Tuscan Chicken Soup {Slow Cooker}

I’m so glad we’re heading into fall. While I use my slow cooker all year round, I do avoid soups and stews during most of the year. With some cooler temps, it’s a great time to try some new soup recipes. This Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Soup has become a new favorite at my house–filled with my family’s favorite vegetables like red peppers, mushrooms and spinach. It’s a very easy recipe that makes a great healthy dinner!

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Soup

5.0 from 2 reviews
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Soup
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cubed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 7oz jar roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach, chopped
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except spinach to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  3. Add spinach, stir, and cover. Cook for 10 more minutes or until spinach is wilted.

I usually serve soups with carbs on the side (like one of these 10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews). That way, the kids can carb-load while the adults take it easily. Alternately, you could add cubed potatoes for a more stew-like broth, or serve this soup with cooked rice or pasta.

 

Looking for more easy Slow Cooker Meals? Follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot Pinterest Board.
Linked up to Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snap Crafts, Whimsy Wednesday at Smart School House, Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster, Too Cute Tuesday at Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Pinterest Foodie at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond, Real Food Recipes Roundup at Musings of a Housewife and Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou.

Tortellini Chickpea Pasta Salad {Cookbook Giveaway}

Tortellini Chickpea Pasta Salad
 

Easy, healthy meals on a budget–it’s a goal for many of us. I’m excited to share a great new cookbook with you–GoodCheapEats by Jessica Fisher–to help you meet this goal around your busy family. You may already be familiar with Jessica Fisher from the blogs Good Cheap Eats and Life As Mom. She’s all about making the most of what you have, whether that’s time with family, money in the bank, or food on hand. She has six kids and is passionate about budget-friendly meals that taste good. I received a copy of GoodCheapEats for review and have been working my way through the recipes, to my family’s delight.

Good Cheap Eats - budget friendly meals |MoneywiseMoms
GoodCheapEats is filled with strategies and tips alongside the great recipes, all focusing on how to shop smart and eat well on a budget. My family just loved this Tortellini Chickpea Pasta Salad, found on page 268 (or print it below). It’s the kind of pasta salad that’s tasty either warm or chilled. It will store in the fridge for up to four days.

 

4.4 from 5 reviews
Tortellini-Chickpea Pasta Salad
Author: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 12oz. cheese tortellini (fresh, dried or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (rinsed & drained if canned)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 (10oz) package grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled carrots
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the tortellini according tot he package directions. Drain and let cool slightly.
  2. In a small jar or bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the lid on the jar and shake well or whisk until smooth. Add the olive oil and shake or whisk again to emulsify.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Adjust the seasonings as desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

The GoodCheapEats Cookbook is out right now! Find it at Amazon, and purchase a copy in paperback or for Kindle.

Win the GoodCheapEats Cookbook
One lucky MoneywiseMoms reader will get a copy of the brand new GoodCheapEats cookbook. For a chance to win, just check out this preview PDF of the book, and pick one of the recipes you’l like to try:

To enter, take a look at GoodCheapEats’ Table of Contents and tell me one recipe you’d like to try.

If you’re reading this in an email subscription, you’ll need to click over to the blog to enter. One entry per person, please. This giveaway ends Wednesday, September 17th, at midnight EST. Good luck!

 

Linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less, Thrifty Thursday at The Thrifty Couple, Show & Tell at Gingerly Made, Inspire Me Wednesday at seventhirtythree, the Real Food Recipe Roundup at Sassy Moms in the City and Pinterest Foodie at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review. The publisher is providing the prize for this giveaway. I’ve also used an affiliate link to Amazon; thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you!

Walgreens #ShotAtLife Twitter Party 9/17

#GetAShot flu vaccine
#GetAShot #TwitterParty 9-17 flu vaccine #shop

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know I do, and I’m excited to co-host a party about how you can Give a Shot when you Get a Shot at Walgreens! On Wednesday, September 17th, at 1:00pm ET, please join us for the #GetAShot Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing this wonderful opportunity to give back to children in need and giving you a chance to win prizes!

