Happiness Is…It’s been a while and I need reminded of Happiness!

It’s been a while since I have linked up with Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting for her weekly #HappinessIS . To be honest life is beyond crazy and just finding a couple minutes to upload pictures to the computer is just not happening for me very often. We are in the process of moving across town this month which means my stress levels are high. So what better time to remind myself of all the Happiness I have right here with my family!

Happiness Is… Licorice for a snack in the car. Having it all over your face and hands!

Licorice on your face!

Happiness Is… Dinner made by my 8 and 4 year old (with little help from me)!!

dinner made by kids

Happiness Is…Chatting on the stairs with this cutie, talking about his day at school!

Talking on the stairs

Happiness Is…Find a rental in a great neighborhood with great schools that we ALL LOVE!!!!

Finding a new rental we all love!

What are your #HappinessIS moments? Sharing these help bring down my stress and anxiety level! Share yours with us too…link up with Crazy Adventures in Parenting or use hashtag #HappinessIS on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!


Ranch Chicken Salad

It is supposed to by 106 degrees at my house today so I am avoiding using my oven all month to help keep the house cool. Here is a good recipe that is quick to put together and only requires a little time standing over the stove.
1-Ranch Chicken Salad

Ranch Chicken Noodle Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings


  • 4 cups noodles (any noodles will work but my kids like the shell ones)
  • 2 cups cooked chopped chicken
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups Ranch Dressing
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Bacon bits
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced tomatoes


  1. Cook the noodles as directed on package. While they are cooking mix chicken, corn, peas, and carrots in a large bowl, place in fridge.
  2. Once noodles are cooked run cold water over them then strain very well. Add the noodles to the large bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over the noodles, veggies, and chicken. Add salt and pepper then mix well. Place in fridge for 30 minutes then serve chilled with your choice of toppings!

Linking up with other Texas Bloggers this month with Oven Free Recipes! Check out what they’ve got cooking up this week…

Passion Iced Tea Lemonade – The Late Farmer

Basil Pesto Butter – The Life of the Bucks

Chick Pea of the Sea Pasta Salad – The Vegan Bee

Pork and Quinoa Spring Rolls – Happy Accidents Happen

Hawaiian Haystack made in the Crockpot

 hawaiian haystacks

Hawaiian Haystack Crockpot Style

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: PT6-8H

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 lbs Frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 TBS Basil
  • 1 TBS Garlic
  • 1 TBS Pasley
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 4 cups water
  • Optional toppings:
  • Sliced Olives
  • Pineapple
  • Grated Cheese
  • Chow Mien Noodles


  1. Place frozen chicken in your crockpot.
  2. Pour chicken broth over your chicken followed by all three cans of soup. Sprinkle with basil, garlic and parsley.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours (I do stir my chicken around 5 hours so it doesn't get stuck to the side of the crockpot).
  4. Thirty minutes before dinner boil your water on high heat in a saucepan.
  5. Add your uncooked rice.
  6. Turn heat to low, cover and cook (*without stirring) for 15 minutes.
  7. While rice is cooking shred your chicken. (I use my stand mixer for this..see post link below.) Then stir the sauce and chicken well.
  8. To serve put rice on bottom, followed by chicken and sauce, then top with yummy toppings!


This is a great themed meal! Make a fun night of it by adding some other yummy Hawaiian inspired foods and drinks!


I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to shred my chicken for this dish. See my post here about how to do it! It is so EASY!!

1-hawaiian haystacks collage

Every Wednesday this month I have been linking up with lover bloggers for delicious crock pot recipes. If you have missed any check out and follow my Pinterest board HERE to find these recipes and more yummy things to make in your crock pot!

Also check out the other crock pot recipes that some of my favorite bloggers came up with this week!

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot -The Vegan Bee

Au Jus Beef Tips Link – The Late Farmer

French Onion Soup – Happy Accidents Happen

Turkey Tenderloin in Crockpot – The Life of the Bucks

Super Simple Crockpot Baked Potatoes

simple crockpot baked potatoes

Crockpot EASY Baked Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: PT6-8H

Yield: Plan to make at least 1 potato per person.


  • Potatoes (I make 1 1/2 per person)
  • Foil
  • Toppings:
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Bacon Bits
  • Salsa
  • Beans
  • Chicken
  • Shredded Beef
  • Or any other favorite baked potato topping!


  1. Wash the potatoes, poke about 6 times each with a fork and wrap each one in tin foil.
  2. Then place them all in the crockpot to cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 6 hours).
  3. About 10 minutes before dinner turn your crockpot off and remove the potatoes with a pot holder. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
  4. My family likes to add fun new toppings every time and using some of your leftover meats is a great way to use things you have on hand in the fridge!


This is a great way to make baked potatoes for a large family or a big crowd. These are perfect served as a side dish or as your main course depending on the occasion!


If you are looking for some yummy meats to top your baked potatoes check out these posts HERE and HERE! Also this Meatloaf would be a great dish to cook along side these baked potatoes!

Crockpot baked potatoes

baked potato

Also check out the other crock pot recipes that some of my favorite bloggers came up with.

Happy Accidents Happen – Crockpot Banana Bread

The Late Farmer- Savory Roast Crock Pot Style

Food Good Laundry Bad – Giant Meatbal Soup

The Life of the Bucks – Al Pastor made in a Crockpot


Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Yield: 6 servings


  • 4lbs Chicken Breast (boneless & skinless)
  • 3 cups salsa (Fresh or your favorite variety of salsa!)
  • Additions:
  • Tortillas
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheese
  • Chopped Onions
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Black or Pinto Beans
  • Spanish Rice


  1. Place chicken breasts in the crock pot, then pour the salsa over it.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 (I put my chicken breasts in frozen and cook all day).
  3. Shred chicken in the crock pot and it's ready to eat!
  4. It is great in a tortilla with your choice of toppings for a yummy chicken taco! Other variations would be to serve over brown rice, in a taco shell or on a tostada shell, or even served in enchiladas. It is a really versatile way to prepare chicken so get creative!

