Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Jennie's Recipe Reviews: Chicken and Gravy

I love an easy slow cooker recipe and this one was easy and delicious. Slow Cooker Chicken and Gravy was definitely a winner for us.

Basically, you just mix broth and gravy mix, toss the chicken in, turn the slow cooker on high and let it go.

I served it over mashed potatoes and it was perfect!

Make sure to try this recipe. Share it with your friends!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Walt Disney World 2019 Trip Report: Day 2: Part 1

(Click here to start from the beginning)

After a little, tiny bit of sleep, we got up and headed to Epcot to check out the International Festival of the Arts offerings and ride some rides.

We made it to the park just after it opened and went to meet Joy and Sadness. After Joy and Sadness, we took a ride on Living with the Land and Journey into the Imagination with Figment before heading to the plaza to look at the art, listen to some music and take some pictures.

Before leaving the park for the day, we rode Mission: Space Green, which has been updated since we last rode it and I liked it a lot!

After Mission: Space, we left the park and headed to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to have lunch at Mara, the quick service location. We split the Tamarind Pork Sandwich, fries and the African Violet cupcake. We took a break and then explored the lobby before heading over to Animal Kingdom for the afternoon.

We really enjoyed the meal at Mara!

Check back next week for a report on our afternoon at Animal Kingdom!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Housewife Life: My top 5 Netflix shows this month

I have been watching a lot of TV this month...I'm not sure why or how, since I have been extra productive.

Here are the shows I have been catching up on...
1. Grace and Frankie, Season 5 on Netflix

While this wasn't my favorite season of the show, it was definitely entertaining and I love the growth of all the characters, not just the main characters.

2. Russian Doll, Season 1 on Netflix

We watched this one in one sitting...Chris was sick and we were out of our weekly shows to watch. It was so good that my husband, who dislikes binging shows, binged the shows.

3. Friends from College, Season 1 and 2 on Netflix

I tried this show about a year ago and wasn't able to get past season 1, but decided to try it again. It has some genuinely hilarious scenes and is good if you like a lot of dysfunction.

4. Call the Midwife, Season 7 on Netflix

I have always loved this show. It is a great period piece about post-war London. Its one of the slower shows I watch, but it is so engaging.

5. When Calls the Heart, Season 5 on Netflix

This is just a feel good show. I don't love the main character, but I do love the supporting actors and the small town drama that unfolds.

What are your favorite shows this month?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Jennie's Recipe Reviews: Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I have never been a pot pie fan. I'm not sure's the peas.

I tried to make it once and it didn't really turn out, so I never went back to it.

But when I started seeing Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipes pop up in my feeds, I knew I had to try it. So I chose this recipe Pinch of Yum and we loved it. (And the leftovers were even better!!!)

I did struggle to get the soup to thicken the first night...but that is probably because I used 2% Lactaid instead of heavy cream.

I liked the idea of using a cookie cutter for a fun shape, but then all I could find was a Christmas tree and a snowflake, so I used the snowflake.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Walt Disney World 2019 Trip Report: Day 1: Part 3

(Click here to start at the beginning)

After a ride around the monorail, we arrived at Magic Kingdom at about 6:10. The official entry time for Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom on January 24 was 7:00, but we were allowed in at 6:35.

We had a FastPass+ for meeting Mickey and Minnie in their celebration duds at Town Square Theater from 5:50-6:50, so we made it in time. I loved getting to meet both Mickey and Minnie at the same time!

We also had a FastPass+ for meeting Tinkerbell from 7:00-7:30. The meeting area for Tinkerbell is so cute!!!

After meeting Tinkerbell, I bought a new pair of Minnie ears and we took a bathroom break. At 7:30, we claimed a spot to watch Once Upon a Time, a castle projection show, and Happily Ever After, the Magic Kingdom nighttime spectacular.

After Happily Ever After, we made our way, like salmon swimming upstream, into Adventureland and began our tour!

8:25 PM - Jungle Cruise

8:38 PM - Pirates of the Caribbean

8:52 PM - Splash Mountain

9:12 PM - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
9:24 PM - Popcorn and Water Break
Haunted Mansion was closed so we moved past it.

9:41 PM - Meet Rapunzel and Tiana

9:55 PM - Ice Cream Sandwich Break
10:01 PM - Under the Sea

I forgot to take notes for the next two steps, but we rode Space Mountain and got a frozen chocolate covered banana and water.

10:43 PM - Peoplemover

10:59 PM - We were getting off of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

As we left, we got a few photos on Main Street before catching a bus back to Coronado Springs. I took a shower and was in bed by midnight!

So, did we think it was worth the $125 per person price tag?

Absolutely. We were able to walk onto almost every ride, or wait for like 1 or 2 ride vehicles before we rode. Most of the "wait" times were how long it took to walk through the queue for each ride.

We also got 2 popcorns, 2 ice cream sandwiches, 2 frozen chocolate covered bananas and 4 bottles of water...which were included in the price.

