Thursday, September 18, 2014

slow cooker chicken tacos

Now that the days are cooler and our routine is busier, I have pulled out the old slow cooker and started to add a few soups and casseroles to our weekly menu. These slow cooker chicken tacos have been an old stand by in our house for a few years and I was excited to make them again the other night!

chicken tacos

The recipe is just what I think every slow cooker recipe should be; toss the ingredients in the pot and turn it on! The mixture of chicken, beans and corn makes for a filling meal, packed with protein. 

chicken tacos

I've made this dish for guests and taken it to parties and have always had lots of requests for the recipe...

So here it is!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 large jar of chunky salsa
2 large chicken breasts (bone and skin removed)
2-3 Tbsp taco seasoning 
1 cup frozen corn

Add black beans and salsa to slow cooker. Place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture and sprinkle with taco seasoning. 

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.  

Remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker, add frozen corn and mix together with black beans and sauce. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for a half an hour. 

Serve with soft tortillas and top with shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole.

chicken tacos

chicken tacos

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Morning Routine for Preschoolers

Now that Andrew is attending school 5 days a week, I decided it was time for him to start taking more responsibility for his morning routine. He's been doing most morning tasks on his own for the last six months or so, but needs constant reminders and repeated requests to get the jobs done. I wanted to create an easy checklist for him that wouldn't require any maintenance (erasing check marks or reprinting) and that would be easy for him to manipulate on his own. A quick Pinterest search put a number of "morning routine" options at my fingertips and I selected and adapted the one that I thought would work best for us.

To make this Morning Routine Flip Chart, I cut a file folder that I had on hand. Then, using my Silhouette and some adhesive vinyl, I cut out some simple images for the tasks Andrew needs to complete as well as some check marks and a morning message. I added a small piece of magnet to each flap and covered each magnet with some of the orange vinyl (just because it looked better!).

I kept the morning routine tasks very simple; potty, brush teeth, put p.j.'s in the laundry basket and get dressed. I've also started setting out his outfits for the week in a hanging shoe organizer like this. I have not labeled the days of the week, which gives him some choice in what he will wear each day. 

This morning routine has worked better than I imagined it would! Andrew took to the flip chart right away and has stuck with it for a few weeks now! I'm hopeful that the novelty of the chart doesn't wear off, because it will be worth it's weight in gold once baby #3 arrives in November!!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back to school...

This week Andrew ventured back to the Nature School at Irvine for his second year. He was really excited to see his friends and teachers and had no problem at all saying goodbye to Henry and I... a little different than our first day last year. The Nature School at Irvine has been a wonderful place for Andrew. Their day is split between a traditional classroom and the trails of the centre. They approach a traditional curriculum through nature, teaching the eager little learners to respect and love the natural world. As a teacher, I find it incredibly inspiring. Rob and I have been talking a lot about the "Top 10" list of what we will miss when we move back to Canada, and I know this community will be high on the list!

To show our appreciation (in advance) to Andrew's teachers and Education Assistants, we personalized some cute notebooks I found at Target. Using my Silhouette, I cut a banner for each notebook, tied on fun pen and tucked in a little note from Andrew. They were very happy with the gesture!

Looking forward to great year of learning!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Henry is TWO!!

It's been a few weeks since we celebrated Henry's second birthday, but I didn't want to let this big day pass without sharing a few photos of the little guy in all of his glory! Here he is with his new guitar, the two are pretty much inseparable!

Henry continues to be the eternal charmer. His quirky little personality is so ridiculously infectious that it may not be possible to look at him for more than a minute without cracking a smile. He delights in making others laugh and is coming up with new ways to do so all the time. He was born to be the middle child... easy to please and impossible to ignore!

Henry and Andrew have really hit a new stride in their relationship over the past few months. Watching the two of them develop this relationship, tenuous as it may be, is hands down my favourite part of being their Mom.

This kid is absolutely incredible. 
Happy Birthday Little Man!