangle Feed (get down on all fours and let your little one
  • I have heard stories about some moms having their significant other suck out the clog but I am yet to try this one…

Other Products to Try:

  • Use a Haakaa to catch milk from the other breast

Some Cool Things I Learned:

  • Your milk adjusts to your babies needs. The amount of fat, hormones and more change to align with babies needs in that moment.
  • Why do momma’s love to give kisses to their baby? When you kiss your little one you “sample” the bacteria on their skin and your body adjusts to meet babies needs!


You might have to supplement at some point in time – make sure you are educated on your options. There are options. You can use formula or donor milk. Two resources for Donor Milk include:

  • Human Milk 4 Babies