Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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One Hour Craft - Purse Carry-All

Well, if you are like me, you are always switching things from bag to bag. From the purse, to the church bag, to the smaller "date night" purse, etc. So, do you ever get sick of pulling all the loose odds and ends out of one bag and transfering them? Well, now you can put them all in one spot, and then all you have to move is this handy little pouch. I like to keep my essentials in here like: hand sanitizer, lip gloss, a pen, tissues, wipes, etc.

So, let's get started. Okay, first, pick your fabric and cut it to the size you want. What you want to make sure is that when you fold it about half way, that you have enough for a flap to make the closure.... does that make sense? sorry, I don't measure anything.

Here's my two pieces of fabric. The orange is going to be the front and the brown is the lining. 
Step 1: sew right sides together, leaving the "top" open, as if you were making a pillow case.

Here's my "pillow case" folded right side out, ready to fold up and sew again.
Here's the other side.
Step 2: fold it about half way up with "right sides" together again. Don't worry about the open top, we'll do that in a second.
Step 3: Sew up the sides.
Turn it right side out again, now you have your pouch, all is done except for the top raw edges.
Now, it is going to seem weird, but we're going to sew on the "right" side to make some little pockets. Before you start sewing your pockets, sew on your velcro, it will be easier, I waited until I was done and it came out crooked, just check the photo. 
It's just straight lines, so don't get anxious. You can make as many pockets as big or small as you want. Here's a picture of my pockets, I made three (which means I sewed two lines). 
Then I sewed the top closed, I turned it under about 1/4 inch and sewed straight across. Then I sewed on the velcro..... pretend you don't see my crooked velcro, okay? See, I'm not a perfectionist!
Then you can embellish the front or do whatever you want to your cute little carry-all. I love mine, it is so handy!
And of course, lastly, fill it with all the goods, stick it in the purse or diaper bag and go!

Hi, I'm Danielle!

I found Mommy Diaries a few weeks ago through a friend's blog and I love it! I am so excited to be a contributor here and I hope that I can share some sort of insights every once in a while...we'll see.

So, about me. I live in Northern California, near Sacramento, with my best friend and husband, Sam, and our two kids, Hailey and Taylor. We have been married for four years this July. Hailey is 2 years and 3 months old, and Taylor is 2 months old.

My husband and I both went to BYU, him for computer science, and me for an English degree. I then went to court reporting school and so when I'm not chasing our kids around I am a stenographer for depositions about one day a week.

I love being a mom! I am still learning how to be a better mom, and how to be a mommy of 2 instead of 1, so I can't wait to learn more from the more experienced moms here.

I enjoy traveling, scrapbooking, reading, movies, playing with my cute kids, anything outdoors, and spending time with my family who live close by.

I'm excited to share my ideas and get some new ones from all of you!



Ok so I have been searching for fun/ cute things to do this summer with fruit and came across these oh so stinking cute ladybugs!!! The ones pictured above are baby ladybugs hence their binkies!!!!
Super Super Super easy to make! Tooth picks, strawberries, grapes and mini chocolate chips!!! ADORABLE!!!! I love summer!!!


Free Paint

I'm all about free stuff, more likely to actually go out and purchase the item when I need it if I remember they totally hooked me up the one time (and as long as I actually liked the product). This month Glidden is giving away a free quart of paint. Perfect if you have a little project you want to do. I already ordered mine and it was at about it at the bottom of the page, also I think it ends on July 2nd. There are no strings attached from what I have seen so far, so why pass up a free deal???? super easy and will get here in 3-4 weeks. Go to
**** Apparently they had an overwhelming response to it so they are no longer offering the free quart, now you get a $5 rebate instead. Well, it was good while it lasted.


Child Costumes

Dear Mommies,

I never loved Halloween until I had children and now it is one of my favorite holidays! We know it's early (ok, really early) but we recently added a Child Costume link under our "Mom Friendly Links" section that we wanted you to be aware of.

I just spent the last 10 minutes looking through the site and thinking of all the fun ideas we could be for Halloween. The Sunflower is my favorite fun would it be if I dressed up like the Sun and had my kids dressed in this...they follow me around everywhere anyway, right?!

And probably because I think everything is cuter when it's smaller I especially loved this costume for a baby. It just makes me laugh!

Happy Halloween (5 months early)!


Tricks of the Trade Question!

