Southern Mom Life Weekly Graphics

Happy Friday, everyone!!

I am making a few changes to my posts!! I have decided to post Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week. Also, to keep me organized I am going to post about the same topics on each day. Each topic also now has a graphic that will be included at the beginning of each post. Look for them starting next week!!

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Things to Do Thursday

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Look for an upcoming post on the website I used to create these graphics!!

 

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Southern Mom Life’s {Easy} Homemade Chicken Salad

 

We love chicken salad around our house. There are a few restaurants where I LOVE to pick it up for lunch, but we like to throw some together at home for quick sandwiches every now and then. We have done a homemade recipe where we boiled our chicken; however, when we decide last minute or find ourselves in a time crunch, it is great to have some cooked chicken on hand. (Explains why this recipe is called Easy Homemade Chicken Salad.)

****SIDE NOTE: I noticed when putting this post together that we buy a lot of Wal-Mart’s brand “Great Value”. That is probably because I am such a cheap-o when it comes to grocery shopping. Groceries are so expensive, you almost have to be! You will notice almost everything in this recipe is Great Value brand, ha! Maybe I should have named it “frugal and easy.” πŸ˜‰

 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. (2) Cans of cooked chicken breast (I usually buy sodium free as well)
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Mustard
  4. Pickles
  5. (1) Celery stalk
  6. (3) Boiled Eggs (We used fresh farm eggs from my Mom’s house)
  7. Freshly sliced tomato (For adding to the sandwiches πŸ™‚ )

 

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THE STEPS:

Chicken Salad 1

Dump the chicken, chopped celery, and chopped pickles into the bowl and add a little mustard.

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Mix it all up. And if you prefer it like I do, “chop” the chicken while you’re at it.

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Next, add your mayo. I apologize, I do not have a measurement. Our kitchen is more of a measure-by-taste kind of kitchen for some things. πŸ˜‰

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By now your boiled eggs should be cool, so chop them up and blend them in with a spoon. This should help absorb some of the creaminess. Also, if it is still too sweet… try adding a little extra mustard. If it is somehow not sweet enough, my mom has added less than a teaspoon of sugar to hers before.

This usually makes enough for 5 or 6 sandwiches! Definitely enough for a summer weekend lunch plus leftovers for Monday at work. I love easy and light recipes during summer when it is so hot and humid!

Color Scheming for Photos

Hello Monday!!

I have recently found myself trying to plan a lot of picture outfits and wardrobes. I hate when everything is veryΒ  matchy-matching, and finally heard the perfect way to explain it a while back – Make sure you coordinate, not necessarily match. I thought, yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to say. Haha!

If you are like me, though, and find yourself not being a fashion guru or natural, you still need a little help every now and then. I found this graphic below and it is perfect to give an idea and assist when picking out clothes for a photo session. Just because you wear pink, does not mean he, she, the kids necessarily have to wear pink, too! Get that 1990s family portrait thinking out of your head! πŸ˜‰

I appreciated having this graphic so much lately that I wanted to share it with you! Save it to your computer or phone and just pull it up next time.

Have a great week!!

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Easy Summer Toddler Crafts

This summer I have vowed will be different than last summer. Last year I was completing an internship and getting ready to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree during the summer semester. I was zero fun. I don’t even remember having any fun! I WAS CRAZY. This summer, I have already planned so many things to do with my daughter and since she loves crafts, of course they were a big part of the planning!

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This turtle inspired us to make one of our own. We took a paper plate and she went to town painting it green. It was total “freedom of expression.” I made the spots for the shell, his “feet” as we called them, and his head out of black construction paper. Find the eyes in any craft section. Our turtle’s spots don’t look so amazingly organized. A three year old tends to see symmetry and art in a completely different light πŸ˜‰

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This fish and the next photo are going to be our upcoming crafts. How hard can this one be? Cut the triangle for the mouth, then go back with scissors that cut shapes to create his teeth. I believe I’ll let my daughter paint it however she wants. Maybe I’ll find the Rainbow Fish book to go along with it. He might come out like a rainbow as well!!