If you need a flu vaccine, I hope you’ll consider getting it at Walgreens because of the Get a Shot, Give a Shot program. Through mid-October, when you get flu or other immunizations at Walgreens, they will donate a lifesaving vaccine to a child in need through the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life program. This is such a great opportunity to give back by doing something you would do anyway, taking care of your own health. Let’s chat more at the #GetAShot Twitter Party on September 17th. You have a great chance to win a Walgreens gift card!

Join me and RSVP for the #GetAShot Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

 

DATE:  Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TIME:  1:00 to 2:00 pm ET

EARLY BIRD PRIZE:  1 – $50 Walgreens Gift Card

PRIZES:  5 – $100 Walgreens Gift Cards

HOSTS:  @Freebies4Mom, @MoneywiseMoms, @comebackmomma, @mattdantodd@JManMillerBug

SPECIAL GUEST:  @Walgreens

RULES:  #GetAShot Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID:  #GetAShot Twitter Party Page

PLEASE RETWEET:

 

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendarto find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

Kids Chore Chart with Finish Dishwasher Detergent

CBias Disclosure Sept 2014 Kids Chore Chart with Finish Dishwasher Detergent #SparklySavings #shop
 

No one enjoys cleaning their house, but as my kids have gotten older, at least it’s gotten easier–because I have their help. I really don’t miss the days of having three kids under age three! We’ve kept our kids’ chores pretty simple, to make it easier for them (and mom and dad) to remember who does what. We have three kids so we brainstormed three types of chores: kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Those are the tasks that need to be done every day, and my kids (ages 8, 8 and 11) are in charge of them. We have a simple chore chart to keep track, and at the beginning of each new week, we rotate the jobs. Each child keeps that chore for the week.

Chore Chart How-To | #SparklySavings #shop
It’s easy to make a chore chart to keep your kids on track:

1) Pick up a small wooden chalkboard and chalk pen ( found mine at Walmart for just $2.97 each).
2) Label your chalkboard with chores.
3) Decorate your chart (if desired). I used washi tape, but you could also have the kids paint or draw on the wood.
4) Use a stapler to attach a piece of ribbon to the back of your chart for hanging.

Kids Chore Chart with Finish Dishwasher Detergent #SparklySavings
With three kids, we came up with three jobs. If you have fewer or more kids, think about ways to “even out” the chores to make it fair. The other household chores (vacuuming, sweeping, etc.) are either done by Mom or Dad, or we tackle them as a family over the weekend. But these are the “big three” that get done daily:

#SparklySavings with Finish Tabs dishwasher detergent | MoneywiseMoms

  • sorts laundry into hot-medium-cold loads
  • carries baskets up and down the stairs
  • helps fold laundry
  • puts laundry away

One of my biggest pet peeves is how it seems everyone’s shirts, pants and socks are always inside out. With a laundry helper, it’s their job to right-side-out everything before we fold it and put it away.

#SparklySavings with Finish Tabs dishwasher detergent | MoneywiseMoms

  • change the hand towels daily
  • make sure there’s an extra roll of TP in every bathroom*
  • vacuum the floors of each bathroom twice per week
  • use wipes to clean the sinktop in each bathroom
  • restock tissue boxes around the house

*I’m so so glad I added this to the chore list. Seemed like it was always me who would get surprised by an empty roll! It hasn’t happened since.

#SparklySavings with Finish Tabs dishwasher detergent | MoneywiseMoms

  • empty the dishwasher each morning
  • help set and clear the table for dinner
  • help load the dishwasher in the evening and add dishwasher detergent
  • take out the kitchen trash on trash days

Our kitchen is a busy place! I truly appreciate all the help the kids give cleaning and doing chores for our family. Be sure and supervise kids when they’re handling dishwasher detergent; I like that Finish has single-use tabs so they get the amount just right.

