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Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I love loaded baked potatoes. I think they should be their own food group. I also love soup. And my crockpot. A recipe that can combine all three? Pretty much the best thing ever!  I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes for Loaded Baked Potato Soup and this one is my favorite. The whole point of using my crockpot is to make dinner easy and have minimal prep work. I am not a fan of the recipes that want me to cook the meal before putting it in the crockpot…what’s the point? This recipe uses frozen hashbrowns instead of having you cook the baked potatoes and then mash them. 

 

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Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 bag frozen shredded hashbrows, thawed

3 cans chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 pkg cream cheese, full fat version

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 container sour cream

1 pkg real bacon pieces

 

 

Directions:

 

1. Combine thawed hashbrowns, chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup in crockpot.

2. Cook on low for 5 hours.

3. Stir in softened cream cheese and cook on low for additional hour.

4. Serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and bacon pieces.

 

This is so delicious. My whole family gobbled this down! I thought I was going to have some leftovers for lunch the next day but nope! It was gone. I love to serve this during the fall and winter on Football Sunday. The house smells divine all day long and this serves as excellent comfort food for Matt when his football team loses. Word. The best part- you can top this with anything you want! Green onions, tomatoes, different cheeses….anything you like! I served this soup at a family gathering and set up a toppings bar for everyone to load their soup with their preferred toppings. Talk about a huge hit!

 

 

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Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bag frozen shredded hashbrows, thawed
  2. 3 cans chicken broth
  3. 1 can cream of chicken soup
  4. 1 pkg cream cheese, full fat version
  5. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  6. 1 container sour cream
  7. 1 pkg real bacon pieces
Instructions
  1. Combine thawed hashbrowns, chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup in crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  3. Stir in softened cream cheese and cook on low for additional hour.
  4. Serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and bacon pieces.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/

 
Shared with Craft-o-Maniac Monday, Motivate Me Monday, Monday Funday, Made By You Monday, Make the Scene Monday, Give Me The Goods, Project Inspired, Mix It Up Monday, Show Me What Ya Got, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, From Dream to Reality, One Project At A Time, Tutorials and Tips, Tuesday Treasures, Whatever Goes Wednesday, The Inspiration Exchange, Thursdays Are Your Days, The Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, That DIY Party, Inspire Me Please, Work It Wednesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Take a Look Tuesday, Live Laugh Linky, The Weekly Creative, Wow Us Wednesday

 

**Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card right HERE!

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide For Adults & Kids

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I don’t know about y’all but I get tired of giving the same old gifts every single year. Wine, gloves, a scarf, a box of chocolates….it’s all so boring. It’s even worse with the kids in the family- searching for a toy they will love but won’t annoy their parents into giving your own kids a 1,000 piece lego set in retaliation. It’s a dilemma. So today I’m going to share some ideas with you for some unique ideas for holiday gifts. Links in this post may be affiliate links which means if you click and purchase something I make a few pennies to help pay for Christmas.  

 

For The Adults:

 

1. Tasting Room by Lot18. Do you have a wine lover on your gift list? I saw Tasting Room featured on the gift guide on Good Morning America last year and I purchased a sampler set for my sister. She loved it and it really was the perfect gift! This year I’m getting a wine sampler set for several people. Right now you can get a Wine Sampler Set for $9.95 (regularly $39.95) plus free shipping plus a free personalized wine profile! That’s 70% off! I highly recommend this company. The shipping was super fast and the product was fantastic!

 

2. Magazine-Agent. There are several people on my list who are hard to shop for and I never seem to find that perfect gift for them. *cough* my dad, my husband, my brother in law *cough* I’ve found you can never go wrong with a magazine subscription! My mom loves certain magazines but she will never spend the money on a subscription for herself. She’s a huge Southern Living fan but she considers it a luxury item. This year I’m buying magazine subscriptions for several people, especially since Magazine-Agent is having a huge $5 Magazine Subscription Black Friday Deal! Do you have a kid who loves sports? 12 issues (1 year) of Sports Illustrated Kids is only $5 for a limited time! Have a health nut in the family? 10 issues (1 year) of Health Magazine– only $5 for a limited time. Know someone who loves to travel? 12 issues (1 year) of Travel + Leisure is only $5 for a limited time! Be sure to check out the rest of their Black Friday $5 Deals for the hard to shop for people on your list! 

