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Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup


Are you in need of something delicious for supper, but don't have a lot of time to spend over the stove cooking?  
This recipe for Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is for you!

Make this easy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup for supper tonight!  Find the slow cooker recipe at www.andersonandgrant.com



During the cold winter months, there is nothing more comforting and warming to the soul than sitting down to a steaming bowl of homemade soup for dinner.  While it is good in a pinch, pouring soup out of a can cannot compare to what you have made and seasoned with your own hands.  And the house will never smell as good.


While some recipes involve chopping vegetables, making broth, and time spent with a watchful eye at the stove, this one could not be easier.  Thanks to a crock pot, frozen vegetables, and already cooked chicken, you'll have plenty of time for going to work or playing in the snow with your kids and still be able to get supper on the table by 5.

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Organizing Spices | Free Printable Spice and Herb Labels

Organizing Spices | Free Printable Spice and Herb Labels


The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for taking out the old and bringing in the new.  And there is no better place to start than the spice rack in your kitchen.

Unlike most of the foods you have stored in your cupboard, spices do not actually spoil.  But, their flavor and potency will disappear over time.  After awhile, the spices may not season your food with the same intensity and could even add an undesirable flavor to your dish.  Nobody wants to see that happen.


Learn tips for cleaning out your spices in the kitchen, and download free printable labels for your spice jars.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

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Live Life More Perfect

Live Life More Perfect


Happy Monday to you my friends.  The beginning of a new year is always refreshingly filled with hope and promise for the days ahead.  I hope that the holidays were a time of joy and that 2017 has started off well for you.






Over the past year, there were a lot of things I heard talked about that really caused me to pause and think.  More and more people expressed their frustrations over there being way too much to get done and not enough time to do it.  Magazine worthy, Pinterest-perfect images caused people to feel like they must attain the same (unattainable) perfection in their own homes.  Older generations discussed how much simpler and enjoyable life was thirty or more years ago.  Younger mothers turned to frozen chicken nuggets and Kraft macaroni and cheese over a homemade meal for their family, not necessarily for the lack of time but rather the lack of knowledge in how to prepare something from scratch.  And over and over again, people brought up how an overabundance of things in their life was zapping the time and energy from their day.


And there were issues in my own life as well.  I'd look at Pinterest or at the beautiful images posted by my favorite bloggers and question whether or not I was talented enough.  I'd sit down to type a post and freeze because whatever I was sharing never felt authentic.  The challenges I faced were the same as I've had ever since starting this blog.  It just has never felt like a real representation of myself and has never fulfilled me in the way that I had hoped that it would.


When starting this blog back in the spring of 2013, I had a vision.  It is as meaningful to me today as when I typed the words for that first post to the world.  The problem is, I fell into the trap of thinking that I (and my blog) needed to be like everyone else and I haven't been true to myself and my passions.  I've only scratched the surface.  For quite a period of time, I've been feeling a tug on my heart and it has only grown stronger that things need to change.


For almost four years now, I've been blogging and creating a platform to compete with my fellow bloggers and friends.  And I can't do it anymore.  Things were pretty silent around here through much of 2016 because I was tired of trying to figure all this out while still posting things that I didn't feel proud of.  My blog will not help anyone, including me, unless I am willing to stand out there on my own and compete just against myself.


Much like life, blogging becomes most difficult when you play the comparison game and do not present the real you to the world.  You keep trying and working, but nothing ever quite clicks into place.  You see the success of the amazing bloggers and entrepreneurs around you and question why the same doesn't happen for your own venture.  You notice the beautiful way they present their homes and get down on yourself for not creating such perfection in your own house.  Whether it is in blog-world, your work environment, or the parent teacher group at your child's school, if you aren't being you, you won't ever be satisfied.






What really gets me excited is learning tips that will help me beautify my home and be successful at the things I try.  The internet is aplenty with total room makeovers and house tours......articles about organizing your life in 30 days or less.....and cooking a fancy meal for 20 guests at a time.  But there is a small problem with that.  Unless you know the basics of decorating, the fundamentals of organizing even just your junk drawer, and basic skills like roasting a chicken, you can't easily progress successfully to that bigger picture.


Up to this point, I feel as though my blog has been here to inspire and to show the things I'm creating.


But deep in my heart, I want to teach.  It isn't so much that I want to show you what I did, but rather give you the information you need to do something yourself.  I want you to leave here inspired not necessarily by what I've created, but what I've taught you to try on your own.  My hope is that I can support you, my readers, and encourage you to break free from this stressed-out, overwhelmed, and disconnected world that we seem to be creating for ourselves.  Our families, homes, and life in general deserve to feel great once again.