My chicken was so tender it just fell apart when I stirred with a fork but if you are looking for a quick way to get your chicken shredded check out my post HERE!!

Salsa Chicken Taco

Also check out the other crock pot recipes that some of my favorite bloggers came up with.




Crock Pot Hearty Beef Stew

Hearty Crock Pot Beef stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 12 servings


  • 1 1/2lbs. thawed stewed beef
  • 2 Cups Chopped Carrots
  • 2 Cups Chopped Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (either whole or sliced in half)
  • 1 Cup Sliced Yellow Squash
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Green Chili
  • 2 Cups Gluten Free Organic Beef Broth
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (Original whole found in the fridge section)
  • 4 TBS All Natural Roast Rub (Rancher’s Reserve is the brand I use)
  • 1 TBS Garlic
  • 1 TBS Sea Salt


  1. I combined all ingredients except the coconut milk in a 6qt slow cooker and cooked on low for 5 1/2hrs.
  2. 20 minutes before serving add the coconut milk to help thicken the juice a little.
  3. Serve with rolls (great GF/DF option: Udi’s French Rolls found at Whole Foods and Walmart) (Or fresh made Rhode’s dinner rolls).


This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Soy free if you use the ingredients listed above.


This recipe is great for rainy days, fall, winter or really any time you want a hearty beef stew!!

Also check out the other crock pot recipes that some of my favorite bloggers came up with.

 How to make Caramel in a Crockpot from The Life of the Bucks

Beef Stroganoff made in a Crockpot from Happy Accidents Happen

Vegan Baked Beans made in a Crockpot from The Vegan Bee

Mac and Cheese Crock Pot Style from The Late Farmer


Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork


Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork


  • 2lbs boneless Pork butt or shoulder
  • 4 cups Rootbeer
  • 2 cups BBQ Sauce of your choice


  1. Put pork in the crockpot (my pork is usually frozen). Pour rootbeer over the pork.
  2. Cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  3. Remove the pork and shred. I prefer to shred in my Kitchen aid stand mixer...just throw in and turn on low for a minute or two then you have shredded pork!
  4. Add your barbeque sauce of choice
  5. Serve in fresh baked rolls or tortillas! Great with potato salad, fresh fruit and chips!

You really can’t get any easier than this! Here is link to how I shred my chicken, beef and pork in a simple quick way!

Also check out the other crock pot recipes that some of my favorite bloggers came up with.

The Late Farmer – Pulled Pork Crock Pot Style

The Vegan Bee – Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Artisan Bread in a Crock Pot

Happy Accidents Happen – Thai-inspired chicken soup

The Life of the Bucks – Enchilada Soup made in the Crock Pot


Happiness Is ____________ (Series: Week 21)

Another busy week with family and friends here. We LOVE summer because it means spending tons of time with our loved ones! Sharing some of the highlights while linking up with Lisa at Crazy Adventures In Parenting.

Happiness Is…Getting a behind the scenes tour at Azul in SeaWorld with cousins from out of town!1-IMG_4197

Happiness Is…Making silly faces at dinner with family visiting from out of town.1-IMG_4220

Happiness Is…Coloring with Grandma at the museum!1-IMG_4230

Happiness Is…Doing the 5k Color Me Rad race with your good friend that is visiting!1-IMG_4264

Happiness Is…And including all eight of our kids in the run with us! Boy was it fun to get color all over us…not so much fun to clean up, haha!~1-IMG_4303

Happiness Is…Seeing some of your favorite characters at SeaWorld.1-IMG_4324

Happiness Is…Eating Dip N’ Dots while watching the Shamu Rocks show! (Yes we LOVE SeaWorld! Yes we visit as much as we can and use any family or friends visiting as a great excuse to go!)1-IMG_4329

What made you happy this week?

Share your #HappinessIs moments with us!


Happiness Is_______ (Series: Week 20)

Well I was not on the ball last week and missed linking up with Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting for her Happiness Is Series. I did have #HappinessIs moments just didn’t get any extra time to write out a post to share them. Anyhow I am back this week to share all our #HappinessIs for the last two weeks.

 Happiness Is…Playing in Shaving Cream on a summer morning! 

1-IMG_4112-001Happiness Is… Going for a round of Putt Putt with the family on a Saturday afternoon!


Happiness Is… Water Wars with Papa and Daddy! 1-IMG_41371-IMG_4138

Happiness Is… Using water, sand, play dough and goop to discover new things at the library.1-IMG_4152

Happiness Is… Receiving new books at the library. San Antonio Public Library have some great programs and activities this summer, go check them out!  1-IMG_4156Happiness Is… Braving Aquatica myself with all four kids for many hours of fun in the sun!


What are your #HappinessIs moments this week? I’d love to know what things make your heart happy!


Happiness Is ___________ (Series: Week 19)

This week we’ve celebrated some big milestones…. The end of the school year. Beginning of summer break. AND my husband and I’s 9 year wedding anniversary TODAY!

Happiness Is… Award ceremony night at school.


Happiness Is… Last day of school!


Happiness Is… Dinner at the Magic Time Machine to celebrate the beginning of summer!


Happiness Is… Being married for 9 years to your high school sweetheart and love of your life!! We celebrated with dinner at The Chart House in The Tower of Americas, ride on the river walk and a movie!


What is your #HappinessIs this week? Go stop in at Crazy Adventures in Parenting to see what #HappinessIs moments Lisa is sharing this week!