Organized Cleaning!
OK I'm just curious how every one's cleaning routine goes and what type of cleaning techniques people might recommend!
I live in a house now and it is way different now that nothing gets cleaned or organized on it's own like it does when your little! I'm a pretty clean person, messes drive me nuts, but I'm also lazy so messes come! I'm not someone that cleans all day everyday, or at all everyday for that matter! I just kind of do little things here and there that need to be done until they are all slowly done and it's time to start over! I would like to have more of a schedule for things to get done now that I have a baby it would probably be easier to make sure I do it!
I was thinking about it and I couldn't decide if it's better to spend one whole day a week cleaning, or doing one different thing everyday or just take like 30 minutes everyday to clean random stuff! I don't know I'm curious what most people do or if anyone has found a system that really works! It seems to not be a huge deal just yet cause I just have one baby so we don't have tons of laundry or dishes yet and my husband is actually a really good cleaner so it never really gets to bad, but I wanna get in a good habit when I do have more kids because who knows what will happen then! ha ha
AND how often do you do little deeeep cleaning (baseboards, walls(?), window seals, etc.?)
Gotta get used to keepin' a house in order now! Any good tips is appreciated:)


Sesame & Ginger Chicken

So this has lime, not lemon. But close enough, right?
I just tried this the other day and it was delicious! And super healthy too. And of course easy!

Sesame & Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-size pieces
1/4 c Asian-style dressing with sesame and ginger
2 c julienned carrots
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 head butterhead lettuce, leaves separated
1/4 c honey-roasted peanuts, chopped
Lime wedges

Sprinkle chicken with salt and peppers. Lightly coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over med-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir for 3 min or until browned. Add 1 TBSP dressing and the carrots to skillet; cook and stir for 2-3 more min or until carrots are crisp-tender and chicken is no longer pink. Stir in red pepper.
Stack lettuce on plates. Top with chicken-carrot mixture. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve with remaining dressing and lime wedges.
Serves 4
(231 cal, 7 g fat, 436 mg sodium, 3 g fiber)


Lemon Blueberry Bread

This is a really good sweet bread that reminds me of summer. It's from, which is an awesome site (if you need to change the serving size you just enter the amount in and it changes all the measurements for you! genius). The picture is from them too, I never remember to pull out the camera when the food gets done.

1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon zest, nuts, and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack.


Tricks for WHINING and TANTRUMS?!?

I was so excited when it was my turn for tricks-of-the-trade, because I need some new ideas to curb the summer-time WHINING (with a few tantrums thrown in)! I think (and this is just my opinion) that a 4-year-old + summer-time exhaustion = a whiny, tantrum prone little thing. I love my kids, but year four has proven to be the toughest for me! I've tried a million and one things to curb the whining, and tried really hard to not lose my temper, but my momentum is coming to an end and my patience is also! So any tips/ideas you all might have would be vastly appreciated!

A few things I do that work (some of the time, I have to switch them up)

* sometimes (if she's not too tired) I ride out the tantrum and then clap and tell her how wonderful it was until she starts laughing. (Sometimes, this makes it worse)

* sometimes I just pick her up and put her on her bed with a book or something and tell her that she's in charge of being happy, and when she feels happy again she's welcome to come out with us.

* I know I should ignore ignore ignore, but any tips on how to actually accomplish that would be much appreciated, too!!

* I sing primary songs. But I don't know how long this will work, because my mom used to do it and it made me crazy! It works sometimes now to distract her, though.

These things work some of the time, but not always. Any other tips to throw in the mix would be wonderful! And also -- what age was the toughest for you? I always heard 2 or 3, but so far, four is pretty tricky! I feel bad that she's so emotional, and sometimes I think it's confusing to be that little but not quite a baby anymore, and I want to help her figure out why she's feeling that way. I don't know, but I'm up for all kinds of advice!!

Happy Summer, Moms!


And the winner is....

Times up! Thanks to all who entered the giveaway!! picked entry number 4 as our winner!

The Perkins Family said...

I started following the blog because of Teresa and I love it! I even tried the placemat bag out after seeing it on here. I like hearing about other mamas out there. Thanks for creating a great blog! I am a follower.

Congrats!! Email and tell us which prize you pick and tell us where to send it!
If we don't hear anything for 24 hours we will pick another winner.


500th Post GIVEAWAY

Guess what MD readers! We have reached 500 posts!! We had no idea when we started this blog that it would grow beyond our little Minnesota group of friends. And it's so exciting to see that we now have several authors and readers that are spread all over the US! So what better way to celebrate 500 posts than with a GIVEAWAY??
Winner(s) can choose from any of the following prizes!

1. ONE of these fun kitchen items: Crinkle Cutter, Mango Cutter, or Ice Cream Scoop.


2. One bracelet and one pair of earrings OR two pairs of earrings from the following:


3. Our very own super crafty Kara's handmade purse and matching pouch:

**each prize is brand new and never used

Here are the rules:
  • Anyone can enter! Just leave a comment telling us what your favorite thing about Mommy Diaries is, and/or what you would like to see more of!
  • Only ONE comment per person, additional comments will be deleted.
  • Giveaway will end Saturday June 13th at 11:59pm (central time).
  • Winner will be chosen using and posted Sunday morning.
  • If you are a winner email within 24 hours and tell us your prize choice! (Prizes are first come first serve)
  • For every 50 comments we will add another winner!! So spread the word!
Want some extra entries? Here are some things you can do:
  • 1 extra entry for becoming a follower (over there on the left!). If you already are then you automatically have an extra entry!
  • 1 extra entry for adding our button to your blog. If you already have one just remind us in your comment.
  • And 1 more extra entry for blogging about the giveaway.
  • If you do any of these things DON'T leave an additional comment. But make sure you let us know in your 1st comment and we'll figure in all the extra entries at the end. (If you forget to mention any of these things or you do them after your first comment has already been posted, don't worry! Go ahead and leave another comment and we'll record your extra entries and then delete it.)

