July 16, 2014

My New Favorite Snack: On the Border Cantina Thin Tortilla Chips

So my favorite snack is Tortilla chips and Salsa! 

I usually eat Tostidos Tortilla Chips in the Bite size varitie or the scoops versions. 

But this week my husband and I wanted to try something new so we picked up the 

On the Border Cantina Thins! 



And boy were we glad we did! They are super tasty and we love the thinness of them. It lets you really taste the salsa without it being overpowered by so much chip. They have just enough salt on the chip and a little lime flavor. 

I totally recommend you try them!!!

June 4, 2014

What's for Dinner Tonight: Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burgers

Tonight was a night that I got home super late from work and my husband was not far behind me. Since it was after 6pm and we don't like to eat terribly late, I decided to just make burgers quick and throw some sweet potato fries into the oven. 

For my husband I just cooked a couple turkey burgers in the skillet on the stove and I tried these new Morningstar Farms Burgers 

I found ... Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burgers

The best thing about these burgers is they are microwaveable! So ready in about 1 1/2 Minutes!!

I just put them on a bed of lettuce ( I am sure they would be great on a bun too, but we are trying to eat more veggies!) and added some other salad toppings. Instead of dressing, I just put a little salsa and guacamole and tada ...



Dinner is served!!

It was SUPER quick and extra delicious! If you want to try the sweet potato fries too (they are our favorite go to) they are Alexia Sweet Potato Fries and super tasty!



*Disclaimer: Again, I am not getting paid to say this. These are products I brought in my grocery store and use in my home. These pictures are taken with my camera and are in no way meant to represent the companies mentioned here. These are just products we LOVE!

May 28, 2014

Patriotic Fruit Tray

For Memorial Day everyone has picnics, BBQs and cookouts they attend but honoring those brave lives lost is what Memorial Day is really all about.



Our family's way of remembering the fallen and honoring those who continue to fight for our freedom by serving in the military is to make Memorial Day all about being Patriotic.

One way we did that this year was in a dish that we brought to a friend's picnic. We made a delicious fruit tray. The best part was making it look like the American Flag! I found this idea on Pinterest! Click here to check out other awesome ideas on my pinterest.




It was super simple and easy to make.    Also as it is summer, most of you will probably have all the ingredients in your fridge (minus the white chocolate pretzels, but maybe you could use pineapple or a white melon??)

The picture from Pinterest shows the tray as a cookie sheet but I wanted to use a container that I could put a lid on so I used a large Tupperware container.


Line the White Chocolate Chips into "White Stripes" ... I double layered the pretzels (4 bags of flips total).


Next wash your fruit and I used paper towels to dry them off.  I decided to use multiple fruits for the stripes (red grapes, raspberries and strawberries) but you can just use what you like. 


Fill the Blueberry container (to better hold the fruit) with your washed blueberries for the "stars". 


Continue to make your "Red Stripes" by filling in the remaining spaces with your red fruit. 


TADA!!!! Your beautiful American Flag Fruit Tray :)



This would be a great dish to make for the 4th of July and Veteran's Day as well. I know I plan to make one for this 4th of July's picnic!!

May 1, 2014

Exercise: Part 1

Starting an exercise routine can be daunting! You don't know what to do on your own or how to keep the motivation going once you do start.

SO! I started looking at apps for my phone that will pretty much tell me what to do in an exercise program and make it easy enough that I can stick with it!

I found it! ClearSky Apps! Check it out here or by searching on your phone in the app store.  



They have a ton of great exercise apps that you can try for free and if you like them you can purchase the full length versions for an affordable price.



They have a 5K Runner App (takes you from the couch to running a 5K in 8 weeks) Check it out here or by searching on your phone in the app store.  It moves at a good pace also so I don't feel like I am doing it faster than I am able.



This is the App I tried first! I LOVE IT! I started with the free version that gives you the first week (3 workout days and 4 rest days) and the first day of week 2. I wish it would have given a few more free day of course but the 5K PRO app wasn't too expensive that I felt like it was worth purchasing it!


Display of that day's workout plan. (W1/D1 = Week 1, Day 1)


Screen with timer when you are in run mode


Tells you when to stop running and start walking


There is a warm-up and cool down also for every exercise 


And tells you when you are done with a full recap of what you have accomplished! Pretty brain-less in my opinion. I don't have to think about what to do, it just TELLS me!! 


Another great feature is that it has a help function that gives info about the app but also great tips on exercise in general!


My favorite part ... I can still listen to my music but the narrator gives me instructions of when to walk and when to run.