 

3. Mixbook. I love to buy personalized products for the holiday’s. This year I am giving both my mama and my mother-in-law photo wall calendars filled with pictures of the kids throughout the year. The grandparents love to display these wall calendars all year long and show off their grandbabies to everyone who comes to their house! You can also get your holiday photo cards from Mixbook. They offer almost 800 different styles in 5 different sizes for as low as $0.89 per card! 

 

4. Blurb. Y’all know I love to make Blurb books- especially around the holidays. I love to make them for the grandparents and I also make one for myself every year to save the best of our yearly memories in one photo book. The kids love to look back at them and remember all the fun things we did during the year. You can even make a book using your Instagram photos! But that’s not all you can make at Blurb. You can make a personalized cookbook– which I think would be the perfect gift for maybe a newly married woman, or a young adult moving into their first apartment after college. Check out the Blurb Gift Center for some great Holiday Gift ideas this year!

 

COUPON CODE: And TODAY THRU NOV 30- Save 30% on Blurb’s Print Books with code: SAVE30**

 

For the Kids:

 

1. Kiwi Crate– I get so tired of buying toys for the kids on my holiday list when I’m not sure what they like or what they already have. This year I am giving gift subscriptions to Kiwi Crate instead. Have you seen Kiwi Crate? It’s a subscription service that sends a monthly box of kids activities. Every month has a different theme- such as dinosaur, space, or gardening. The box contains all the materials and inspiration for 2-3 fun activities – art, science, games, imaginative play, and more. Take a peek at a sample crate and see for yourself how amazing and fun it is for kids! Recommended by Parents Magazine, Parenting Magazine, MarthaStewart.com, Redbook Magazine, The Today Show and so many more- you know it’s a great product! You can even add materials for a sibling to the crate so there’s no fighting! They offer a variety of different subscription options: 3, 6, or 12 months subscriptions or a one time monthly box if you’d just like to try it out. They have holiday crates available for Christmas theme crafts and they also have some amazing stocking stuffers!

 

2. Little Passports– This is another great option for kids ages 5-12. Little Passports offers monthly subscriptions for either a world edition or a US edition. The World Edition follows characters Sam and Sofia as they embark on a new country expedition each month. The first month’s Explorer Kit arrives in a suitcase and contains everything your child needs to get started: a letter from Sam and Sofia, a map, a passport, stickers, access to online games and more. Country specific packages filled with fun souvenirs, letters, stickers, photos, activity sheets and more arrive every month thereafter. With the US Based Edition, Sam and Sofia travel to and experience the wonders of all 50 states. Kick-off the USA adventure with the first month’s Discovery Kit which includes a letter from Sam and Sofia, a USA Field Guide, a USA scratch book, a map, and a camera. Sam and Sofia then travel to two new states every month and send an activity-packed travel journal with stickers, postcards, pop-out models and access to online activities. They offer a variety of different subscription options for both the US Based Edition and the World Edition

 

For Adults & Kids:

 

Zulily– I check this site every single day for great deals. I’ve found super cheap deals on boots, holiday pajamas, Doc McStuffins toys, Barbie, home decor, jewelry….some of this brand name stuff is dirt cheap! I recently got both my sisters-in-law chunky knit infinity scarves for Christmas for $8 each! You can’t beat some of these deals!

 

I hope I’ve given you a couple of new ideas for holiday gifts this year. I love to give gifts and I love give gifts that are unique and personal. I think it shows you value the person when you put thought into the gift you buy for them. That’s important to me!

 

**Offer valid until November 30, 2013 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for print books only. A 30% discount is applied toward your product total with a minimum order of USD $60, CAD $60, GBP £60, EUR €60, or AUD $60. Maximum discount is USD $100, CAD $100, GBP £65, EUR €75, or AUD $100 off product total. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders. 