Stuffy Noses

Okay, we're on night three (or is it four now... it's all blurring together) of our 7 year old daughter waking up and wailing that her nose is stuffed up.

It's driving us nuts! The child is definitely of the mindset 'if I'm not happy, ain't no one gonna be happy.'

We've tried getting her to blow her nose, but she insists that she can't. We've tried Mentholatum (sp?) but she swears it doesn't work. We've suggested propping herself up, she says she can't sleep that way (to which I want to say "Well you sure as **** aren't sleeping now are you!?"... I don't do well without my sleep).

We're at our wits end, she does this every time she gets a stuffy nose and I really wish I could just take one of those bulb syringes and suck it all out for her, just so we can get some sleep!

Oh, and when I say she wails, I'm talking gnashing of teeth stuff here. She's not quiet.

So does anyone have ANY suggestions!? Please?


Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad sandwiches and my cousin, AKA Super Mom (the one with the quints!), gave me this recipe! It has some weird ingredients but is SO good!

My Favorite Chicken Salad Recipe
6 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts (you can also use one big can of chicken from Sam's Club)
1 cup sliced water chestnuts (towel dry from the can)
2 cups chopped celery
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple (towel dry)
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
2 cups slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chutney (this looks like orange marmalade, it's usually in the section with the oriental sauces and salad dressings at the grocery store)
3 cups mayo
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (don't leave it out!)

Mix all together in BIG bowl. Serve on bed of lettuce with chow mein noodles on top or in croissants as sandwiches.


Nudity and Children...Whats your opinion?

Okay girls, I have another parenting challenge for you. I am really interested to get everyone's input on this one. When is your child too old to see their parents naked? I'm not talking about anything nasty (giggle) I'm wondering about letting them in the shower with me or changing clothes or things like that.

I have always taken baths with my babies. Not only do I enjoy it, but I have always thought it was a practical way to get us both bathed (showers are the first thing to get sacrificed when there is a new baby in the house). It just seems natural and of course My kids are totally accustomed to seeing me naked and are totally unfazed by it. Jack is five and I guess that at some point I should start making sure to cover up in front of him but honestly, privacy is such a rare commodity these days and we are so used to our routine. We have taught him about modesty and about respecting our bodies. We dress modestly and its not like we just walk around the house naked all day but if we are going swimming and changing into our swimsuits, I don't think twice about stripping down in his presence. I don't want to go through the hassle of wearing a swimsuit in the tub and I also don't want to lock him out of my bathroom when I take a bath or shower. I don't want to make an issue out of something that is not a problem.

I'm interested to hear everyone's thoughts. Is it harmless? Maybe it helps him to be comfortable with his own body. Maybe he will need years of therapy to get my stretch marks out of his head.


Chicken Marinade

I love that the ingredient of the week is soy sauce.  I think soy sauce is a great way to add some flavor to marinades and homemade chinese food.  Here's a good chicken marinade:

Chicken Marinade

1 ¼ c. 7-up

½ c. soy sauce

½ c. peanut oil

¼ t. garlic powder

¼ t. horseradish

lemon juice 

Combine and marinate 3 lbs. chicken overnight.  Grill.


June's Monthly Craft - Car Trash Bag

Okay, I know from the title you are thinking I'm really weird.  But like I just said in my previous post, I have moving on the brain.  We are headed on a 12 hour car ride to move and I'm thinking of all the stuff that I'm going to need in my car.... and all the trash.  My hubby loves a clean car, to which I'm eternally grateful! It is always clean, so for this months craft I decided to make this car trash bag.  It is from this wonderful site called Make It and Love It.

And since our lives are pretty chaotic right now, I'm letting you use HER tutorial instead of mine.  Maybe if I get around to taking pictures, I'll post them of my finished product.

Boxes, Boxes, and More boxes

Okay, I'm moving in 18 days.... the clock is ticking and I'm feeling like I need to take full advantage of every ounce of time that I have.  So, my question to all of you smart moms is HOW DO YOU MOVE?  
-Do you pack a few boxes a day or do it all in a couple days time?
-Do you organize your boxes per room or where they will go in the new place?
-When and how do you pack up your food? Get rid of as much as possible, or try to haul it in a cooler?
-What are your essential moving tools? Saran wrap stuff, box cutters, foam, paper, Peanut M&M's?
-Do you pack a box that you'll use right when you get to the new place? What do you put in it? Towels, toilet paper, sheets?
.......and finally
-do you think it is worth buying certain boxes (like wardrobe boxes) or specialty boxes for some of your stuff or do you just take it and go as is?

Any moving tips and suggestions would be very helpful! Now, I need to go start packing.