Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chicken and Noodles

March 26, 2014 ~ I like easy recipes and with this crazy ol' Missouri weather bouncing from 70's to 30's I thought it was fitting to whip up a batch of Chicken and Noodles! There is just something about good ol' homemade soups that warm ya up and I can't hardly do canned soups anymore. (Really only Campbell's Chicken Noodle if I am sick but that's all)  I actually made this yesterday so we would have it in time for lunch today and I'm so glad because it hit the spot!

I grabbed my other crock pot and Slow Cooker Liners and started putting stuff together! 

Ingredients used:
2-3 Large Chicken Stock (46 fl ounces - Any brand you wish)
Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
2 Sticks of Sweet Cream Butter (real butter not margarine)
2 Bags of Egg Noodles (Any brand you wish or make your own)
Salt and Pepper
(of course you can add carrots and celery or anything else you like)

I am a picky eater and had to carve out the white piece (vein/grissel) that is in each chicken tender so I used 4 packages of chicken to make this. I know most people aren't this picky so you could probably get by with using 2-3 packages of chicken or even cook a whole chicken and tear apart... whatever works best for you.

 I put the chicken broth and chicken in the crock pot and let it cook on low all day. About an hour before we were ready to eat I poured in the 2 bags of eggs noodles and put the lid back on.

(As a rule I normally cook the noodles on the stove top with some chicken broth to give them flavor but couldn't find the frozen egg noodles I normally buy. I got this brand at Hy-Vee and just put them in the crock pot with the chicken and broth and they turned out perfect!) 

Grab a bowl and a glass of sweet tea cause sugars lunch is ready!
Oh so yummy! 

When we were done with lunch I turned the crock pot off and allowed it to cool down. Then put the crock portion of the crock pot in the refrigerator over night with the contents still in the Slow Cooker bag. Tomorrow I will heat it all back up for leftovers!

Homemade Vegtable Beef Soup

March 25, 2014 ~ I had a hankerin' for some homemade soup and tried my hand at Vegetable Beef! I have only fixed it one other time and tried just throwing some things together to see if I had the touch... it was awesome! (I mean seriously, it's not that hard to make and for someone who doesn't cook very often I impressed myself!)

I grabbed my big crock pot and Slow Cooker Liners.... (Not sure what I ever did before this amazing invention... I love these things) and started whippin' stuff together!

Ingredients used:
1- Large can of Tomato Juice (46 fl ounce - any brand you choose)
1- Large container of Beef Broth (48 fl ounce - any brand you choose)
1- Regular can of Sweet Corn (any brand you choose)
1- Regular can of cut Green Beans (any brand you choose)
Red Potatoes (of course you can use whatever kind you want)
Beef chunks (I use Amana Beef for Stew which is the trimming for steak)
Chopped onions (I use the dehydrated kind because I always have them on hand)
Salt and Pepper

On the beef chunks and potatoes I just put in what I think is a good amount. I am a picky eater and trim a lot of the fat off the meat (I know many of you say that's the best part but I can't deal with a lot of fat on my meat)

I have added additional items such as carrots and celery but didn't have those on hand for this batch.

I don't precook anything and just put all ingredients in the crock pot and put on low. I let it cook all day and the meat is so tender!

Just grab a big ol' glass of sweet tea and sit on down... 
It's that good! Oh and help yourself to another bowl... I did!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Easy Chicken, Cream Cheese & Croissant Recipe

March 21, 2014 ~ I love easy recipes and I really love this one! My best friend, Misty McKee, introduced this yummy creation a few years ago and with a slight tweak I love making these! Well so what are these things called? I'm not sure so I call it chicken in a croissant!

The basic ingredients are: 4 cans of chicken breast, 1 package of cream cheese, 2 cans of crescent rolls, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. It's nice because these are basic things that we have and when I get hungry I want something quick and easy!

 Open one can of the crescent rolls and keep two triangles together like in the picture. You will pinch the seams of the triangles together to hold the rectangle shape. (This is only one can of crescent rolls)

 In a bowl mix the following: 4 cans of chicken, 1 package of softened cream cheese and just pour in sesame seeds, salt and pepper to taste. (You can certainly add onions or anything else you might want to spice it up.... personally I like things a little more plain and simple)

Once your mixture is mixed together you will spoon onto the rectangles....

Then bring the sides up to the center and pinch together. Pinch the sides to close up any pockets.
Bake in the oven 375 degrees until golden brown.

Grab a glass of sweet tea (or a beverage of your choice)...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Special Delivery ~ 2 T-Shirt Quilts!

