Chicken Stuffing Bake

So one of my goals for this week was to try a new recipe, I must say I LOVE this recipe.  I am now searching for a new recipe for next week.  Feel free to leave suggestions.

This road warrior is going to get creative.

IPhone August 2015 377


1 Can Condensed reduced-fat reduced-sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Cup Skim Milk

Box of Stove Top Stuffing

2 Cups Cubed Cooked Chicken

2 Cups Cooked Fresh Broccoli Florets

2 Celery Ribs (finely chopped)

1 1/2 Cups Shredded Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese

In a large bowl, combine soup and mild until blended.  Add stuffing mix, chicken, broccoli, celery, and 1 cup cheese.

Transfer to a greased 9X13 baking dish.  Bake, uncovered at 375 F for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

YIELD:  8 servings

NUTRITION FACTS 1 serving equals:  247 calories, 7 g fat, 42 mg cholesterol, 658 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein.

Weight Watchers Points 6

So one of my goals for this week was to try a new recipe, I must say I LOVE this recipe.  I am now searching for a new recipe for next week.

Every time I get discouraged I remind myself I have made this decision not because of the way I look but because of the way I feel.  I want to be able to chase after Veda, enjoy concerts with The Kid, go on trips with The First Born and enjoy weekend adventures with Mr. Wonderful.  I keep saying, “Mimi is on a mission.”

IPhone August 2015 003 I mean seriously how could this group not be motivation?

 IPhone August 2015 070

This girl keeps me motivated and by next summer I want to be able to take her to the zoo and not feel miserable.  It will happen.

IPhone August 2015 273

I weigh in tomorrow and will be starting week 3.  The first week was amazing!

I have to keep reminding myself I didn’t gain this weight over night and the only way I can lose the weight and keep it off is to educate myself, figure out how not to hate exercise and to CELEBRATE my wins!

I love to find new motivation (blogs and Insagrams to follow- leave me a comment).  This is a journey and I am for sure looking for folks who are on the same journey.  You can find me on Instagram mchris1024.

Posted in eating healthy, family, project life app, weight loss | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Life As I Know It

So recently on my blog I had a comment left that I have taken a week or so to process.  Let me be clear I didn’t approve the comment but I did respond to the comment.  Bonnie Jo Hanson my former Sister-In-Law had a lot to say to me so let me go ahead and address her head on.

I could give two shits what Bonnie or anyone she shares DNA with thinks about me.  This is what I know- I was nothing but kind to this family.  I encouraged a relationship with them for my daughter even after the SPERM DONOR walked out of her life.  It wasn’t until an awful accusation was made against my husband surrounding sexual abuse that involved our local police and CPS that I said ENOUGH.  The allegation was total B.S. and my former mother-in-law knew it was B.S.  She felt my husband was inappropriate in the way he touched my daughter’s shoulder while brushing her hair- I have the entire report.  I lay my head down on my pillow and go to sleep with a clear mind EVERY NIGHT.  Bonnie for your reference that you will see me in hell, you already did I was in hell when I was married to your sick brother.

I have emailed Bonnie and asked for her address so I can send her father’s pictures to her, pictures that I mailed to her mother’s address that were sent back to me.  Games, games, games.  I have not had a reply from her.

So Alyssa knows she is loved, she has a father that has raised her since she was 2.  Oh wait Bonnie does this sound familiar?  I believer your brother Stephen D. Conley walked away from another child also.  So Bonnie who is the problem?

Divorce doesn’t have to be ugly but some people insist on making it that way.  I have raised Alyssa for 16 years, my husband has been by my side for 14 of those years and she is an amazing kid.  Bonnie’s brother hasn’t seen her since she was five, he half ass pays child support and doesn’t carry insurance even though he is court ordered.  Regardless she has health insurance because her Dad (my husband) and I make sure she has health insurance, she is in the process of getting her license, she is part of band at her school, she has great grades and a job.  This is a child who suffers with depression- her SPERM DONOR could care less if she can get counseling or her medication but she gets it because her dad and I see to.

So forgiveness is something I have no intention of giving this entire jacked up family because to be quite frank forgiving them or not forgiving them doesn’t cause me any heartache, anxiety, turmoil- honestly these folks are not part of my life.  It’s not like I am carrying around hatred or resentment that is affecting me.  What I have for this bunch of ugly people is pity.  Pity that they have missed out on this AMAZING KID.  Let’s be clear my life was made simpler, when this dog and pony show was no longer part of the story.  However, I was in it for the long haul because it was the right thing to do for Alyssa.  It wasn’t until a child psychologist, an attorney, and even Butler County Children Services said cut the ties did I cut the ties.

Bonnie hope you continue to read my blog.  Life is great.  Can’t wait for you to see the next chapter, I have a few surprises coming.  Stay tuned.