This is an event I will be recommending to clients as long as things don't change.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Motivational Monday: Life is Short

I have always loved traveling. As a child, my family wasn't able to I traveled with the world of books. I loved real life adventure stories starring girls and young women. I longed to be trekking the Oregon Trail, sailing through the Panama Canal, racing a sailboat off Cape Cod.

As an adult, we have always kept our lives simple so we could continue to vacation...often taking one or two trips a year. Every time I return home from one of those trips, I find myself briefly awoken to how wide the world is and how many people are in it.

Settling back in to daily life however, my world shrinks back down and I temporarily forget the wideness of the world, so it is good to be reminded of the wideness sometimes.

Do you like to travel? What is your dream trip?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Housewife Life: Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ok, I'm a romantic. I have always liked Valentine's Day...even when I was single.

We used to get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday, but now, I mainly want the day to be acknowledged. A good meal, a flower, and a card is really all I need.

This Valentine's Day, I am sending Chris a special breakfast and I have a card for him. This weekend, we will have a meal at a nice restaurant to celebrate another Valentine's Day together.

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Kitchen Tips with Jennie: Just Buy the Rice Cooker Already

I have been cooking dinner for my husband for the past 13 1/2 years. Over that time, I avoided cooking rice because I never did it well. I read recipes, watched cooking shows and my rice was always too wet. So I just didn't cook it.

My husband loved watching YouTube videos about living in Japan and every video about kitchen organization featured a rice cooker. These people living in Japan, with minuscule kitchens, gave up valuable space to a rice cooker.

So I bought one.

And it has been a huge happiness booster for the 2 years I have owned it.

One of the tricks to being happy that I have learned by listening to Happier with Gretchen Rubin is that by identifying a small problem (not being able to cook rice), you can fix that problem (buying a rice cooker). And the effort you put into fixing the problem is usually so little that it feels silly that you didn't fix it in the first place.

So figure out what your "Rice Cooker" is and go get it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Walt Disney World 2019 Trip Report: Day 1: Part 2

(For Part 1, Click Here)

After we rested, we took an Uber over to the Grand Floridian Resort for our dinner reservation at 1900 Park Fare. We got there a little early so we could explore the resort and take in the ambience.

1900 Park Fare dinner is a character buffet that features Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and Cinderella's step-sisters. It is located on the first floor, down the back left hallway when you come in the main doors of the lobby.

Let's start with the food...
It was good for a buffet.

1900 Park Fare Signature Strawberry Bisque

Pasta Salad, Cheese Ravioli, Kale Salad, Catfish, Butter Chicken and Mashed Potatoes, Butternut Squash Ravioli
Blue Glowtini

Rum Swizzle

Prime Rib, Jasmine Rice, Mongolian Beef, Honey Sriracha Salmon, Catfish, Mashed Potatoes

We shared a dessert plate. Gummi Bears, mini cannoli, lemon tart, brownie, rice krispie treat.
 I love Strawberry Bisque and this one was pretty good. The butter chicken was delicious and the prime rib was ok. Everything was good! My favorite dessert was the lemon tart.

On to the Characters...

They were a lot of fun. Lady Tremaine is stately and not as intimidating as I expected. The step-sisters like to was funny. Prince Charming talked about Gus and Jack and Cinderella was quiet.

After dinner, we decided to take a ride on the monorail before going to Magic Kingdom to wait for Disney After Hours to open!

Check back next week for a review of our night at Disney After Hours!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Motivational Monday: Just be happy

I am a happy person. I try to not let things bother me and if they do, I either let them roll off my back or I vent to a trusted person and then I let them go.

And I have found that it irritates people. I am so sensitive to it, that I tamp down my excitement for life in public...which means I am brimming with it at home. Several of my closest inner circle use the term "Jennie-level excited" when they see me starting to overflow with excitement.

Recently, I realized that tamping that down is doing a disservice to the world. God made me a happy person for a reason and I am supposed to be sharing that gift. The world needs more genuinely happy people and I plan to let that light shine again.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Weekly Menu

Its time to do some freezer clean out! I have some frozen veggies from our garden and I need to get it empty for a large Costco run.

Click here for a printable of this week's menu.

Disclaimer: I did recycle this menu, but I needed some quick to make recipes this week.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Housewife Life: Addicted to Grocery Pickup

Over a year ago, Grocery Pickup came to a local Wal-Mart. This was not a Wal-Mart that I would normally shop in, but since I would not have to go in...I was hooked.

For no extra fee, someone else will do my grocery shopping for me? And then load it into my car? Of course I'm in.

I hate shopping. Running errands is basically torture for me, so having the opportunity to take away that weekly hour (or more) long annoyance was a game changer for me.

Here are the Pros and Cons of Wal-Mart Grocery Pickup

* I don't have to shop.
* I can better stay in budget while doing my shopping since I can see what I am spending while I am shopping online.
* It gives me an hour back into my week that is better spent walking Ellie or working.
* The produce is actually better than what I would pick out.
* It's free.

* I don't see new products.
* Sometimes an item is out of stock and there is no substitute, so I still have to run into a different store.

So, as you can see, the pros far outweigh the my case anyway.

Do you do grocery pick up at Wal-Mart? At another store? Let me know your favorite in the comments!