March 18, 2014~ Several weeks ago I was going stir crazy and started organizing and cleaning my closet. I was amazing at how many t-shirts I actually had and that I haven't worn in a long time. I had bought them all but for whatever reason (too tight/too big) I didn't want to part with them. I created a pile to donate and a pile to do something with. (I don't want something that you can just get at a chain store and rather use small businesses whenever I can.) After I saw this huge pile of great t-shirts I decided to let my fingers do the walking and got on a site called Etsy ( ) and did a quick search for "t-shirt blankets". I wanted something unique and different and quickly realized I needed to search for "t-shirt quilts" and stumbled across a perfect t-shirt quilt! I went to Happy Quilt Designs store to read about this person and I knew she was the perfect person to help me transform my old t-shirts into something really cool.

Happy Quilt Designs
Jane Haworth, Owner/Designer
Auburn, CA
You can also view some of the awesome custom things she has done by visiting her website:

What I loved about these quilts (other than being my recycled t-shirts) is how awesome these things turned out! I literally just sent her my full t-shirts and she took care of cutting them up and putting coordinating colors with them which meant I didn't have to pick out colors or make any choices! 
 She doesn't follow or use any patterns so each quilt is unique!
Then on the back she places her label and can put anything on it in case you want to personalize it! 
I love my new Mizzou T-Shirt Quilt and not only is it a great way to enjoy your shirts but it now serves a purpose and will keep you warm! 
My 2nd Quilt was my 13 5k's in 2013 Quilt....
I set a goal of running 13 5k's in 2013 and I have never ran one prior! This quilt was a very special quilt because not only would I be able to see/touch each of the t-shirts from the races it was a sense of accomplishment. A proud moment for sure because I pushed myself harder than I thought I could.

Again, she did an awesome job on blending fabric to match the many colors! She asked if I had any specific colors I would like in the quilt and I told her that I am not a big primary color person and to make it colorful and coordinate with the various t-shirts/writing. I love this quilt! 

I wanted the quote "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try" on this quilt as a reminder that you can do anything you set your mind to! Love! Love! Love!

What a wonderful surprise to get in the mail today! 

Jane is an amazingly talented woman who can transform a pile of material into a beautiful thing! I am currently having her make several more t-shirt quilts (amazing how much more room I now have in my closet) and can't wait to get those from her! Please feel free to contact her about making something extra special for you. She can make quilts using your child's baby clothes/special outfits; to making something really special from someone who left this earth too soon. I promise you won't be disappointed! I fully trust her to send my special items knowing she will take the up-most care and compassion while creating a beautiful yet useable piece. Just make sure to tell her that Michele Spry sent you!

Many have asked about pricing and how many t-shirts to make a quilt and I encourage you to send her an e-mail to ask specifics of what you are wanting but here's the basic information (from her etsy store). She does stay pretty busy but can accomodate most requests so if you need a quilt by a certain time just let her know! 

Size Number of (T-Shirts Approx) Dimensions Price
Lap Throw (9-12) 50” x 60” $200
Blanket (16) 70” x 70” $250
Twin (20) 68” x 84” $280
Full (24) 78” x 88” $330
Queen Square (25) 84” x 84” $330
Queen (30) 84” x 92” $380
King (40+) 92” x 98” $480


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Lucky Dog & St. Patrick's Day 2014

March 17, 2014 ~ "May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door! Happy St. Patrick's Day" When I posted this quote this morning on my Facebook page little did I know how a lucky dog would create such happiness. 

 When we got to the shop this morning this pretty girl had gotten her leash snagged on a Bobcat bucket in our parking lot. Brandon pointed her out to me as the guys brought her in to warm up but then tied her to the bucket thinking someone would come looking for her. When Brandon told me about her I couldn't leave her out there tied to a bucket laying on the concrete so I went out and got her and brought her inside the shop. She had 2 collars on. One of them was a regular collar and the other was one of those choker style that dig into their neck with a small leash. She was so happy to see me and her tail was going crazy wagging back and forth. We removed the choker collar first thing and then got her some fresh water and gave her some Science Diet Senior dog food (this is what my older puppies eat and all we had) and she ate it up like crazy. I didn't want to give her too much at once as I didn't want her to get sick. All day long I would spend time with her in the shop. She would stay by our sides until she ventured in the front reception area. 

  Brandon saw that she made the best of her situation and climbed into a chair. She looked so cute but I had her come into our office (where we would be working) and covered a chair with a blanket for her to climb into. She was content being here with us. I posted the two pictures on Facebook in hopes to find her owner(s) and had over 65 shares of the photos but no one ever called. It was so sad to see her perk up each time the door would open hoping it was her family. 

