Monday, July 15, 2013

Anniversary Gift: A Dating Book!

Engaged...November 26, 2003

Ever since we had kids our dating life took a serious nose dive.  And also, I've been throwing myself into motherhood, cooking, blogging, Bible study and anything else that has really taken time away from my marriage.  We have a good marriage, but I miss all the fun we used to have.  I've been pinning marriage ideas on Pinterest for quite awhile, but have not pursued anything that I've bookmarked.

Walked the new Narrows Bridge in 2007

We are coming up on our 9 year anniversary this month and I really wanted to bring back dating into our relationship with some new and fresh ideas.  I have to say that we have been in the same rut- go to dinner and walk.  That is nice, but I would love to try some other things and maybe bring back some old ideas.
Grand Park hike to Mt. Rainier 2006

Mariners Game 2009

I am so excited to have made this fun Dating Book for my husband!
Here is a little video of my book.


At home dates:
*Bake cookies
*Make milkshakes
*Watch Funny YouTube Videos (we like The IT Crowd)
*Share websites we like
*Listen to S*xy Marriage Radio- podcast  (Clean, Christian and lots of fun)
*Fondue night
*Game night
*Indoor picnic
*Make ice cream sundae
*Living room campout/movie
*20 questions
*Make breakfast and eat in bed

Outdoor dates:
*Try a new sport
*Be a tourist
*Go to a park and play
*Go to a local sport event
*Bike ride
*Play Frisbee
*Farmer's Market
*Outdoor music concert
*Play Bocce

Indoor Dates:
*Thrift store/Antique
*Go to a play
*Try a new restaurant
*Go to a bakery
*Coffee shop
*Listen a local band
*Go to a used bookstore
*Bookstore Date- Dating Divas

I also included a few printables:
*30 Conversation Starters for Couples

*30 Day Marriage Challenge for Husbands from All Pro Dad
*30 Day Marriage Challenge for Wives for iMom
*Marriage Conversation Starters from All Pro Dad

And I printed this and put it on the back cover:

And I found a few coupons for a yogurt place and Mexican restaurant that I tucked in there as well.
And I added a few quotes that I really liked from some Facebook marriage pages.

So check out my Marriage Pinterest Board for more ideas!  I can see more dating books or something like it in the future!!  Can't wait to see how this one goes. 

Happy Anniversary to my love!
July 16, 2004

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Freezer to Crockpot Cooking with Recipes and Zip List!

11 Freezer to Crockpot meals

I've always wanted to do Once a Month Cooking, but I just couldn't get it planned.  I did try the ideas from Dinner is Ready and I really liked how that worked out, but I'm even more impressed with Freezer to Crockpot cooking!! 

I think I found this first on Pinterest a YEAR ago:

Oh, yes! That sounds awesome!! But I never got around to trying it!

Then about a week ago one of my FB friends shared her post of her freezer to crockpot cooking and I decided it was time!

The first thing I did was gather all my recipes and decided to make 2 of each.  However, I didn't buy enough chicken so that's why there are only 11 meals instead of 12.

Next I put all my recipes on ZipList and generated a shopping list.  Then I went through what I already had, took things off and doubled everything and copied off my list.  I also have it on my phone.  Pretty handy and FREE site!!

Then I came home and normally I would do all my chopping one day and assemble the next, but I honestly don't have that much time and my daughter took a fabulous nap that day.  So I spent about 2.5 hours in the kitchen chopping and getting everything ready to dump in the bags.  One thing I didn't do was chop chicken.  I figure it will cook enough to chop during the crockpot cooking.

I listened to my favorite podcasts and dumped everything in each of the bags.  I was very curious to see how these turned out.  I have never made any of these recipes before so this is all an experiment.

What I am most thrilled with is the ZERO time I'm spending in the kitchen.  Basically pull out the bag the night before and thaw in the refrigerator.  In the morning I figure out when I need to put the meal in to cook, grease the crockpot and dump it in!!  That's it, 30 seconds tops!  And the best part is that there is NO clean up.  I also have TONS of time in the afternoon and evening that I normally would be prepping, cleaning and all the other stuff I do in the kitchen.  I also have an extra meal to give to my friend who is having surgery soon.  I feel like this is a winner all around. 

Happy Assembling!!

Here are the recipes:
*BBQ Chicken- Scroll down to the recipe.  This one was fabulous!!!
*Black Bean Taco Soup- This was excellent!  I love Mexican.

I have not tried any of these yet.
*Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans
*Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
*Garlic Lime Chicken
*Lime Salsa Chicken
*Café Rio Chicken

I have several other recipes I want to try so I might do another batch in August.