STAY TUNED ...
They have other exercise Apps like the 10k Runner, Great ABS (situps), Great Chest & Arms (pushups), Firm Legs & Butt (squats) and Strong Back and Arms (pullups). I am planning to try these ones soon also so stay tuned for posts on how these ones work!


*Disclaimer - No, I am not being paid to say this! I really use this app in my personal life. These pictures were all taken as screenshots from my personal phone and are not meant to take credit from this company. 

April 8, 2014

Quick Corn Chowder

Today has been a very raining day. It was also in the 40s so I was thinking a warm comfort food would be great for dinner! Immediately on rainy days I think of soup. However, I am from New England so of course my mind really goes to Chowder.

Also, it was Monday, so lets be honest, I did not feel like coming home from work to cook a long meal. Your starting to see a trend aren't you, haha!

 I quickly got on my Pinterest Account (check out MySimpleLittleLife's Pinterest here) to search for some chowder recipes that I had pinned. I came across a Corn Chowder Recipe I have been wanting to try. 

I know you are probably thinking that making Corn Chowder from scratch is going to take way too long! BUT this is surprisingly QUICK and EASY! It took me about 15 mins total.

As always, I did add a few touches of my own just because it was what I had on hand in my pantry. I really need to become one of those housewives that does meal planning, but HEY, I'm just not there yet!




Quick Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • bacon slices (I used Turkey Bacon)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery, onion, and bell pepper 
  • (16-ounce) packages frozen baby gold and white corn, thawed ( I actually used Steamfresh bags that I cook in Microwave per instructions instead of frozen) 
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese ( I used Colby Jack flavored cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. 1. Cook bacon in a stock pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble and set aside. 
  2. 2. Add celery, onion, pepper mixture and 1 package corn to remaining oil in the pan; saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. 3. While vegetables saute, place remaining 1 package corn and 1 cup milk in a blender, and process until smooth ( about 30 seconds). 
  4. 4. Add pureed mixture to vegetables in pan; stir in remaining 1 cup milk, salt, black pepper, and cheese. Cook over medium heat (do not boil), stirring constantly, until cheese melts. 
  5. 5. Ladle chowder into bowls. Top each serving evenly with reserved crumbled bacon, if desired. ( I just added the bacon into the soup for our preference)
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think :)


April 3, 2014

The Never-ending Battle: Exercise

Exercise!!! A word that I love to hate! Is there such a thing to HATE exercise? Maybe for some. I love exercise, when I do it. But the doing it part, I don't love sooo much. 

Don't get me wrong, I feel great after I exercise! And, it usually gives me the motivation to want to do it again the next day. But, then the next day comes and there is ALWAYS some "reason" (better known as my excuse) to not exercise:

  1. I got home from work too late
  2. I had a rough day so I need to relax and sit on the couch to watch TV ( yea, cause thats helping ha)
  3. We deserve a night out
  4. I have a headache
  5. I worked out yesterday ( I just love this one because you would think I would want to keep going)
  6. Etc. Etc. Etc. 
I personally could go on and on ....

I don't want to always be the person who makes up these excuses. I want to be the person that can find things I enjoy doing that are ACTIVE without feeling like I have to Battle myself to WANT to exercise. 

I am going to try some new things to work EXERCISE into our lives as a family and really make it a habit. 
Not a requirement! I don't like requirements. I like to do things because they are FUN!

I will do some future posts about what things I have tried and how they worked in my daily routine. So check back to follow how it is going!

What are some things that help you be active and fit exercise into your daily routine?

March 26, 2014

Content?


This word makes me analyze "am I content with my life". My answer would be yes, BUT is being content ENOUGH? I think it is important to live life to the fullest, so for me, content is just NOT enough!!!

I am happy with just about every part of my life except my job. Not that I can't do my job, because I can. I could push my way through the work every day, not liking somethings and liking other. But is that ENOUGH?

NO!

Some people are happy with the status quo and think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And there is nothing wrong with that. For those people. However, I was not raised with that mentality. I was raised to ALWAYS want better for myself and always strive to achieve more than what I have currently. Before you judge, keep reading ha!

When I was younger I always thought that meant to have the fanciest job or make the most money possible. But as I am getting older, I am starting to see that it is really more about just NOT SETTLING. Those lessons are about not being satisfied with content when I could be HAPPY!

So now I find myself thinking "How can I make my life HAPPIER than it is now?".