I can remember watching Martha Stewart as a teenager and making notes of different tips that she gave to make household tasks easier.  And quickly scribbling a cookie recipe down that I knew I could bake.  Even now, it is never an entire magazine article that normally catches my attention.....it is the detail of how books were styled on a bookshelf in the background of a picture.  Or it is the tip about how cooking a turkey upside down in the pan will give you juicier meat.    For quite awhile I was saving pages out of the Pottery Barn catalogs not because I wanted to buy something.....it was because the way they styled what was for sale caught my eye, like a bowl full of old photos on the coffee table or a collection of different sizes and shapes of candlesticks on top of the mantel.


It is in those small tidbits of information that you learn to decorate, craft, organize, clean, cook and bake.  It is in those details that you create something special and unique for yourself.  And that is where you'll find the beauty in your life and gain the confidence that you are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to.


My vision now for this blog is short, manageable ideas that you can instantly try yourself.  I want to start at the beginning and build a foundation of knowledge to help you in your home.  When you know the basics of how to do something, you become more successful at what you try and you save time and frustration by doing it correctly.


And my hope is that I can be able to give the information you need to live life a little more perfect.  Striving for perfection is not necessarily a bad thing if you frame it in the context of aiming to be your best.  Setting yourself up for success and learning along the way as you practice and experiment will lead you to your own version of perfection that you can be proud of.  And when you can be content with the life you've created, those "perfect" people around you become a source of inspiration, rather than a source of unhappiness.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read the words of my heart today.  I'm really looking forwards to starting a new chapter here while taking you all along for the ride.





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Easy Paper Mache Deer Head Makeover

Easy Paper Mache Deer Head Makeover


Learn how to update the look of a basic paper mache deer head using joint compound 
from the hardware store.






Hobby Lobbyhas large selection of paper mache products, and during a recent 50% off sale I found that this stag head had accompanied me home.  He wasn't anything I needed or even knew what to do with, but who could pass up 50% off, right?!?!


Rather than just paint over the paper mache, I used a thin coat of joint compound from the hardware store to create some texture over the paper.  Using this product gives the deer an almost stone like appearance.  (I've used it to update a thrift store lamp in the past, too.)  Also, it is a great way to "fix" the paper mache when it breaks in places like where the horns meet the deer's head.  The joint compound will hold it all together if you add a little more in these areas.






While it is a messy job using joint compound for a craft product, it is also easy and you can't mess up the project.  I just smear it on with my fingers, using more than I need to create a lot of texture.  (Just be sure that you don't put it on too thick or it will take forever to dry and may crack as it does.  A couple thin coats is better than one thick one.)






The compound will turn pure white when it is all dry.  And when it does, use a fine grit sandpaper to gently smooth out the surface.  Not enough that all that great texture disappears, but just enough so that the bumps and ridges of the compound even out.


After my deer was as smooth as I wanted, I painted him with one coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement.  It looked similar to one that I found in Target for more money, so I was pleased.


Until I saw one at Michaels that was painted dark gray with light gray dry brushing and fell in love with him as well.  Are a few more coats of paint in this little guy's future?






I really do love the contrast between the pure white deer and the vibrant green and red boxwood and berry wreath, though.  (Learn how to make your own boxwood wreath.)  While neutrals are always my go to, those beautiful pops of red and green at Christmas really add something special to the decor.






Thank you so much for visiting today and I hope that your Christmas season is continuing to be full of joy and that you are taking in all that the holiday has to offer.




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Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This allows me to make a small commission if you purchase something, but your price will stay the same.  I only will share products I believe in and all opinions are my own.  You can view my disclosure policy here.  
Thank you so much for helping to support this blog!






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Artful Blogging Magazine Feature

Artful Blogging Magazine Feature






 There are certain milestones that just about every blogger out there tries to strive for in their career.  One of them is get your first reader that isn't a relative or best friend.  Another is to to get a mention on a favorite website like Country Living or Better Homes and Gardens.  And still another is to find out that one of your own blogging idols follows your blog or social media accounts.


One of the biggest honors, though, is to receive an email in your inbox letting you know that a magazine wants to feature your work.  I was lucky enough a little over a year ago to have a feature of two of my DIY projects in Reloved Magazine.  And I was overjoyed.






But back at the beginning of the summer, I opened my inbox to see an email from Artful Blogging Magazine letting me know they wanted to include my work in an upcoming issue AND that I would be writing the article to go along with it.  To see your photography appearing with your own words is a dream come true.  Seeing my name as the author still makes my heart skip a beat.









I really poured my heart into this article describing my blogging journey and the things I struggle with.  But I also wrote to inspire those who also blog or lead a creative life and to offer hope to keep pushing through the disappointments to accomplish the goals you set for yourself.






And in a sweet little twist of fate, the front of the magazine contains a small reminder to myself to overcome something that I struggle with on an almost daily basis.  I probably need  to carry my own little quote around with me!






I'm also excited to be able to share space in the article with my friend Ashley from Little Glass Jar.  Her style and photography always leave me inspired.  You can read about her thoughts on a feature on her blog.


You can find this magazine on sale now at places like Barnes and Nobel and most craft stores.  You can also order a copy on their website.








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