 
Shared with Craft-o-Maniac Monday, Motivate Me Monday, Monday Funday, Made By You Monday, Make the Scene Monday, Give Me The Goods, Project Inspired, Mix It Up Monday, Show Me What Ya Got, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, From Dream to Reality, One Project At A Time, Tutorials and Tips, Tuesday Treasures, Whatever Goes Wednesday, The Inspiration Exchange, Thursdays Are Your Days, The Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, That DIY Party, Inspire Me Please, Work It Wednesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Take a Look Tuesday, Live Laugh Linky, The Weekly Creative, Wow Us Wednesday

 
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Boosting The Kids’ Immune Systems With FruitsMax

This post is part of social shopper marketing insight campaign with  Pollinate Media Group™ and FruitsMax but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #fruitsmax http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

 

If you’ve been a regular reader around here then you know we spend the majority of the fall and winter battling colds, flus, and various other nasty viruses. And not just the kids either, I get hit hard with the same junk. I have been cursed with a horrible immune system. I was always the kid who brought home every single germ and illness that went through my classroom. Unfortunately it seems that my kids have inherited that trait from me. Seriously, of all the things to inherit it had to be the woefully inadequate immune system.

 

 

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After last winter where we were sick for what seemed like 4 months straight, I started a quest to find ways to boost my kids immune systems in preparation for the next fall and winter season when I would have all the kids in school for the first time. The articles I was reading all mentioned hand washing with soap, limiting the use of  hand sanitizer, and getting enough rest as ways to deter the germs but I wanted tips to actually help boost the immune system. 

 

One helpful idea that seemed to be mentioned in the articles I read, as well as being confirmed by my own pediatrician, was to increase the amount of fruit servings in my kids’ daily diets. Truthfully, although I do try my best to make sure we eat a healthy diet, it’s hard to monitor everything they eat on a daily basis. Even if I pack their lunches I can’t be sure they are actually eating the fruit I send and not tossing it out or trading with another kid for something else. I can only serve so many fruits during the hours they are home with me. I knew I needed another option if I wanted to avoid a repeat of the plague from 2012. 

 

Enter FruitsMax

 

 

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FruitsMax contains 12 essential vitamins, 11 minerals, hundreds of phytonutrients, a good dose of antioxidants and has a unique combination of 21 fruits and L. Acidophilus probiotics. I was worried the kids would turn up their noses at these the way they do to so many of the healthy things I try to sneak into their diets but they didn’t. They loved them! Zoey thought they were a special treat and kept thanking me for letting her have one! 

 

 

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Boosting your immune system is not the only benefit that FruitsMax offers, even though that is a huge one for my family! FruitsMax makes getting your daily-recommended amount of fruit servings easier while also promoting good digestive health. It contains a special strain of Acidophilus probiotics called “Narine” that stimulates the growth of “good” bacteria while killing the “bad” bacteria that is known to be the root of many diseases. I can let my kids take it every day without concern because it’s made only from fresh fruits with no preservatives, no artificial flavors or colors, and it’s GMO free. I have added FruitsMax to our daily routine these days, setting it out with the breakfast bowls to be sure the kids take it before school every day. 

 

 

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FruitsMax is making it easy for you to discover the benefits for yourself by giving the first bottle to customers free if you pay the shipping and handling. Simply head over to their online store for all the details. And if you sign up for their monthly newsletter you will receive an additional 15% off. No promo code required. 

 

You can connect with FruitsMax on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google +

 

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Even More Great Gift Ideas From Blurb

Blurb is really giving out some generous coupon codes and offers this year! I love a great deal for a quality product. If you haven’t made a Blurb book before, you really should give it a try. It’s the perfect gift for grandparents- shhhh, mom you didn’t see that. I have another coupon code for you and some information on personalizing gifts for the people on your shopping list this year. All the links in this post are affiliate links which means if you click and purchase something I make a few pennies to help pay for Christmas….or wine. The relatives are coming next week y’all. 

 

Coupon Code: Save 25% at Blurb when you spend $50 or more on print books with code: SAVING Code is valid until 11/22/13!