#SparklySavings with Finish Tabs dishwasher detergent | MoneywiseMoms
 

We have tons of dishes each day, with a family of five and all the cooking I do. Ever since we got a new dishwasher a few years ago, I’ve been a loyal customer of Finish Dishwasher Detergent. It does the job at a price I like, and now I’m excited to try their newest product: Finish Quantum, which is great for family dishes because it uses hydrogen peroxide instead of harsh chemicals.

Finish Tabs at Walmart #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias
 

When you head to your local Walmart, you’ll easily find Finish products–like Quantum, All-in-One Powerball Tabs, All-in-One Gelpacs, Gel and Powder–in the Paper & Cleaning aisle. You’ll also find Rollback prices until October for clean dishes at a great discount. Remember that you can combine Rollback prices with a coupon, too!


Thanks to #CollectiveBias for this fun #SparklySavings campaign!

Stick Figure Costume for Halloween

Last year, my son announced that he did not want to dress up for Halloween, that he was “too old.” He was 10, and I suppose he was a little influenced by friends with older siblings who said they were over it.

So of course two days before Halloween he changed his mind and wanted a costume. Ahem.

I told him the same thing I would have said October 1st, it has to be easy and not cost much. That’s how we do Halloween costumes around here. We ended up with this Stick Figure Costume:

Stick Figure Costume for Halloween | MoneywiseMoms
To make a stick figure costume, you’ll need:

  • white long-sleeved tshirt (we already had one, but check thrift stores if you need to buy one)
  • white long pants (we used an old pair of Tae Kwon Do pants)
  • black washi or painter’s tape
  • white posterboard
  • black permanent marker

For the head, cut a large circle out of the posterboard, then draw the face and cut out eye holes (be safe if your child will be walking around at night!). Add the tape to the shirt and pants.

It couldn’t be easier! And it certainly fit our budget. He got a huge response by both kids and adults as we trick-or-treated in our neighborhood. He was glad he decided to join in the fun.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Looking for more fun, frugal Halloween costumes? Take a look at my Happy Halloween Pinterest board or these frugal DIY Costumes from Halloweens past:

$5 DIY Owl Costume

5 No-Sew Tutu Halloween Costumes

Pirate Costume + Tips for a Moneywise Halloween

 

Stick Figure Costume is linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less, Thrifty Thursday at The Thrifty Couple, Inspire Me Wednesday at seventhirtythree, Show & Tell at Gingerly Made, Share It Link Party at The Winthrop Chronicles, Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts, Whimsy Wednesday at Smart School House, Show & Tell at Snap!, Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster, Inspiration Monday at i should be mopping the floor, Type A Parent Linkup, The SITS Girls, Too Cute Tuesday at Funky Polkadot Giraffe, and the Creative Collection Link Party at Craftomaniac. 

3 Little Things: Brain Games, Adam Levine, and MoM

3 Little Things Making Me Happy | MoneywiseMoms
Hope you’re having a great week! We finally went back to school this Tuesday, and so far all three kids are really enjoying it. We’re having some adjustments to everyone’s sleep schedule (including my own), but a week or two will make a difference. My girls are starting school over an hour later, but they’re still getting up around 6am, which makes for a very long day. I’m trying to get on a better sleep schedule because I have to be up by 5:30 to get my son to morning swim practice. Yawn! Here’s my three little things for this week:

 

Brain Games on National Geographic Channel - 3 Little Things Making Me Happy - MoneywiseMoms

Brain Games TV Show

My kids don’t watch much TV, but one show we love watching together is Brain Games on the National Geographic network. Each week, another phenomenon is explained: language, patterns, superstitions, and more. It’s cognitive science, neurology, and psychology all explained through puzzles, games and lots of helpful visuals. The host, Jason Silva, and guest scientists are easy to understand and entertaining to watch. We especially like the episodes where they use magicians to illustrate examples. Have you watched Brain Games before? What do you think?