I am starting to realize that if I don't love my job and I am not happy coming to work every day (besides the normal feeling of wanting to just stay in my cozy bed early in the morning ha) then I need to change it.

Now I know you are probably saying "it's not that easy to just get another job" and trust me I know! I am very thankful that I have a full-time job, especially when others out there don't, but I also don't want to just sit around unhappy for the majority of my day (as I am usually at work for at least 9 hours and awake for only a total of 14-15 hours a day) when I could do something about it.

So I am doing something about it!!!

It is going to be a slow process to take those steps (I am a planner so I have to know every possible detail of how something could work out before ever making a decision. I KNOW, NOT A GREAT QUALITY LOL but hey, that's me). But I am exploring my options and my husband is by my side figuring out what we can make work, so that is good enough for me, for now!

I ask you, are you content or the happiest you can possibly be?

March 24, 2014

Birchbox

Have you heard of Birchbox?



I am a tried and true follower of The Small Things Blog! Its a great fashion/beauty blog written by a spunky and down to earth woman named Kate. I encourage you to check it out. 

Kate references Birchbox along with some other "monthly beauty subscription" services. It is a company that sends you small samples of beauty products in a cute little box every month. 



It costs $10 a month and you can customize the type of products you get samples of to your preferences such as skin type, hairstyle and it will let you choose the type of products you get samples of (i.e. makeup, hair products, skincare products, sweet treats, etc). 



I have been doing the monthly subscription for two months now and am really liking Birchbox. The samples look really small, but I was surprised to see how many times I used the product and still haven't run out of the samples. 

Here is a look at this month's box. 



My first box was more my style than this box as it had more hair products and this box has more skin products but overall I am still liking the subscription service. 

This subscription service is a easy, quick way to add some SPICE to my life :) It allows me to try some new products and feel a little more girly without having to spend a lot of money on full size products that I may or may not like. 

Stay tuned for future reviews of my monthly boxes and other subscription services I may try. 

Give it a try for yourself here!

March 13, 2014

Creamy Dijon Chicken


This morning I pulled out a package of Chicken Legs. I usually only buy boneless skinless chicken breast but picked the legs up on sale to try something new.

I came home from work with the usual "ok, so now what am I going to make with this?" and found this Creamy Dijon Chicken recipe in my cookbook I had bookmarked to try. It was SUPER EASY to make and sooo DELICIOUS!

I plan to make it again and try it with boneless chicken breast too!!


This recipe is great because all the ingredients are things I always have on hand and there aren't too many. 


Start by putting Chicken Legs in a bakeware dish (I use Pyrex for everything, I love it!!!) 


I always like to heavily season both sides of the chicken, especially for meat with the skin left on. Note: next time I will take the skin off before cooking it because with baking, the skin doesn't get very crispy and soggy chicken skin is so not my thing!


Once the chicken was in the oven, I started making the sauce. I used light mayonnaise but you can use whatever you have.


Squeeze half a lemon into sauce bowl


I added a few squirts of Dijon (or spicy brown mustard)


Here is the finished product :) serve on the side with chicken. 


I also took some of the sauce and brush it on the chicken for the last few minutes in the oven. 

Here is the finished product :) So yummy and hardly any prep work, just throw it in the oven and there you go!

Creamy Dijon Chicken
Prep time: 2 minutes 
Cook time: 35 minutes
Makes: 2 to 3 servings 


Ingredients:
5 Chicken Legs
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
1/4 cup of Light Mayonnaise
1  tablespoon of lemon juice (half a lemon)
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 garlic glove minced or 1 teaspoon of bottles minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary


Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and rosemary 
Place chicken in oven for 35 minutes or until cooked through
While chicken cooks, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and any remaining seasonings 

Serve chicken with sauce

March 8, 2014

Welcome

Hi, I am Jessica! 

Welcome to my blog, MySimpleLittleLife. And this blog is about just that, simple little things that work (or don't) in everyday life! 

I would say I am your average everyday woman with a husband, a full-time job, a household to care for and a future mom. 

I plan to write about the things I love, things that work and don't work in everyday life. Recipes, DIY home decor and projects, entertaining/holidays, beauty and fashion. All the simple little things that make being "Suzy Homemaker" easier in this fast paced world we live in.

I hope to share things that will help others. Maybe you, my readers, will help me along the way too! 

Please feel free to comment on posts, contact me by email at mysimplelittlelife @ gmail. com with questions, comments or suggestions about things that you may want to see on the blog. 

Social media connections to come. 

Thank you for taking time to read my blog and I hope you continue to read!