SLOW COOKER EASY RECIPES!

Hello!! A quick couple of things... I've started wanting to cook more, but a) am not great at it and b) hard to find the proper time needed. If you follow me on INSTAGRAM and watch the stories, you've seen us trying out new things in the kitchen... from Hello Fresh delivery system to the slow cooker. I've trying to learn the best new ways to be time efficient and healthy. I'm not so good at it all, but the intention is there! I recently discussed it all in a new column for Soap Digest, too. ps-This post was suppose to go up over a week ago. Somehow, it never got published. So, forgive the delay, please, and thank you for your patience. 

Photo by  @Ographr

Photo by @Ographr

My girlfriend Willa Ford (@wfordinteriors) shared these simple gems with me below. I'm just starting out discussing more food items on the blog, so bear with me here. Not caught up yet on great photos and such, this is a work in progress. If you're well versed in the kitchen and with the crock pot type dishes, this may seem remedial. But, maybe you'll find a new twist on an old faithful recipe. Hope so!

SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS - so easy, it doesn't seem right.  You will need:

  • 4 chicken breast

  • 2 large jars of Pace Picante Salsa

  • tortillas

  • Your favorite toppings-- mine are shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, low-fat sour cream, diced avocado

Put chicken breast on bottom of slow cooker. Pour the salsa on top. Cook on slow for 8-10 hours or high for 6 hours. If frozen, cook on slow for 12 hours.  Remove chicken when done and shred in a different bowl. 

Make tacos as usual. I can't get enough of these. It's so easy and the salsa gives you so much bang for your buck!! Tastes much more gourmet than it is.

For extra credit: Use the juice left to make chicken tortilla soup. Add potatoes, carrots to thicken soup. Cook another 3-4 hours. 

MEATLOAF 

  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef or turkey

  • French onion soup packet

  • Chicken stock

  • Bread crumbs

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp of minced garlic

  • Chopped onion

Mix all ingredients together. Make two smaller long dome shaped loafs. Put in crockpot. Smother the tops with ketchup. Cook on slow for 6-8 hours. Voila! 

Here are two options (high and low) for slow cookers:

 

I will be adding more recipes! I enjoyed getting recipes from you all, so I added THIS POST.  I'd LOVE to SHARE MORE OF YOUR favorite slow cooker recipes and photos of the finished meal. Please feel free to contact us sharing your favorites (or post in comments below). Happy Weekend!

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

I didn't know where to begin with this post because it's hard to comprehend it's been a year already since Hayden was born. But, here we are... celebrating his first birthday with a smash cake and all! Thank you to People and SoapDigest for writing about Hayden's day, but I also wanted to write a bit about it on my own site, too. 

My awesome friends at Good Carma Studio hosted the day with us. Ladies, you outdid yourselves. Thank you!!  I know the animal theme was part of my baby shower (and then his first nursery!),  but we came full circle with a "WILD ONE" jungle theme. It was a jam packed party full of love and fun, bubbles and special touches. We made sure no one left Adam's Garden hungry (thanks to StoneFireGrill---amazing!) and PolkatotsCupcakes!

My favorite part was sharing the day with friends and family. It's always a joy to see others have fun, especially Hayden and Huck having a blast with so many "little" friends at this indoor playground.

I had to combat the post party blues a bit...has anyone else experienced that? So much build up, then it's over! And it goes by so fast... the guest come, the kids play, everyone eats and visits and then you cut the cake! Huck said it best on the way home, "That was the best party. I wish it could last forever." I feel that way so often about moments in time. It's bittersweet to witness our babies starting to become independent. But, there's never a dull moment with the Hayden and Huck, more work coming up and getting situated in a new house. Always more to look forward to right around the corner. 

Photo: Linger Photography -  Location: Adam's Garden LA (such a bright and cheery indoor space and staff. Clean and lovely- they use only organic cleaning products!) everyone seemed to love the playground:) The staff play with all the kids, too!