 

Adam Levine on Jimmy Fallon - 3 Little Things Making Me Happy - MoneywiseMoms

Adam Levine on Jimmy Fallon

I’ve loved Adam Levine all along. It started back in 2003 when I was home with my infant son. In the middle of the night, while nursing, I’d watch VH1 (back when there were videos on!). It was Maroon 5’s breakout year, their first song “This Love” was a huge hit, and in fact all the songs that were big that summer have been forever etched into my mind because of watching those same videos over and over night after night. Now my son and I are fans of Adam on The Voice, and it was especially fun to see him do play Musical Impressions on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I smiled the many (!) times I watched it.

 

Mom of Multiples Club | MoneywiseMoms

My Moms of Multiples Club

Last night was our first meeting of the new year, and it was nice to get out and reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen all summer. I love knowing other moms of twins to ask questions about issues we’re having–competition, sharing a room, etc.–and it’s fun to meet all the expectant moms and those just getting out after having their twins or triplets. That makes me appreciate how far we’ve come! No matter where you live, I hope you are able to find a support group that meets your needs (whether you’re a mom of multiples, a stay-at-home-mom, or a working mom). If you’re local to Northern Virginia, please come shop at our HUGE consignment sale coming up soon.

 

What’s making you happy this week?

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend what I love. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you.

Linked up to MomAdvice.

RSVP for #NewFromHormel Twitter Party 9/10

CB-Twitter-Party-Post-Disclosure-June2014-TM

#NewFromHormel-Twitter-Party-9-10-14

Photo Credit: YoursAndMineAreOurs

Do you love a good Twitter Party?  You know I do, and I’m excited to co-host a party to chat about the exciting new Hormel Everyday Scratch and Hormel Hot Sandwich Meats!  On Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 3:00pm EST, please join us for the #NewFromHormel Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing all the new meal-helper products from Hormel (currently available in select stores in greater Columbus and Cincinnati and surrounding areas) and giving you a chance to win prizes!

As much as we may want to do made from scratch cooking each night for dinner, it’s just not possible with a busy family and all that comes with it. Finding help with high quality ingredients saves time and still lets you meet the goal of feeding the family at home. Let Hormel Everyday Scratch or Hot Sandwich Meats give you a head start to your favorite recipes. We’ll share lots of great ideas at the #NewFromHormel Twitter Party to help you save time while sitting down to eat together with your family.

Join me and RSVP for the #NewFromHormel Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

 

DATE:  Wednesday, September 10, 2014

TIME:  3:00 to 4:00 pm ET

EARLY BIRD PRIZE:  1 – $50 Visa Gift Card

PRIZES:  5 – $100 Visa Gift Cards

HOSTS:  @ruralmoms, @dawnchats@MsMissy62, @MoneywiseMoms@tsue1136

RULES:  #NewFromHormel Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID:  #NewFromHormel Twitter Party Page

PLEASE RETWEET:

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

Family History Project {Free Printable}

Grandparents Day is this Sunday, September 7th. One of the best ways to get kids and grandparents to connect is just by spending time together talking. Luckily, distance isn’t a factor anymore–plan a Facetime chat or Google Hangout this weekend (or every weekend!) to keep the generations in touch. My mom loves to hear my kids talk about their friends, what games they’re playing, which books they’re reading, and whatever is happening at school. They’re looking forward to her next visit (in November), since she comes about twice a year.

I’m excited to share this free downloadable Family History Project from Kiddie Academy. It includes both a family tree, so kids can understand the connections to their grandparents, plus a list of questions for children to ask their grandparents that will help compare their life stories.

Family History Project for Grandparents Day | MoneywiseMoms
Wait till your kids hear about growing up in an earlier era, what the favorite toys and games were, and all the things they have in common with their grandparents. It’s such a treat to get these stories while you can. You can record the conversation with audio or video and save it for the future, or for later grandchildren to enjoy. Be sure to have your kids fill out their own interview now, so you can save it to show to their kids someday.

Thank you so much to Kiddie Academy for providing this free printable!

How are you celebrating Grandparents Day?

