Tasty Tuesday: Yippee-Ki-Yay Spicy Southwest Chicken Chowder

Thank you Hungry Girl for another AWESOME recipe.  I am such a soup girl when the weather gets cold.  I usually need to be warmed up AND it is so easy to heat and make when dinner is just me while hubby is at work.  I like to create my own “concoctions” with things I have on hand so trying new recipes is always fun.  Hungry Girl helps us to spice up our life with a bowlful of this hearty soup!  Flavor, fiber, and all that protein — poultry power!!

1/10th of recipe (about 1 cup): 163 calories, 1.5g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 654mg sodium, 18.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 18.5g protein. MAKES 10 SERVINGS.  Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 2*

Ingredients:

2 – 14.5-oz. cans (about 3 1/2 cups) fat-free chicken broth
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 onion)
2 tbsp. chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (about 2 peppers)
1/2 cup plain light soymilk
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker, combine broth, beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chipotle peppers, soymilk, garlic, and cumin. Stir well.
  2. Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or on low for 7 – 8 hours.
  3. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Shred with two forks — one to hold chicken in place and the other to scrape across the meat and shred.
  4. Stir shredded chicken into the soup in the slow cooker. Stir in potato flakes, sour cream, and cilantro. Enjoy!

NOTE:  HG Alternative! Skip the chipotle peppers for a deliciously mild chicken chowder.  Although I LOVE spicy, I will probably skip the peppers this time around.

This is an AWESOME hearty lunch on those chilly days…..What’s the perfect way to take your lunch to work?  That’s right – one of Thirty One’s thermal totes is the correct answer.  The Around the Clock Thermal is one of our most versatile thermal totes.  It is great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, pool, beach, golf course, boating or sporting events. The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes cleanup easier.   If you need a visual for size – think a six-pack of soda!  Yes, it will fit in it and still have some room at the top for some more snacks.  A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including as a crossbody for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids, teachers and everyone else on the go!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Why His Strength is Our Victory

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message…

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. ~~ Psalm 127:1 NIV

There are two ways champion athletes act. Consider the game of football. The guy who runs the winning touchdown either kneels on the ground, pounds his fists against his chest, and yells, “I’m Da’ Man!” or he runs to the 10-yard line, points up to God, and says, “All due credit goes to You, Jesus.”

May we do all things to the glory of God.

A girl can hope, right? Sometimes I misplace due-glory. It’s not that I don’t want to thank, praise or give credit to God. I do. It is just that I get busy, distracted, and focused on all that I need to do. All the people who need me. All the happenings around me.

Are you at all like me?

Consider, when you (work, help others, do a job, want something, are after a dream), do you:

1. Work really hard, yet feel disappointed that you don’t get what you want? (Yes/No)
2. Put your best effort in, yet feel reliant on the outcome? (Yes/No)
3. Get upset when people don’t acknowledge what you’ve done? (Yes/No)
4. Become worried that other people will look better than you? (Yes/No)
5. Wonder if you’ll be put to shame if you don’t perform well? (Yes/No)
6. Hope that people see you and notice all that you are doing? (Yes/No)
7. Work yourself to the point of being extremely tired? (Yes/No)
8. Say yes to everyone even though you know you should say no? (Yes/No)
9. Expect people to give you the things “due to you”? (Yes/No)
10. Become resentful towards the “many” people who demand things of you? (Yes/No)

If you answered yes to a few of the above questions, this is a good sign you’re working by your own strength. Strength that leads to discouragement, disappointment and a depleted spirit.

Our strength = Our defeat.

His strength = Our victory.

Where do you need to move out of the way, so that you can find a new, restful and restorative way — Jesus’ way?

Relying on God’s victory doesn’t mean we do nothing. Here are some things we can do, while trusting God as we wait on Him. We can:

1. Pray
2. Lean on His promises
3. Wait to understand what He wants us to do.
4. Move out and love others
5. Rest
6. Pray and give thanks.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

4th Annual Chemo Care Tote Campaign

As part of “Giving Tuesday” I am kicking off  my “4th Annual CHEMO CARE TOTES” Campaign.

When I began my journey with Thirty One in 2011, I wanted to make a difference.  Actually, I have been making  difference all of my life – from collecting funds for MD as a child to working in soup kitchens and food pantries to bringing a smile to those who are struggling.  I want to share my spiritual gifts of “helps and encouragement” so others know someone cares when they are struggling.

Here is the message I received from past recipients:

Wanted to let you know I have handed out all of the beautiful bags you had donated for women battling breast cancer. Each person loved the bag and it put a smile on their face to know someone was kind and providing a sense of support as they started their chemotherapy treatments. Thank you again for supporting our patients.

Yes, I cried the first time!… Now, I get goosebumps every time I read it.  Cancer has touched each of us in some way – a friend, a family member, a sister, a mother, a father, a child, and the list goes on.

This project is near and dear to my heart.  It is a tribute to my family who fought a good fight against this dreaded disease and lost: Edythe (kidney cancer), Elsie (breast cancer), Pop-pop (lung cancer) and my dad (prostrate cancer). I spent many hours in the Oncology Units with Elsie and Edythe as they underwent chemo treatments.  I held their hand when they struggled with the insertion of the needles.  I was there when they were sick from the chemo and sat by their bedside when they were too weak to go out.  As a friend said #cancersucks.  It takes many from us long before their time.  It ravages families.  It leaves children parentless.  It has parents burying children.