Hayden is proud of his   milestone chalkboard . It looks like he's telling his brother all about it. Thank you, Kelly Patrice

Hayden is proud of his  milestone chalkboard. It looks like he's telling his brother all about it. Thank you, Kelly Patrice

Sharing some of our favorite photos: 

My mom gave Hayden is little birthday outfit he wore, then we changed into Fayfaire's "I'm This Many" birthday t-shirt, which also comes in an adorable pink ruffled version, before we had the smash cake session. I love Fayfaire's mission to pay it forward by donating a onesie to the neonatal unit of Miracle Babies for every purchase sold. 

And since we're talking outfits, many of you have messaged asking about my pants and top, so here are the quick details!

Pants (love love) are on sale at Topshop for under $40 with free shipping and returns. And my TOP that I LOVE is under $40, too. It comes in three designs. And nude sandals...


I have to thank all the visitors that come by here and comment and enjoy sharing ideas and thoughts and support. A few of you sent the sweetest gifts and cards for Hayden's birthday. I look forward to sharing pictures in some upcoming posts. And wanted to share one of reader's birthday poem:

One year ago, on this very night Hayden Joel Henricks was born. What a beautiful sight. 7lbs 9oz 21 inches long with love and a heartbeat oh so strong. The world watching as you laugh, learn and grow bringing more joy than you'll ever know. Seeing things through your eyes has been the greatest gift and a big surprise. I can't believe you're turning 1, such an amazing little guy you've bcome. On this very special Birthday may all your dreams come true as everyone comes together to celebrate you. - Leslie McFadden

THANK YOU ALL.  XOXO ASHLEY

What Inspires YOU...?

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This is a fun question I was asked today at the Inspiration Awards, Step Up Women Network's biggest event of the year. (Read about 2016's event when I started having contractions with Hayden on the way home!!) It's so easy to respond with a standard answer. But it actually made me think. What DOES inspire me lately? The young girls today from Step Up got up on stage at the Beverly Hilton (where the Golden Globes are held) to speak about what inspires them to grow, graduate from high school, apply and go to college. Many of the girls will be the first generation of their family to graduate high school. The recurring theme is a mentor. Someone to believe in them. So, it was more about WHO inspires them. 

The organization honored the show BLACK-ISH today. Tracee Ellis Ross spoke. She said something that inspired me. She was talking about how women don't need to try and compete with the next person or continually prove our self worth with titles or even relationships. I'll never remember it as eloquently as she said it, but it sounded something like this: We are enough. Our worth is not defined by by being in a relationship with something or someone else. We are powerful, intelligent, entertaining people BECAUSE WE ARE.

That little speech inspired me. Because we are. The room fell silent for second. 

What inspires you every day? It's a good question I'd like to think about more often. Sometimes it could be as simple as something pretty to wear. Today, one step up girl vividly described what her mentor was wearing the first time she met the women in her office. That inspired her. She wanted to become a lawyer that would wear a beautiful blazer. Other times, inspiration comes from something priceless and intangible, like seeing the world through my son's eyes. What inspires you to be your best self today? Hopefully, we can all figure that out and then use that energy to serve others. 

Lately, my inspiration comes from my family. From prayer. And today, the women I was surrounded by at Step Up inspire me. 

Learn more about Step Up  and to donate, click here!  

Scroll down for some shots. And sharing our dress details below. Hope something inspires you;)

The exact dress I'm wearing is still available.  I have worn it SO many times since I got it. It comes in 8 or 9 different colors, too. This style of dress fits many different body types well. Ali's dress is just as beautiful in person as it is in this photo. And so flattering. I LOVED it. I want it:)

Ali Fedotowsky, Tatyana Ali, Beverley Mitchell and Willa Ford.

Thanks for stopping by. And if you feel 'inspired,' comment below! And truly, if you have a Step Up Chapter in your city, check it out!! 

xo Ashley