An Autumn Night at Home

An Autumn Night at Home.jpg

Something about Autumn just stirs the soul. The crisp air, the beautiful leaves, and a quiet night at home after a long week of work and school make for a perfect combination.

The perfect dinner is a rich and hearty soup. Chicken tortilla is one of my families favorites!

Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 Package of Bear Creek Chicken Tortilla Soup Mix
4 cups water
1 (32 oz) box of low sodium chicken broth
1 Rotisserie Chicken leftovers shredded
1 can Kidney Beans undrained
1 cup frozen corn
Corn chips
Sour Cream
Shredded cheese

  1. In a large soup pot bring broth and water to boil.  Add soup mix a little at a time whisking to break up clumps. Lower heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add shredded chicken, entire can of kidney beans and frozen corn. Let simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Serve hot and top with crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.

The perfect ending to this type of night is a family movie night with a roaring fire if you have one!

https://youtu.be/m6hnrP5DB0

 

 

 

A Lovely List

A Lovely List

As many of you who follow me know, the last two weeks have been rough. Not just a little rough, but the kind of rough that saps your energy, works you half to death and leaves you collapsed on your bed completely exhausted.  Between car problems, flea problems, child care problems, as well as starting a college course in addition to working, blogging, helping to launch a book, and being a mom, my heart was heavy and my body worn out.

Saturday we officially were rid of the flea problem after bombing the house for hopefully the last time. Once again I washed load after load of laundry and vacuumed.  I wanted to be happy the fleas were gone but honestly I was so exhausted I couldn’t look on the bright side.

Bella Grace Vol 1aBy that evening I was finally able to sit down and catch my breath. In the process of cleaning the entire house from top to bottom, I stumbled upon a wonderful magazine I had purchased about four months earlier called Bella Grace.  I had found it while browsing the magazine rack at Meijer.  I almost didn’t buy it because it was $19.99.  It seemed an insane amount of money to spend on a magazine but it was filled with so many uplifting and inspiring photos and stories that I couldn’t resist.

I spent hours reading and rereading that issue of Bella Grace during the summer and now it was in my hands once more almost as if fate had intervened. If ever I needed to be uplifted and inspired it was now.  I flipped through the beautiful photographs and stories until I came to one called The Lovely List.

I read the comments different women had listed as things they thought were lovely. It was in that instant that I knew I needed to pick up a pencil and start a list of my own.  I needed to remind myself that even in the most trying times there is still something lovely in every day.  Here is my version of a Lovely List, a reminder that in the darkness there is happiness, light and love (even if sometimes it is hard to find.)

  • My husband, there through the good and the bad
  • My boys laughing
  • A soft scarf
  • Pajamas
  • Leopard print accessories
  • Socks-colorful, funky, and fuzzy
  • A trip to the farmer’s market
  • Fog, thick as pea soup on a misty morning drive
  • Thunder that rolls on and on
  • Pretty paper
  • Colorful ink pens
  • Homemade chicken soup
  • Autumn in all its glorious splendor
  • The sound of dry leaves blowing across the lawn
  • The smell of baking cookies
  • Strawberries dipped in sugar
  • A blanket fresh out of the dryer
  • Clean sheets
  • Music that matches my mood
  • Photographs
  • Snail mail
  • Lipstick
  • Lying in a hammock under our oak tree reading
  • Yellow roses and star gazer lilies
  • Homemade popcorn made on the stove top
  • A warm fire
  • A glass of Riesling after a long day
  • The sound a new book makes when you break the spine for the first time
  • Apple cider and pumpkin spice donuts
  • Sunshine after the storm
  • Snow days
  • Picking raspberries and eating them fresh off the bush
  • Fleece
  • Sitting and watching the waves roll in and out
  • My friends (Suzie, Julie, Elizabeth, Missy, and Kathy life would be awful without you)
  • A scented candle
  • A scary movie
  • Feeding the squirrels and chipmunks
  • Lazy Sunday mornings
  • Teacups
  • White raspberry tea
  • Hugs
  • Pink, peach and sunshine yellow
  • Book stores
  • Fresh bread
  • Sweater weather
  • A giant pot of beef stew
  • The excitement I feel when I write something I am really proud of
  • Bonfires
  • The excitement I feel when someone comments on my writing

I hope this post inspires other to create a list of their own.  Everyone needs to have a Lovely List to look at when times are tough.

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