After a long day and no calls and lots of love from so many people in our community sharing her pictures on Facebook we had an offer to have her scanned for a micro-chip. Amanda Burke (a volunteer with Boone County Animal Care) came to our shop and used a magic wand to see if this girl had one. At first it didn't look good but then she found one! She quickly started entering the number in her phone and on the computer. This would lead us to the micro-chip being owned/installed by Central Missouri Humane Society in 2005. After a few text messages and phone calls we would learn that they couldn't access the micro-chip in their system. Good news was that with Amanda's help we determined that she had been spayed which was a good thing! We didn't know what to do and we didn't have anywhere for her to go. (My dogs didn't need the added stress of another dog and this dog didn't need the added stress of my two dogs) Brandon posted an ad for a lost dog on Craigslist to try and reach the owners in the event they didn't have Facebook. (Brandon has a heart of gold when it comes to dogs.)

We had dinner plans with the Spicer's!  
Doesn't Alexis make a super cute little leprechaun? (Love the green)
Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

We tested the waters with the dog and left her at the shop while we had dinner. We stopped back by the shop and let her go potty before leaving her for the night. (Luckily she hadn't had any accidents inside) She did great and we got to the office at 5:30 AM (Tuesday March 18, 2014) to take her out to go potty and no accidents! We gave her some food and fresh water to start the day. 

I called our veteran's office (Horton Animal Hospital) and made an appointment for her as she had a nasty puncture wound on her chest that looked infected and I really wanted to get looked at. They checked her over good and said she was 68 lbs and had no fever which was a good thing. They cleaned up her wounds and gave her a shot of Penicillin and oral antibiotics for 10 days and thought that should do the trick. I asked about shots and they said right now we just need to focus on the infection first then in 7-10 days we could bring her back and give shots.  I had a good friend that was willing to help me out with a temporary home and I took her over to her house to see how she would do with her dogs. She put her dogs outside and we introduced them through the glass door and immediately this dog went to an aggressive mode. She even busted her lip on the door and I knew this wouldn't be good for my friends dogs or this dog and brought her back to our shop. I didn't want any dog or human stressed out or hurt and thought it's probably so much change over a short period of time. (I really hoped that this dog wasn't used as a fight dog with the older scares, newer healing scars and now the fresh wounds on her chest but we have nothing to go on at this point.) 

Once I got her back to the shop she seemed happy again. She was content just being the only dog and here with us. She would lay in the chair in our office or on the rug in the sun. She is really a great dog and follows us around everywhere! I knew we couldn't keep her and now on day 2 of trying to find her family was stressing me out. I had a lunch meeting in town that I was running late for and as I got to I-70 I get a phone call from Brandon stating that her owners have called us and she is going home today and that her name is Lucy! This seriously was the best news of the day! What a relief knowing that with the use of social media we were able to get this pretty girl home! 

At 2:00 PM her dad came to rescue her and said that his wife was very upset because they couldn't find her. They got her from the Central Missouri Humane Society and have had her for several years. When she takes her out for a walk she likes to run off which is why they had the choker collar on her. She took her out for a walk Monday morning and she got away from her owner and got her leash hung on the Bobcat bucket at our shop which is how we ended up with her. She lives about a mile and a half from our shop and I am so thankful for everyone's support and love for this beautiful girl and helping get her back with her family.... It's a great day! I know everyone will sleep much better tonight! 

Please Note: 
If you have a dog or cat that has a micro chip please register/update it each year. If your pet doesn't have a micro chip please have a tag for their collar with your name and information on it. If this dog had either of these we could have got it home a lot sooner.  

For more information about finding lost pets, looking for a lost/missing pet or adoptions please visit the following organizations as they were instrumental in helping us finding Lucy's owners:

Boone County Animal Care
Boone County Animal Care is a 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organization formed to address the alarming euthanasia rates in our region by integrating education into all aspects of our activities, prioritizing customer service and offering a modern adoption experience. BCAC is committed to helping all cats and dogs regardless of breed, age or physical condition; to treating our community members as potential advocates; and to being proactive in addressing the issues that cause animals to be abandoned. Boone County Animal Care is a 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organization located in central Missouri.
Mission:  Boone County Animal Care is dedicated to helping pets find and stay in loving homes in order to decrease the rate of euthanasia in the region.