Alyssa 1 Lisas

Posted in depression, divorce | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

36 Days

So my work life is measured in 30day increments.  Those 30days fly by, I have a feeling the next 36 days are going to crawl by.


I am having a hard time sleeping and pretty typically for me I am shopping on Etsy.  The search tonight has been for newborn props.  Wait a minute….newborn props.  I am not sure what made this seem so”real” for me but I am an emotional mess and for the first time in the journey of becoming a Mimi I am terrified.

The First Born will be an amazing mom, that is a given.  Baby V will be loved and adored by many.  I will be an obnoxious overly proud Mimi I believe this has been accepted by all.  I just can’t believe she is almost here.  We have one stinking holiday to celebrate without her and then she will be here.  What?  Oh but wait, she might not be here for Easter but she has an Easter basket.


Isn’t that basket adorable?  I think it was a comment The First Born made on Instagram tonight that made me stop and take a deep breath.


Who would think that ladybugs could freak out a grown woman?  I guess just thinking about Baby V having “her thing” made it all seem real to me.  I have had a sweet little cry.

Her baby bed is in my garage, her daddy and grandpa painted her nursery.  My heart is so full I can’t hardly stand it.  36 days…..I better get busy learning my new camera.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Momma Trying To Live A Little

I have challenged myself to try new things, learn new things and LIVE A LITTLE.  Part of that challenge has come from the traveling I am doing for work and part of it has come from me just trying to day by day become a better person.

Of course the First Born doesn’t need any help getting out of her comfort zone, but Boy Wonder well he is a creature of habit so I decided to include him on the journey today.  I researched The Best Bloody Mary’s in Cincinnati and decided I needed to try one this weekend.  The First Born couldn’t join us so it was just Boy Wonder and Momma.  I was able to get a reservation at Red Feather.  I ordered Baltimore Eggs (you can’t go wrong with crab cakes, hollandaise sauce and poached eggs), and I have no regrets.  I will say there was nothing that came out of the kitchen that didn’t look amazing.

Red Feather Brunch Menu Bloody Mary Bar Table 41 View YUMMY

Did I mention they have a Bloody Mary Bar?  I didn’t know Boy Wonder didn’t like Bloody Mary’s, I will be sure to take The First Born after Lady Baby arrives.

We loved our view of the kitchen, it’s table 41 if you would like to have the same view.

During brunch I told Boy Wonder I wanted to play with my new camera and I was thinking about going to Spring Grove, he had never been there.  The adventure continued.

grave art mus founder

We found this guy, Charles W. West.  The founder of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

swan stretching

I could have watched this beautiful swan all day.  I loved that I captured the picture of a big lazy stretch.    She was so beautiful.


Speaking of beauty.  I came home with the intent of getting my PJs on and relaxing, however Childzilla had a different idea.  She finally decided to let me practice with my new camera.  I believe it was because she had really good hair.  Whatever the reason I was happy to spend some time with her and capture a few pictures of her.

Alyssa 1Alyssa 2

Alyssa 4Alyssa 8Alyssa 7Alyssa 3

Alyssa 9

Did I mention I also squeezed in a trip to IKEA this weekend?   I am working on my office.  I hope tomorrow to get Mr. Wonderful to help me with a few projects.

Posted in Best of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, motherhood, Things to do in Cincinnati | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The First Born Was Showered With Nothing But Love

So in October a couple days after my birthday I was given THE BEST PRESENT I have ever received. I learned “The First Born” was going to be a Mom. I have been “that grandma” every day since. I applaud “The First Born” she has taken it all like a champ. I will say as soon as she told us she wanted a woodland creature shower it was GAME ON, but her words kept swimming around in my head….”I don’t want it real themey.”  Well exactly what does that mean?  Please take a peek on Instagram and look at #babyveda2015, some great pictures.

Instagram Sign I am sure there will be numerous post about “The Shower” but I really just want to share the overwhelming love and support I felt yesterday not just for a party to welcome Baby V but to shower my girl with love and encouragement. All I can say is “WOW, what a day.”  The gorgeous trunk in these pictures will be in Baby V’s room, a very special gift from her great grandparents. Thanks Nanny and Papaw! Fireplace & Gifts One of my favorite decorations was this sign I had made.  I had been stalking “The First Born’s” Pinterest and she had pinned this sign.  It was perfect.  The fireplace had a few critters and a large gold V.  Oh and the banners, I created the rag banner with left over fabric from the quilt I created for Baby V and a friend stenciled the other one-yes more critters.

Lena's Shower 046 Fireplace (3)

I had crafted, stalked Pinterest and shopped way too much on Etsy and I couldn’t believe the big day had finally arrived.  I have a wonderfully talented friend who was happy to jump in and help me create a quilt for Baby V.  I hope someday to be half as talented as Lynn so that I can pass along this wonderful craft to my girls.

