soup’s on

I love soup… and soup season is upon us.  Naturally, I’m very excited.  My new favorite to make is homemade chicken and wild rice soup.  It looks like a ton of ingredients, but it’s a lot of spices and things you may already have on hand.  I like making it when I already have leftover chicken and/or wild rice.  It makes a ton… like 16 cups?  Make some today!  You won’t be disappointed…

What’s your tried and true soup recipe?

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1+ cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken base (I use Better than bouillon from Costco)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (optional, but I think it makes it yummy)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or sherry or additional chicken broth)
  • 3+ cups cooked wild rice
  • 2+ cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded chunks
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture, or as much as you can fit in the small saucepan. Stir for ~2 minutes, then add the contents of the saucepan back into the dutch oven… (the easiest way to combine everything without dirtying an extra pot).  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for a couple of minutes while the soup thickens.
  3. Whisk in soup and wine (or broth).  Then add rice and chicken and simmer until it’s heated.

modern baby blanket

When I bought these bold prints a while back, I knew I’d use them for a baby boy project… so when I found out Emily, an old roommate of mine, was expecting a little boy this winter, I got started and had a lot of fun doing a quick little project (my first since Ruby made her debut)!  I think he’ll look great snuggled up in it.  Emily and Scott live in St. Louis, so I made it a little thicker for those cold winters, quilted it with uneven/ wonky straight lines and used a satin blanket binding… a first for me.  I used this tutorial for attaching the binding and it worked perfectly! Here are some pictures:

Packed up and ready to go!  Emily & Scott, best wishes as you welcome your little boy into your family! xoxo.

baby love

Its always fun to see the people you love meet your children.  My aunt and uncle were in town last week and we had a great time together… I was so happy to have them meet Ruby and snuggle with her.  Ethan, who is considerably less snuggly these days, provided the entertainment and added comedic value to our day.  He’s going through a silly phase (although maybe it’s just his personality developing, and not just a phase?). Either way, I love it.  Thanks, M & C for loving our little ones =)

and we partied on…

Just a few pictures from Ethan’s 2nd birthday party.  He talked about his upcoming “FOOTBAAAALLL PARTY!!” for at least two weeks prior, and by the time the day came, he was ready and excited!  We started out with a room full of ballons for E to wake up to:

Later on in the day, we barbecued, played, sang, and thankfully, we managed to not get rained out!Ethan liked opening presents, but really liked help from Dad and friends:

Thanks to all the friends and family who came and made him feel like the two-year-old rockstar that he is!

25 things to do with a wiggly toddler boy… other than get frustrated

25 Things to do with a Wiggly Toddler Boy other than get frustrated | Thoughts from the Courage Zone.Okay, so this picture is really just more out of focus, than wiggly, but Ethan is such an active almost 2 year old.  I get a lot of “Oh my, you really have your hands full!” and “wow, he sure is busy” comments these days.  So when I saw this list it gave me some great ideas for harnessing Ethan’s unending energy!

My current go-to’s from this list :

  • Have him run and tag the front door, run back and give you a high five, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
  • Put him outside everyday regardless of weather.
  • Find an old spoon and let him dig in dirt.
  • stacking cups and plastic containers in an accessible cabinet

Ones to try (if only I can embrace the mess factor):

  • Put him in an empty bath tub, give him water colors and let him go.
  • Let him spread the PB and J.
  • Fill the kitchen sink with soapy foam; get out a big ladle and some cups and let him go at it. Let him “do dishes.”