Linked up to Thrifty Thursday at The Thrifty Couple and Inspire Me Wednesday at seven thirty three.

Getting Kids on a Morning Routine & Giveaway

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with El Monterey and Ruiz Foods. The opinions in this post are my own.

Back to school can be a really tough transition for both kids and their parents. Getting kids on a morning routine can help a lot. My kids (twins age 8, plus an 11-year-old) and I spent some time creating charts to help us all stay on track for this coming week as they head back to school.

Getting Kids on a Morning Routine | MoneywiseMoms
 

Let Kids Set the Routine
The girls brainstormed all the tasks that need to be done each morning, and they got to type up the routine and create the signs themselves. We used PowerPoint, and they had a great time trying out different fonts and choosing clip art. By doing it themselves (with a little coaching from me), they’re more likely to invest in the routine and be motivated to do it.

My son has early morning swim practice several times a week, so his morning routine is different on those days. He made a sign listing all the equipment he needs to pack–googles, fins, water bottle, etc.–and does a lot of the girls’ morning routine tasks the night before.

 

Make it Visual
We printed a sign for each child, slid it into a page protector, and put them in the dining room with a dry erase marker for checking off tasks as they’re done. Many kids do better with a visual reminder of what needs to get done (and many adults–like me!). With younger kids, you could use pictures or photos instead of words.

Morning Routine with El Monterey
 

Encourage Independence
Yes, it’s a lot faster if I pack their backpacks and do their hair, but kids of all ages need to learn to do their own self-care and grooming, be responsible for their items, and help around the house. Having a morning routine is a great way to encourage independence (and lighten your own load). My role in the mornings is encouraging them to to stay on task, manage their time, and get out the door to the bus on time. As for those 5:30 mornings, my son and I are quite bleary-eyed before practice, so I keep easy breakfasts like El Monterey Breakfast Burritos on hand for him to prep on his own. All he has to do is open one and microwave it, add a cup of milk and some fruit, and it’s a hearty, protein-rich breakfast to help him start the day.

El Monterey sent us all three varieties of Breakfast Burritos to try: Egg & Sausage, Egg & Bacon, and Jalapeno, Egg & Cheese. My kids and I found the Jalapeno a little too spicy, but my husband really likes them. They make a great afterschool snack as well.

El Monterey Breakfast Burritos | Morning Routine
Make it Doable
Most of the tasks on these charts are ones my kids can already do independently, with a few that are new skills for the new school year. I want my kids to get their own breakfasts this year, and as the year progresses, we’ll get to them making their own lunches as well. We can revise the charts to reflect these new responsibilities then.

We went ahead and make an Afterschool Routine as well. This includes unpacking the lunchbox, getting a snack and drink, and starting on homework. This is especially helpful since I have kids coming home at two different times in the afternoon, so after one is done with homework and heading outside to play, the others are just sitting down to eat a snack and start on homework.

Afterschool Routine | Getting Kids on a Morning Routine | MoneywiseMoms
Be Consistent
As a busy mom, it’s really hard to be consistent with my kids, whether it’s with discipline or routines. But if you expect the kids to take this seriously on the days that matter, you need to stick with it. The novelty of the first weeks of school will wear off soon enough, just in time for homework to be forgotten at home and for the whole crew to miss the bus (gee, how would I know?). Since I expect them to stick with the routine on weekdays, we can let it go on the weekends. On a Monday holiday or teacher workday, a “pajama day” is declared, and we all get to laze around, watching movies, reading and cuddling instead of sticking to the routine.

 

Giveaway Time!
El Monterey wants to help your family during the busy times before and after school. Four lucky MoneywiseMoms readers will each win 4 packages of El Monterey Burritos or Chimichangas (via coupon). If you’re reading this in an email subscription, click over to the blog to use the Rafflecopter and enter. There are lots of ways to enter–be sure and click on each option!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

El Monterey Breakfast Burritos with Fruit | Morning Routine | MoneywiseMoms