Quilt (2)

I think my favorite find was the hedgehog clock “The First Born” really wanted.  I used him on the mantel and I can’t wait to see him hanging in Baby V’s nursery. Hedge hog clock Oh wait the hedgehog clock might just be number two because the greatest has to be this little t-shirt that I can’t wait to see Baby V and her big sister photographed in. Bully Shirt This shower was such a “team effort” and even today as I look at all the pictures I can’t believe it really turned out just like I imagined it.

Center Pieces Bird Houses Headband and Diaper Station  Lena's Shower 103

I heard “The Only Son” tell someone, “Mom didn’t freak out as bad as I thought she would.”  For the record there is NO WAY I would have pulled off yesterday without three men in  “The First Born’s” life that stepped up their game- her other half, my other half and her brother were TROOPERS.  My only regret from yesterday is I didn’t get enough pictures-including one with Baby V’s parents together.

Lena's Shower 074FriendsThe guest

I am sure this won’t be the last post about this wonderful day because I am still receiving pictures and I don’t think I will ever get tired of reliving the day. Did I mention one of “The First Born’s” besties surprised her all the way from L.A.?  I can’t wait to watch the influence that Baby V will have from her strong willed Momma and her friends. Lena's Shower 092 To the left in this picture is my Spare Mom, let’s all hope when we are a great grandmother we look as fantastic as Nanny.  Nanny made sure “The First Born” had homemade biscuits on the brunch menu, and I know a couple people have asked for the recipe.  This picture truly captures my heart and soul.  My Spare Mom is the best mom any girl could ask for and the love and devotion is never taken for granted.  My sister I can’t imagine going thru this crazy life without her by my side, I hope I am half the sister to her that she is to me.  “The First Born” no mother could be prouder of a child than I am of her.  She is going to be an amazing mom  and I can’t wait to watch Baby V become an outstanding human because of the love and nurturing she will receive from the four ladies in the picture above. Life has NEVER been better.

I haven’t joined many blog hops recently but I think this wonderful day is worth sharing, so head over to Shaken Together Life, Craft-O-Maniac and see what is going on.


Posted in Baby shower, crafts, decorating, DIY, family | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m Alive and Crafting

Oct 2014 238

I can not believe I have not posted to this blog since January.  Well actually I can.  I started a new job in February and I have been a little busy.

I doubt anyone is even checking here anymore but I have decided to write anyway.

Today I had so much fun crafting with my niece, I was suppose to craft with my niece and “The Kid” but that is another blog post in itself.  The joys horror of living with a teenage girl.

I hope to maybe find some “Linky Parties” to connect to this week, but if not it was still a great day.

Oct 2014 228 Oct 2014 229

I am having a Birthday Extravagnza next weekend and we decided to do a dry run of the craft we are doing.  I purchased the letters at Hobby Lobby (they were on sale…just a bonus).

I have been “Pinning” ideas for weeks and decided I would quit “pinning” and do a little crafting.

Oct 2014 230 Oct 2014 231

I must say that I decided hot glue is easier than needle and thread when making these rosettes.  I couldn’t get over how quickly they came together.  I practiced with a couple and then decided to get serious.

Oct 2014 233

I love my “C”, I have it on a shelf in my home office.  I have to say “The Niece” did a great job with her’s.  She had a lot more patience than I had, she used yarn and it turned out perfect.

Oct 2014 239
Linked to-

Should Be Mopping The Floor

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m A Hot Mess Working On Getting Organized

So this weekend has been a purge kinda weekend, four closets, my car, tons of decorations, trip to Goodwill, Container Store, Crate and Barrel and TJMaxx and now I’m feeling like an expert.  Well not really.

During the purging I found an article from Good Housekeeping June 2010, yeap it was stuffed in a table just waiting to be read.  Made me start thinking.  What would it take to organize the rest of the house like I did these four closets.

So here is what I decided.

To feel relaxed and enjoy my home it needs to be organized.  One of the places I enjoy visiting the most is my Spare Mom’s home.  It’s clean, it’s organized, it’s inviting.  I may never reach her level, but I am on the right track.

I think you first have to ask yourself how your life would be different.

  • You will be calmer and more relaxed when not living in chaos.
  • You will save time because things will have a home and you won’t spend time looking for items.
  • If you are like me and being organized doesn’t come “naturally” you will be proud of your accomplishments as you “fix” each area.

What is your plan?  If you don’t have one, get one.  Put it on paper or you could just “pin it”, blog it or tweet it.  Whatever you need to do, do it.  Come on if I can make this happen anyone can.

31 Days To Decluttering Your House

Free House Cleaning Printout

Checklist For Cleaning


Yearly Plan For Decluttering

7 Habits of Highly Organized People

40 Bags in 40 Days

– Jim Rohn –

I found the above quote at Operation Organize, she has some great printables.