Columbia Second Chance
Second Chance was founded in 1985 as a privately-funded, all-volunteer organization dedicated to "seeking first-class homes for second-hand pets." Through the kindness of our volunteers and our foster homes, we care for animals of all types, either on a temporary basis while we search for a new, permanent home, or on a long-term basis while the animal is treated for illness or injury. At no time are animals euthanized just because they don't have a home - all animals have a home at Second Chance. Animals are accepted on a space-available basis. Our mission is to provide for the benevolent relief of unwanted animals. The organization will provide food, shelter, medical assistance, and general relief to those animals that have been made homeless through the acts or omissions of people; to provide this care for each animal while researching and approving permanent adoptive homes; to educate the public regarding the health, exercise, and general needs of these animals, as well as to the necessity of spaying and neutering as a means of alleviating the burden of unwanted animals; and to do every act as may be necessary to aid and assist the community in providing quality, permanent homes for these animals and to promote the goals and gains of this mission. Come Grow With Us
For twenty five years, Second Chance helped the homeless pets of Columbia in several locations throughout Boone County. In 2010, we moved just west of the Missouri River, 10 minutes west of the Providence exit on I-70, into a modern building of 6000 square feet on over 30 acres of scenic views, including a small pond. The location allows CSC to house the majority of our adoptable cats in spacious new Kitty Kondos, which were built during phase one of our construction project. Plans are also being developed for Puppy Pods for CSC's adoptable canines, which will be constructed during phase two. The new building already features a finished lobby, an upstairs loft area for storage and administration, and an apartment for our Adoption Center caretaker. Of course this exciting new venture would mean nothing without your help. CSC is counting on our dedicated group of volunteers and supporters to continue doing what you do best so that our new facility can fulfill all its potential for the growth and development of our wonderful organization. It's thanks to all that dedication that CSC has grown so much and we hope will continue to grow far into the future. 

Columbia, Missouri Lost & Found Paws
 This page is dedicated to spreading the word about Lost and Found pets in the metropolitan area of Columbia, Missouri. The page has been inspired because of the people I have met over time thru lost and found situations. Initiated on 9/18/2011.

Cities we cover: Mexico, Moberly, Boonville, Centralia, Hallsville, Harrisburg, Fulton, etc...

Hey Lucy... your dad is here to pick you up! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Stampede To Read ~ 5th Annual Read-A-Thon

March 3-7, 2014 ~ Being a Partner in Education with an elementary school is a really cool thing but having another business as a Partner in Education is awesome! Midway Heights Elementary School in Columbia, MO is super lucky to have 4 great Partners in Education.... D&H Drugstore, Midway Electric, Inc., Spectrum Utilities and the Boone County Fire Protection District!

I gotta say when Tanya Alberty (D&H Drugstore) came up with the idea of creating a week long read-a-thon we didn't really know how it was going to work trying to get 70+ community members out to the school to read to our classrooms but with each passing year it keeps getting better and better! Tanya is a lot of fun to work with and she keeps us organized! (It's true... I can't hold a candle to her organization skills)

Then we had the awesome pleasure of adding Spectrum Utilities and Boone County Fire Protection District to our team and we have a really fun time... maybe a little more fun that the students! It's exciting to be on our 5th year of the read-a-thon and with each passing year we come up with a new theme (yep we totally try to out do ourselves each year) and this year's theme was right up my alley... "Stampede to Read"!

We kicked off the week by giving each student a Midway blue bandana (our school colors are blue and white) to use all week so if they didn't have anything cowboy or cowgirl they would totally fit in with their bandanas! This was a huge hit with all the students! We had many great guest readers out and used Twitter to tweet photos with the hashtag #midwaystampede2014 (you can check the pictures out by visiting Twitter here:

Then on Thursday night we had Literacy Night were the students and their families come to the school and play games that tie into our theme such as tic-tac-toe, a boot toss, dress like a sheriff (craft project), visit the Bookmobile (thanks to Daniel Boone Regional Library) and even learn to line dance from the awesome people at Texas Roadhouse! Here's some fun pictures from our Literacy Night:
Ms. Stewart played her guitar as everyone arrived! 
These cowgirls helped get everyone checked in!
They had snacks at "The Waterin' Hole"....
check out books from the Bookmobile...
Dress Like A Sheriff... a craft they could do with their parents....

 draw their own Wanted Poster...

a quick game of tic-tac-toe....

have fun with nerf guns and a little target practice....

 learn how to line dance with Texas Roadhouse....
(It was so cute watching the kiddos learn how to dance.. they had so much fun!)

have fun with a little boot toss too!

It was a really fun night to celebrate a super fun week!
Our friends at Texas Roadhouse brought some peanuts to share with everyone!
When the students turned in their passports from visiting each station they got a cute little prize!

We had some cute cowboys and cowgirls that really enjoyed this week...
It's always bittersweet for this week to end.
Until next year.... Y'all take care!