 

Give Something Personal This Holiday Season

 
If you have a digital camera-whether it’s your smart phone or your DSLR-chances are you have a lot of wonderful photos of the people you love. And there’s a pretty big chance that if you do, those photos haven’t seen the light of day since you first took them, posted them to Facebook, or picked that new wallpaper for your smart phone or computer.

Now, imagine those photos in a book, given as a gift. Wouldn’t you look like the best most thoughtful person ever? Yeah, you pretty much would. And with Blurb‘s easy, custom books, you can make a photo gift book that’s both personal and extremely polished.

 

You can use your Facebook photos, Instagram photos, or photos on your computer. You can design your own book, or have it automagically created with the Blurb Designer Collection templates. All these tools are designed to run right in your web browser, letting you make a book in as little as ten minutes, and they start at just $12.99. 

A real book. One you can hold, share, and pass on. Plus it’s so easily customized that you can create different versions for different people. Just swap in a few new photos, change the text, and re-order. Looking to make something a little bigger, like a family history book? Yeah,Blurb has ways to do that too. 

 

Of course, this is a custom gift, so you don’t want to be last minute about it. Even though you can order up until December 19, ordering early is always better (and a bit cheaper too).

So, get started on making a beautiful gift book now: Blurb 

 

I love the idea of using my Instagram photos! Let’s face it, these days most of my photos are Instagram ones. 

 

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Creating A Calm & Serene Master Bedroom Redo

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I’ve shown you almost every newly redone room in the house now but I haven’t shown you the master bedroom. It seems like that room is always the last one to get done and it really should have been the first. Mom needs a calm and serene space to relax and get away from the craziness of the rest of the house. I knew exactly what I wanted to create in the master bedroom but I was on a super tight budget after how much I spent on the rest of the house. I had to get creative and flex my DIY muscles to create the kind of space I wanted. 

 

If you missed it the first time, here is how my master bedroom used to look. You can see the full tour here.

 

 

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It was kind of pieced together haphazardly with some new pieces and some older things I hadn’t replaced yet. It needed to be updated so badly. I knew I wanted to move the bed away from the window. I am a serious insomniac and there are nights when I don’t fall asleep until well after 4am. So waking up at 6am with the sun shining brightly in my face was not working out for me anymore. I also knew I wanted to finally change the old curtains and I wanted a rustic reclaimed wood headboard. It only took me a weekend to get the room done once I figured out what I wanted. Here’s our new space:

 

 

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The headboard was my big DIY project. It took me 2 hours to make and only cost me $20. I’ll show you soon just how I made the headboard. It came out even better than I was anticipating and I built the rest of the room around it. I added the Mr & Mrs over the new headboard because that wall is so tall. I originally planned to paint the room but every color I picked out was almost the same as what was already on the walls so I left it alone. 

 

 

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I tried to keep the room as simple as possible. I wanted it to be serene and calming. I found the curtain at IKEA, of course. They are the perfect compliment to the bedding and the rug. I also moved the chest of drawers into the master bathroom and replaced it with another cube bookshelf from IKEA. We’re using it to hold the television and it gave me a little extra storage. I wish I had somewhere to put the elliptical machine but we don’t. So for now, it’s stuck in the corner of the master bedroom. At least I can catch up on my favorite shows while I exercise. I didn’t change anything about the photo collage wall because I love it. 

 

 

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I love my new master bedroom. I accomplished my goal of making it a calm and serene space. Now if I could just get the kids to keep their toys out of my room it would be perfect. Those little people toys hurt when you step on them at 3am! 

 
Shared with Craft-o-Maniac Monday, Motivate Me Monday, Monday Funday, Made By You Monday, Make the Scene Monday, Give Me The Goods, Project Inspired, Mix It Up Monday, Show Me What Ya Got, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, From Dream to Reality, One Project At A Time, Tutorials and Tips, Tuesday Treasures, Whatever Goes Wednesday, The Inspiration Exchange, Thursdays Are Your Days, The Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, That DIY Party, Inspire Me Please, Work It Wednesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Take a Look Tuesday, Live Laugh Linky, The Weekly Creative, Wow Us Wednesday

 

TDC Before and After

 
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