Do you want to organize, but spending a ton of money isn’t appealing or maybe not even feasible?  Try these great ideas-

31 Days to Cheaply Organizing

Cereal Box Drawer Dividers

Wrapping Paper?

Bathroom Cabinet?

cleaner holder

Do you love the over the door hanger, stole this I mean saw this from Laura(I have to admit I might have a little “girl crush”) over at I’m An Organized Junkie?  Writing this post took on a life of it’s own when I found the “Start Here” page at I’m An Organized Junkie.

Ball Caps?

I have to say going to The Container Store is like therapy for me.  I have never been able to figure it out, I can spend hours there and sometimes only spend $20.  I must admit yesterday’s trip cost me more than $20.

The extra large size Trash Stand Vehicle Litter Bin has a weighted bottom and grip strips to keep it upright and in place. Great for the passenger seat floor, or for the back of your minivan or SUV.

My favorite purchase was a floor litter bag like the one pictured above.  I must say I found some other fun stuff at Cargo Gear.  I will be ordering for sure.  Back to not spending a lot of money, I was so sad when I found this beauty over at Simply Keirste.

I thought this post would take weeks, I was hoping to post it by Feb. 1st and then I stumbled upon The Happy Housewife and her list.  She is my new hero.

I have started a book Cut The Clutter And Stow The Stuff,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Balance….What Is That?

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. That little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative. – W. Clement Stone

I just spent two days at a great conference.  I listened, I took notes and I processed, now to put it all into action.  Oh wait I won’t be trying to put it all into action because after all where would the balance be.

I left for the conference with a heavy and confused heart, so many people around me hurting and everyone looking out for themselves and not the whole picture.  I’d like to say not looking out for the whole family, but over the last few days I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not one family.  Sad, but true.  I still don’t know what to do with that conclusion, but I know that the first step is coming up with the plan is acceptance.

I am accepting that as adults some of us have “gotten over” more than others.  I am accepting that when people don’t want to hear “the rest of the story” they can turn people off and bury their heads.  I am accepting that my heart hurts and that as long as I let other people’s actions influence my thinking I am going to continue to hurt.  I am accepting that people don’t always know how to be the person you need or want them to be.  I am accepting that some people want to feel sorry for themselves and you can’t change that.  I am accepting that I am a survivor and I can’t let things I can’t control cause me any more hurt.

I have decided to love people in spite of their faults.  I have decided to forgive even if I don’t think “they deserve it”.  I have decided to give myself a “time out” and not try to fix things.  I have decided not to let myself be hurt by other people’s behavior and to just continue to do what is right.

I am going to journal my feelings, spend time in my craft room, read great books, listen to great music, drink good wine and spend time and energy on people who appreciate the good in life and I will not feel guilty for not allowing myself to be sucked in.

Posted in divorce, family, life, random thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Seuss We Will Miss You

It’s hard to believe the shower is over.  I am not sure we realized how quick it would be here and gone.  I think we had just as much fun putting it all together as we had at the shower….my assitants might not agree.

The invites were put together with a little help from Etsy, I know the invite came from Dana and I also think the insert came from her shop.  She was great to work with.


 One of the funniest comments came from Cousin 1 Belinda, “Why did we have to do invites that had to be folded, taped and layered with this and that and tied with ribbon?”  That’s just how we roll.


We had a big barrier in the fact that we weren’t allowed to hang anything on the walls at the room we rented.  We didn’t let that stop us from making banners.  Oh the banners.




Oh and we can’t forget the many paper pom poms that Jules worked so hard on.


We could not believe how easy the pom poms were, if you haven’t tried them check out this You Tube Video (


This was in the entrance, a chalk board that started out as a big ole’ ugly picture from the thrift store.  Amazing what a little spray paint can do, oh yeah and a couple more banners.  The tally ended up being 19 for a boy and 18 for a girl, we’ll see.

I won’t even try to suggest that we could have done this shower without Pinterest, you can find my boards right here.

I will be linking to some blog parties this week, trying to find my next fun project.

DIY Show Off

The DIY'ers />

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dr. Seuss Baby Shower

I am making a commitment to blog, I am motivated by a baby shower I am working on. As my cousin Belinda said today, “This train has left the station without a caboose.”

We have completed the invitations, I will give details and links to the Etsy shop later.


Tomorrow night we keep the train on the tracks and complete our glasses.


I don’t know if this would have all come together so easily without Pinterest. You can follow my boards at Michelle Christian Chasteen.


I said the other day this shower will be like Christmas, over in a blink of an eye.

I am now trying to figure out a cute idea for our pens, suggestions welcome.

Linked Up

Skip To My Lou

Posted in card making, crafts, family, scrapbooking, Stampin Up, Trash To Treasure | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment