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*This recipe makes TWO casseroles.

1 1/2 pounds – Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or strips)
1 pound – Sausage (your choice of kind)
Approximately 16 – Uncooked Manicotti Shells
2 jars – Spaghetti Sauce
1 tablespoon – Garlic Powder
4 cups – Mozzarella Cheese *SHREDDED*
1/2 pound – Fresh Sliced Mushroom (OPTIONAL!)
2/3 cup – Water

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Step One ~
Rub garlic powder over chicken, cut into 1-inch strips. Stuff UNCOOKED chicken into manicottii shells.

Step Two ~
Spread 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of TWO greased 9X13 baking dishes. Place half of the stuffed manicotti shells in each dish. Sprinkle sausage and mushrooms (if using) on top of the manicotti shells. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cheese.

Step Three ~
Drizzle water around the edge of each dish. (important!) Cover and bake one casserole at 375 degrees for 65 minutes. Cover and freeze remaining casserole.

To Thaw ~
Thaw in fridge. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake as directed.

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PERSONAL NOTES/MODIFICATIONS:

~ The recipe calls for TWO 9X13 baking dishes. I have used two 8X8 dishes and they worked just fine. The only real difference is that you won’t have as much space and the manicotti will be packed in pretty tightly. We arranged them in two rows of four with the few left overs in the middle.

~ We also used more than 16 shells, 17 or 18 are fine as well if you have extra.

~ I used chicken strips instead of cutting chicken breasts. It works just as well and you don’t have to slice them.

~ You don’t necessarily need a full 4 cups of the cheese, just sprinkle until covered.

~ This recipe is intended to have one dish to eat fresh and one to freeze. I have not tried baking both at once (yet).

~ For larger families, however, both dishes will be needed. One dish per meal was just enough with a serving or so left over for my husband and me.

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So, I got crafty again. :”D
I found this Wash Cloth Soap Basket at Craft At Home .com. What I like about this is that it has pictured step-by-step instructions that show you how to do this. This would be a really cute idea for teachers (since school has started again, and teachers always love to know they are appreciated), overnight guests, house-warming gifts for families who just moved, or a simple, CHEAP gift as a present. Another cute idea to stuff the basket with (other than a cute soap or two) are a body wash or bubble bath sampler or other bath toiletry inside of the finished project so they can have something to use with the cloths!!
Material:
~ 2 washcloths (color(s) of choice)
~ Elastic band (optional)
~ Ribbon
~ Paper flowers or other embellishments of choice
~ Tacky glue or Hot glue
~ 12 inches of paper twist or decorative cord

How to:
ONE ~
Refer to the photo for rolling technique. Roll your first cloth from the outside to centre on each side (this will be your centre colour of cloth). Roll your second cloth from the outside to the centre leaving enough space to insert your first cloth.

TWO ~
Fold your two cloths together with the flat sides together (see photo) and secure with an elastic band (see photo) while you tie a piece of ribbon around your cloths to secure. Tie this ribbon snug to hold your cloths together.

THREE ~
Cut a piece of paper twist or decorative cord (stiff) to fit as a handle, approximately 12 inches. Glue your handle ends to the inside of the ribbon band. Do not glue to the cloths. You want your friends to be able to use these cloths later and by applying glue directly to the cloths, they will stain. Glue to the front ribbon centre a small ribbon rose or other embellishment of choice. Insert a bar of soap through the bottom centre opening and you’re all done.

These make wonderful hostess gifts, place in your guest bedroom for newly arriving guests. You can add a little gift tag to the front ribbon with your guest’s name. These can be easily opened, simply by undoing the ribbon.

A precious moment…
was throughout this entire week. There hasn’t been just one, but many joyful moments in our lives this week. For some reason or another, last weekend and this past week have just been wonderful. Hubby and I have been very happy with one another and have not raised our voices to each other in over a week (well, except in playing, of course, hehe!) And of course, ANYTHING that Little Bit does is just too absolutely adorable for words.

I am grateful…
… that we have had such a genuinely happy week. We are still going through a lot of financial troubles, but have been able to rationally and calmly discuss our problems without one or the other getting angry.

I laugh…
… at Bugga. Oh, he is SUCH a ham!! This week I caught him doing the most hilarious things…  After I set him up for breakfast one morning, he decided to tell me some funny jokes and was laughing his head off while I was making his breakfast. So I look over at one point and he was giving me the “haha yeah I’m the greatest” look on his face. He had smashed his feet up on the side of the table, had his knees up to his chest, elbows on knees and hands over his head, just laughing hysterically!! I of course, didn’t correct him and had to run get the camera; but since I’m not currently on my computer I can’t get it posted just yet. Boo! His second “act” was while playing in his playpen a couple of days ago. He was “reading” his book out loud then apparently hit the punch line and just SCREAMED! I look over confused. He sets his book down, turns around to face me with the same “yeah, I know I’m funny” look, starts laughing like crazy, then slaps his leg and said, “HA!!!” I had to call Daddy for that story…

I remember…
… when Little Bit was born. Some good friends moved back into town this week that had moved away when he was just about 3 months old and were there at his birth. We helped them unpack their things last night and will be helping them again tonight; and we reminisced about the times that passed such a long time ago and only yesterday.

I love…
… all of the wonderful people we have in our lives that I am blessed enough to call our friends. You only know the strength and bond of your true friends when you begin to go through trials. The ones who are true will be by your side to see you through.

I will celebrate…
… hubby’s birthday this month!!

I can’t wait for…
… the holidays!!! Now that Little Bit’s birthday is in August, August is the official month to kick off the hoidays around here! Sad, but true! We have August babies, September babies, Halloween in October, birthdays and Thanksgiving in November, more birthdays and Christmas in December, New Year’s and my birthday in January, and MORE birthdays and Valentine’s in February! Whew!

A joyful picture from this week…
I will be uploading my great pictures once we get my new computer put together, up and running!

Ok, so, we had a bit of a crisis here at the house today. I woke up to my computer dead this morning. It would only half way turn on, things would run, but it just wouldn’t register…

So, I, of course, freak out! There is many years and TONS of incredibly valuable information on that thing! Once hubby gets home from work, he gives in and we all mosey on down to take a trip to the good ol’ people in Best Buy, the Geek Squad, to get a “professional’s” opinion before we put any money into anything. As it turns out, the mother board got partially fried. So… diagnoses is that I need a new mother board and processor.

Of course, I’m a techy, and so is the hubby. He loves to build computers and you should have seen his face at the realization that he gets to build a new machine! LOL! Since the one I had was a pre-built, they always love to make those un-upgradeable so you have to buy a whole new system. So, we will be salvaging what we can from it and having to find the rest. Then a good friend of ours saw what we needed and remembered that he had a bunch of stuff already packed that he will be selling us! SO… I will be getting a new mother board, processor, super video card (that hubby is taking and I get his current one, silly gamers!), AND an extra 2Gigs of ram, for $60!!!! Anyone who knows anything about computer parts, knows that is a HUGE deal, and I love, love, love, love, LOVE this friend for helping me/us!!!!

So, THANK GOODNESS my hard drive is ALRIGHT!!

Until we will be able to get my new stuff together, I am having to use hubby’s computer, that I can’t stand! It hates me, I swear it does!

So tomorrow (today? as it is 1.33A?) will be a MUCH greater day because I know all my my wonderful stuff is not lost!!!!!!

So I got a random hankering to look up some cute crafts to do. I ran across Home School Zone .com and thought THIS was just the cutest idea!! The Fall is coming up, so why not gather up your favorite Fall-ish scents to use, go to your local craft store to find and garnish each jar with a plastic flower. (I would go with a burnt orange cone flower or something.) Cute, no???!!

WHAT YOU NEED:
~ Lidded jars. (I have TONS of baby food jars, those would be perfect for this!)
~ 2 cups distilled water.
~ 4 packages of plain Gelatin
~ 50 drops essential oil (your choice of fragrance)
~ Food coloring of choice

INSTRUCTIONS:
1 ~ Heat one cup of the distilled water in a saucepan. Add the desired coloring. Remove from the heat, add remaining 1 cup of distilled water and the gelatin, stirring to dissolve.

2 ~ Divide the drops of essential oil, or potpourri oil, into the jars (wide mouth jelly jars or canning jars work well). Add the gelatin mixture to the jars. Place the jars in the refrigerator for about two hours.

3 ~ Remove the jars from the refrigerator and cover with plastic wrap or the jar’s lid. If you are using the plastic wrap choose one the new colored wraps for a prettier ‘topping”. Store them at room temperature. To release the scent, remove the lid or plastic wrap. If you would like to decorate the jar place piece of fabric over the lid or plastic wrap and tie with a colored ribbon or lace. You can include a silk flower tied at the end of the ribbon or knotted at the base of the jar’s mouth for a floral presentation.

——-

I think I would add the flower BEFORE you put it in the fridge to chill… that way the flower looks like it’s in the “water” !!! :) Another idea for a topper, if you have the jelly jars that have the middles you can remove, replace the middle with a circle of lace or something similar; then screw down the lid securely!

I thought this Tiny Talk Tuesday would be a super cute idea. Even though my boy isn’t quite into all the “words” yet… he still knows how to talk up a storm, and LOOOOOOOOVES to tell you story after story after story!! He is even like Mommy and uses all sorts of expressions, tones and hand movements for his stories, too!! The little ham! I love him!

We’ve always known he’s liked music. We have played all sorts of different genres of music for him since before he was even born. We discovered this week just how much Bugga actually does love music!

The first occasion was him standing and “dancing” when I had some music playing randomly a few days ago. The next day, I look back at him while we are all in the car and he is doing a full-body sway to the tunes we had going on one of hubby’s CDs. Then, he will do his little sway while “singing” along while he is in his high chair waiting for a meal, if he hears music playing, or even if you’re just randomly singing a tune!!

He just LOVES to sing and dance!

Here is another Monday Meme. Of course, I had to join into this one… because I’m just that crazy about cats, hehe!

1~ What is the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep?
Well, I’ve never really had to keep secrets from anyone. Most anyone who knows me, knows that I’m an open book. I’ve kept secrets for friends over the years, but as time has gone on, the secrets have died or become irrelevant and silly.

2~ If my soul were a color, what would it be?
A pale, soft blue. I’ve been through my share of sad, trials and tribulations, but that isn’t all the blue is to me. I am a free spirit, loyal-to-the-core friend, and genuinely care about the well-being and happiness of my family, friends and all others around me; usually always putting them before myself.

3~ Define “hypocrite”:
A hypocrite in my mind, is someone who goes against their own word. Giving your word, or even just mentioning something, is as solid as swearing to a promise to me, and if you break your word to do the exact opposite as what you have already once said… that would make you a hypocrite, to me.

4~ If I could trade wardrobes with someone, who?
Oh, wow. There’s so many friends of mine who have the greatest style! I would trade with an old friend of mine, Rachel. Or, if we’re going with celebrities here… Maggie Gyllenhaal! I’ve started having an obsession with her lately!

5~

This picture reminds me of the porch on the house that my grandparents used to have on their old house. The columns were actually wood, but the feel of it reminds me of this photo.

I got the “Curious as a Cat” Monday Meme from Curious as a Cat blog.

FIVE CURRENT PROJECTS

ONE ~

Getting our boy walking! He’s almost there… and wants to take off SOOOOOO badly, but just doesn’t have the complete balance as of yet. He can stand and walk pretty much, but just has to have a clutch in his hands.

Two ~

Cooking! Now that my mother is a Personal Chef she comes over to cook for us all the time. And after our son’s first birthday this month, I realized just how much I LOVED making his cake! I’d love to be in the kitchen cooking every day! One day soon… One day soon…

Three ~

Starting to maintain and keep up with the world of blogging! It isn’t a strong-point of mine, admittedly… so I’ve got to keep on the ball with it!!

Four ~

Cleaning. I’ve been blessed enough to have a boy who LOVES to sleep. I mean… the majority of my time is still spent sitting here meandering around because the boy just loves to nap during the day, and sleeps 12+ hours a night. So why do I still struggle with different tasks of cleaning????

Five ~

Keeping up with my friends!! I try my hardest to keep in touch and current with all of my priceless friends, but have really slacked in the department of communication lately!

The GIVE ME FIVE MONDAY Meme blog was found here at BECCA’s blog.

10 ounces – Frozen Broccoli *COOKED & DRAINED*
1 1/2 cups – Chicken *COOKED & DICED*
1 can – Cream of Broccoli Soup
1/3 cup – Milk
1/2 cup – Cheddar Cheese *GRATED*
1 tablespoon – Butter *MELTED*
2 tablespoons – Dry Bread Crumbs

———

Step One ~
Arrange broccoli and chicken in a shallow casserole dish.

Step Two ~
Combine soup and milk. Pour over broccoli and chicken.

Step Three ~
Sprinkle with cheese.

Step Four ~
Combine butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over cheese.

Step Five ~
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

A precious moment…
… was watching my one-year-old dance, bobble and sway to the music I had playing – and then Daddy joins along in the silliness of the music with us.

I am grateful
… that even though we are struggling with a million things, that I will always have my caring, thoughtful husband, and my sillywilly Angel of a son by my side. And even though we don’t have much, we are beyond blessed with the little that we do.

I laugh
… at Daddy playing Airplane with our boy. Hearing all those squeals and screams of delight just make you have to join in, too!

I remember…
… to back 5 years ago. How much my life has DRASTICALLY changed, and for nothing but the absolute best! I am so happy to have the family that I do!!

I love
… all the struggles we go through each day. They may be hard and stressful, but you can’t ever know your strength, character or power without the struggles that we all face.

I will celebrate
… if we get a call or email from our caseworker tomorrow telling us how much we are approved!!

I can’t wait for
This next month! Well, really August is now the official kick-start for the holidays, but after September they all come rolling down-hill!! So far we have a company picnic and hubby’s 26th birthday lined up for September!!

A joyful picture from this week…
This is the Bugga (one of his nicknames) the other day waiting for breakfast showing off his two front chompers, and never an upset moment in his life!!!

I got this Meme from one of my greatest friends, ERICA, who found the Joyful Journal at DANIELLE‘s site.

1 1/2 cups – Milk
1 can – Cream Style Corn
1 can – Whole Kernel Corn *DRAINED*
2 cans – Diced Potatoes *DRAINED*
6 oz (approx. 1 cup) – Ham or Sausage *COOKED & DICED*
1 cup – Cheddar, Swiss, OR Gouda cheese *SHREDDED*

—————
Step One ~
Cook sausage through thoroughly.

Step Two ~
Add cans of corn, creamed corn and potatoes. Add milk.

Step Three~
Heat through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in desired cheese until melted.

—————

Personal Notes/Modifications:

~~ This recipe makes about 4 servings. It fed my husband and me just perfectly with no left overs. So for a larger family, I would suggest doubling the recipe. (add one additional can each to total two whole corn, two creamed corn and three diced potatoes, as well as an additional pound of sausage or ham)

~~ Add a side of broccoli, baby peas or green beans, and you have a full meal!!!

So I’ve come to realize that when you are married and have a family, everything changes… but is also forced to stay the same. I guess my views of marriage, love and family have been molded and shaped from my upbringing, the trials I’ve been through, and the passion that I strive to maintain every day. Most don’t truly understand the way that I think, but that’s alright. Because that’s what makes me me, right?

The way that “love” has been misconstrued, twisted and abused in today’s generations and media, has to make me wonder how it will be viewed 30 years from now… or even 10.

“Love” in today’s eyes always has to come with conditions. I will love you… until you break your word. I will love this book… until I get sick of reading it for the hundredth time. I will love you as my friend… until you do or say something I don’t agree with or like… I love ___ until-unless-but…

UNconditional Love, is what we should be striving to always give and have. At least, to those closest to our hearts and around us in our every day lives. To Love others BECAUSE of their flaws – because what may seem like a flaw to us, may be something that they are actually glad to have. To Love our spouses EVEN when they fail to live up to their word or our own expectations that we place on them.

Now, I am by no means saying never get angry. If we weren’t supposed to get angry, God would not have given us that emotion. It is the way that we express our anger, of whether it is healthy or not. Having a quick fuse and a short temper is not the way that we are supposed to express ourselves to one another. I am certainly guilty by all means of having a very quick temper and usually tend to jump the gun quite often; which, I later regret and feel badly for doing.

But getting back to the TRUE meaning of what it is to Love… is what we should strive to do for and in others. Giving Love UNcondindionally, without expecting anything in return… You may be surprised at what you get in exchange…



Hi and Welcome to Angel's Kisses! My name is Cara. I am a wife and SAHM. I also work for 5 Minutes for Mom as their Contests Administrator.



My husband and I have a two-year-old son who is the light of our lives. He LOVES cleaning, sharing and reading his books! We have two cats and a busy, busy life!

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