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I love this! I think we can get as creative or simple with this as we want. I think in the picture they are using small paper bowls, but we’ll probably stick with the plate. (Just because I already have a stack of them.) I have lots of left over crafting ribbon and tulle that we can use to create our jellyfish. I can’t wait to make both of these crafts soon!!

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We have not attempted this project yet, but surely it cannot be that difficult? Paper plate, hole punch, yarn, beads, feathers and voila! I’m like a man when it comes to following directions. I didn’t even search out instructions for this idea… I just know if I have the materials I can make it work πŸ˜‰

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I guess this one could be a little more difficult. But only because of getting the fish drawn and cut out. Ha! Let your child paint the plate blue while you man the fish project. Create the fish using white paper and then hand it off for painting to the toddler as well. I think I would use green tissue paper (or construction paper or whatever works for you) and cut or tear the strips to my desired length(s). The bottom appears to be white beans of some sort… and what kid throughout history hasn’t loved making something out of beans and pasta shells?! We might save this one for a Saturday when we have time to take breaks and then finish working on it.

I love these crafts! All you need is:

(1) Paper plates

(2) Paint of all colors (and paintbrushes)

(3) Construction paper (and tissue paper if you choose)

(4) Scissors – one regular pair and then a few that cut in shapes/angles

(5) Scrap ribbon, string, yard, tulle, fabric, etc.

(6) Crafting beads and crafting feathers

(7) Small white beans

(8) Glue. Hot glue gun, glue stick (if your toddler is hands on with glueing), or Elmer’s glue (if you’re brave and messy). Just make sure you have glue.

 

I will have to update you all with our photos after we have them all made!

My {Latest} Favorite Hobby – Kayaking

Trevor had recently took up kayaking with some friends when he has “guy time” and I was iffy about it. For some reason if you’ve never been kayaking, everyone wants to scare you with how easy it is to flip and alligators, etc. I got tempted and tried it out in his parent’s pond on Memorial Day weekend… it is NOT scary and I do not know why people love to freak others out about such a fun activity! You would think this was paddle boarding an ocean current or something! (I’ve never done that either, so it might actually be fun and easy. Just setting an example here.)

I paddled around for at least 30 minutes that day! When Trevor saw how much I loved it, he ended up getting himself a new blue kayak and giving me his yellow one. We got the chance to go for a couple of hours a few weekends ago, and I am in love! I have many hobbies that I mostly never have time to do often, but this is one that I definitely want us to commit to doing many times throughout the end of summer! (Summer weather doesn’t end here until like the end of October. πŸ˜‰ )

We’ve only been to “New City Lake” here in out hometown, but I am ready to make a plan to Kayak all across North Alabama!! I think it would be boring to kayak the same location over and over. I want to find all of the little lakes and places that aren’t super popular. Like here, no one visits the city lake except for the locals. I want to find those places. I have already started researching!! πŸ˜€

kayaking 4I’m so thankful to be from Alabama the Beautiful!!

 

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kayaking 2He fished, but I wasn’t up for that yet. I wanted to enjoy just kayaking for my first time.

 

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Have Kayaking ideas that are in North/Central Alabama, northern Mississippi or southern Tennessee???

PLEASE SEND THEM TO US!!

What Apps I’m Using on a Daily Basis

 

 

Today I am letting y’all in on the secrets of the Southern Mom Life iPhone. Secrets… Ha! I’m not much of a gamer and don’t really edit my photos a million ways. I don’t even make collages, but these things helps me survive and more or less pass the time unproductively… depending on the moment. Here’s what I currently love and use every day on my phone:

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1. Mail – Although I am on the computer at work, this enables me to check my personal emails on lunch, etc. And send a quick response when needed. Having access to email also makes it easy when I am out and about and have a moment to check it. I know I hate when it has been a week since someone responded to me πŸ˜‰

2. Fitbit – This is an App I have been using since the end of May. I LOVE it! And I really want a Fitbit device to wear as well to keep up with my sleeping patterns too. That’s on my wishlist at the moment. (Along with 100 other things.) I use this to keep me on track for being more active and drinking water!! fitbit1

fitbit2It also lets you enter a weight goal and it gives you a daily “Calories Burned” Goal in order to help you achieve your weight loss goal. You can also enter what you eat and it will monitor the calories for you! Looking for a fitness app that will really help hold you accountable? Download Fitbit from the App store for FREE!

3. Instagram – Well, this is a little self explanatory. Who doesn’t already have Instagram? πŸ˜‰ I am also on it a little extra lately as I try to build the Alabama Women Bloggers Instagram page as well. Follow us both at @cindy_britton and @alwomenbloggers !!

4. NOAA Weather – This is also a FREE app that is awesome when keeping up with the radar, satellite, etc. It pinpoints to your location, so make sure you enable location access for this app in your settings. Click on your location’s pinpoint and you can also access temperatures, 3 day forecasts, humidity, and all of that.

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You live in a town severely affected by the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak like I do, and you will appreciate and love this FREE interactive app with an continuously updating radar!

 

5. Life at Cornerstone – This is my church’s app! It is awesome. Even if you don’t attend my church or even live remotely close enough to, you can access an entire album recorded by the praise and worship team to help keep you motivated and uplifted. You can access previous messages from the pastor and a series from his wonderful wife. There is also a Daily Confessions and Study Center to help you grow in your every day Christian walk when you need a little guide help with your individual bible study. There is also a place to submit a prayer request! This is an app I definitely need in my every day life!! πŸ™‚

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What apps are you using on a daily basis? Are you weird like me and refuse to pay for apps? What apps help you survive today’s crazy world??

New Found Love for Bolthouse Farms

Over the last year I have struggled with an Iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency. I currently inject a monthly B12 shot just so that I can have the same level of energy that every one else naturally produces. Yay. Not. It has been almost a year now, so it doesn’t bother me as much as it did. I can always tell the difference in how I feel toward the end of the month when it is almost time for the next shot. I feel a lot more tired even after getting 8+ hours of sleep. I’ve also had 5 Iron treatments since May 2013 as well. Being iron deficient also can be a cause of the tiredness. Either way, I’ve been struggling with this for a year now and every chance I get I have searched out foods or drinks that naturally contain iron and B12. This is how I found Bolthouse Farms.

I knew that blueberries naturally contained B12, and one day while shopping in Wal-Mart I saw the Bolthouse Farms Blue Goodness drink and picked it up to check it out. The first thing I noticed was that on the side of the bottle it listed the amount of each fruit included in the bottle in addition to the fact that the drink is non-GMO and preservative free. I looked around at all of their different options and noticed that most all of their drinks are non-GMO and some are even gluten free! At my local Wal-Mart I can even get them for $2.68 for the single serving size!

I love drinking the Blue Goodness drink for breakfast. Usually one of the larger bottles is enough for two mornings. When I have drank Bolthouse Farms drinks a few days in a week, I can tell the difference in my energy and how I feel. I know it may be a combination of the B12 shots as well, but when you are OVER being so tired for no reason, you will get excited about anything extra that helps.

**SIDE NOTE: Bolthouse Farms does not only make fruit drinks. They have MANY, MANY vegetable drinks as well. They also sell carrots for snacking, cooking, etc. We love to get their baby carrots for snacks. πŸ™‚ Those can be found in your local produce section. I tried out a few of the vegetable ones and well… I believe I will just have to stick with eating those on the table. I couldn’t do it in the drink form. I need it to be sweet apparently. I wish I would have had someone to share them with, because we just had to throw them away. Even my daughter wouldn’t drink them. Ha! Must run in the family.

 

Below are just a FEW of my favorite drinks from Bolthouse Farms:

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Mango Coconut Splash

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I will add, that these drinks are not low calorie drinks. So, if you count calories you may want to incorporate these drinks in with a smoothie or shake instead of drinking the whole drink as a single serving. I am sure some of them would be great to make in a smoothie with some protein, plus almond milk or coconut water or water and then add ice, especially the strawberry banana drink.Β  May have to give that a shot and let you know how it turns out!!

If you decide to try out Bolthouse Farms, let me know which ones you love!