With my own health struggles, I have spent many hours in the infusion units of local hospitals.  I am blessed to only have to be there a short time – time for blood work and special testing.  The many women I have seen are not there for a one time visit, they are there for weeks of painful treatments.  They smile and carry on conversations  while encouraging each other.  My heart breaks and the tears come each time I leave the unit for I know what their struggles are like.

Your gift/ sponsorship of $25 will pay for the bag.   I will use 100% of my commission to fill them with a variety of things like a blanket/scarf, notepad, pen, bottle of water, lotion, warm socks, chap stick and crossword puzzle book. Donations will again be delivered to the local Cancer Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center to bring a smile to the face of those who are fighting this dreadful disease.

chemo bagsLast year, we delivered 31 bags BUT this year, my goal is 50.  I know it is a HUGE jump but I am confident we are up for the challenge. Yes, I know it is the holiday season.  Yes, I know money is tight.  STOP for a moment and think how you would feel if someone handed you an unexpected gift – no strings attached – when you were feeling your lowest.  Let the love of this holiday season shine through with your help.

For $25 you can bring a smile to someone who is fighting the cancer battle.

You can sponsor a bag in memory of someone, in honor of someone or just anonymously. Payments can be made via check, credit card or through Paypal at hopesgiftcloset@comcast.net as a friend/family.   If you see me at a vendor event, I will be happy to accept your donation.

Won’t you help us to make a difference today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Casual Cargo Bag – Not Just a Diaper Bag

First, my “baby” has turned 30 years old so I definitely don’t need a diaper bag BUT I do LOVE this bag.  I have actually been using it every day for the last few weeks.  It is AMAZING!

For those of you who have been around Thirty One for awhile, you may remember the original Casual Cargo Bag… it was actually the #1 choice by moms in 2014.  Don’t believe me, check out www.babycenter.com.  I know you are wondering why did it go away, right?    Like all good things, it went away and came back even more AMAZING!  How can you improve on great, right?  Well, we did!  

The NEW Casual Cargo Bag is part of Baby by Thirty One.  So, it is officially a diaper bag but it is so much more! It’s an easy-to-wear, everyday canvas cargo tote for anyone who’s on the go. Do you commute to work?  How about travel to practices with the kids?  Spend a lot of time on the road playing mom taxi or for work?  This bag is a great solution!

Let’s start with its extended top handle straps and detachable, adjustable strap which gives you the versatility to wear it as a shoulder bag or a crossbody bag.  It is in a cotton/canvas fabric with a polyester lining.   The crossbody strap let’s you keep your hands free when chasing after the kids.  It has two exterior pockets with magnetic closures which is the perfect spot for your keys or maybe the baby’s binky.  I have my business cards in one along with a note pad to gather potential customers contact information.  I know you are wonder, why didn’t I say these pockets were good for your cell phone.  Because there is actually a cell phone pocket on the outside which will fit most phones including some of the new larger ones.   No need to go digging around in your bag when you are juggling the baby.

Let’s move to the inside which has multiple pockets and LOTS  of space.  My favorite new feature is an interior thermal pocket with a leak lock lining.  This is a great spot to keep a snack and a bottle of water.  I haven’t put it to the test to see how much it can hold but there is quite a bit of room.  It did hold enough snacks/ light food for a recent vendor event.

Also on the side is two flat pockets AND 2 elastic side pockets which are great for bottles or containers of snacks.  Top it off with a zipper closure and you are ready to hit the road with a stylish, yet functional diaper bag.  Did I mention you can have it personalized too?  The best part is when you don’t need a diaper bag any more, it is still a GREAT bag to use every day.  It is roomy but not HUGE.

The next question is – “Is it washable?” I have to admit the company does not recommend washing this item.  They do recommend wiping it with a damp cloth using mild soap only and then air drying.  I will tell you I have customers who have tossed this into the washer on a gentle cycle and air dried it who give it rave reviews when all was said and done.

At a cost of $68, this durable, fun, functional and stylish bag is the perfect gift for the new or soon to be mom.  How about for the college student or even the work at home mom.  If you want to see this product up close – contact me for a product experience (one-on-one product showing) or have a home party where you can get all the things you will want to keep the new nursery neat and tidy…

Whose ready to shop??? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Pigs Can Fly


I’m sure you are tired of the turkey leftovers by now, right?  I mean you can only eat so much turkey, so many different ways…..

Last week was the first Saturday in a LONG time I didn’t have a vendor event.  Crazy, right?  But sometimes a girl just needs to take a break.  I did stop by a few of them and was excited to run into my friends from “Wicked Good Spices“.  I shop with them all summer long when they are at the Brick Farmer’s Market so it was nice to get to catch up with them.  They shared this yummy recipe with me

Ingredients:

1 – 10 lb Boston Shoulder Pork Butt (rinsed and patted dry)

1 head of garlic (peeled and crushed)

1 large onion (peeled and cut into wedges)

4 TBSP of “pigs can fly” Wicked Good Spice Blend

1/3 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Directions:

  1.  Place all ingredients in a 6 quart crock pot
  2. Set crock pot to High for 30 minutes, then turn down to Low for 8 hours
  3. Pork is done when it falls away from the bone
  4. Remove pork from crock pot and reserve 1 cup of juice
  5. Shred pork with two forks
  6. Add any BBQ say you prefer and add juice back into the pork
  7. Serve on rolls with coleslaw, red onion and ranch dressing.

Thinking ahead to Super Bowl parties, this would make a great party dish.  Take it along to a covered dish party as well.  How will you travel with it?  Use ThirtyOne’s Fresh Market Thermal to carry your crockpot.  The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes . A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a favorite recipe? Share it with me and if I put it in my blog, you will receive a free gift from me!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!