Asian Lettuce Wraps (And Keeping the Leftovers Fresher, Longer!)

#SAVEITSUNDAY #FoodFairyTale

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I have been cooking new things lately that are both healthier and different, to add variety to our meals and keep things exciting.  Since we homeschool and Daddy comes home for lunch, I am cooking a lot.  It's great but very challenging, at times, to fix different things for the family that we will all enjoy.  I decided to make Asian Lettuce Wraps one day, and everyone liked them.  Well, the boys wouldn't actually put the mixture in the lettuce, but I still call it a win.  Plus, the leftovers were super easy to store and reheat the next day.

Ingredients:

  • one head of lettuce (I prefer Boston or Bibb)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup organic Tamari soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 TBSP organic cornstarch
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced

Instructions:

  1. Heat 2 TBSP oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and cook ground turkey until cooked fully.
  2. While meat is cooking, rinse and separate the head of lettuce.  Lay leaves out onto a towel to dry.
  3. In a bowl, mix broth, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch.  Set aside.
  4. When meat has finished cooking, remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add 1 TBSP oil to the pan and cook carrots for about 3 minutes, then add in the ginger, garlic, and zucchini.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes until done to your liking.
  6. Return the meat to the pan with the vegetables and add in the broth, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch mixture.  Stir well.
  7. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  8. Remove from heat and serve mixture in lettuce leaves.  Roll up and enjoy!  (You can dip wraps in soy sauce or any other delicious sauce to jazz them up a bit!

And the best part is that the leftovers can quickly be put in GladWare® and put in the fridge for the next day.  I put the lettuce in one container and the meat mixture in another.  Perfect!  And, a Protection Pointer from Glad:  "Add a lightly dampened paper towel in with the lettuce to keep it crisp."  For more Protection Pointers for all different types of foods, visit the Glad website.

Gladstoring lettuce in fridgeSince the beginning of the New Year, I have been trying to first of all, make sure all of our food is stored appropriately so it will last longer, and secondly, remembering to serve leftovers so no food goes to waste.  I love that the GladWare is pretty and colorful so it doesn't sit, unnoticed in the fridge. 

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Tips For Computer Cleanup {System Mechanic Giveaway, too}

This computer cleanup post was brought to you by iolo Technologies.  All opinions are mine.

Computer Cleanup

You probably weren't aware, but Clean Out Your Computer Day is February 9th.  Mark it on your calendar and set aside some time for computer cleanup!  Clean out unwanted junk on your computer and enhance the performance and speed of your trusty laptop or desktop computer.  System Mechanic can help get you started and so can these tips from iolo technologies:

  • Go through your applications folders. Chances are, there will be some programs listed you've barely even noticed before—some of them may have come pre-installed and others may have installed themselves without your knowledge. Regardless, if you don’t need them, you can delete them.
  • Set aside some time to tackle updating all the software you've been putting off. Installing software updates will speed up your system and make sure your computer is protected against many of the latest security threats, which get patched regularly within programs but remain unpatched in older versions.
  • Back up your files onto an external hard drive or cloud storage service. Then go through your library and delete some of the stuff you don't use very often anymore.
  • Run a defragmenter to remove clutter from your hard drive. Like many of the processes on this list, you should do it more regularly than once a year.
  • When it comes to the hardware portion of a routine PC cleanup, be sure to unplug your computer before you start.
  • Your best friend is a can of compressed air, which will allow you to blast every fan and vent on the outside of the tower.
  • Never spray liquid cleaners directly into your system. If you use any liquid to get rid of dust, pour it lightly onto a cloth first.
  • To clean the interior – first, touch something metal for several seconds to ground yourself and prevent static electricity from damaging the sensitive inside components of your system. Next, remove any added video or audio cards and place them aside. Other components, like audio connectors and port extensions, can be taken out too. Be careful when using a vacuum—it's effective for much of the built-up dust, but don't get it near any PC components. Get out the brush and compressed air you used for the exterior and very gently get to work on the motherboard and slots.
  • Before you seal the machine back up, carefully clean all of the components you set aside with your brush. Then put them back where they belong, ensuring that you replaced everything to its rightful position and you didn't leave any cleaning materials inside the case. Close it all up, but wait at least half an hour before plugging in your now-clean PC and booting it up again.

You can download System Mechanic for 50% off right now at iolo or Amazon!

iolo is giving one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader their own System Mechanic license so they can clean up their computer!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter below!

system mechanic giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learning About Presidents’ Day {Plus a DIY Presidential Timeline!}

This Presidents' Day post was brought to you by Oriental Trading Company.  All opinions are mine.  This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

The Captain and D are both very intrigued by countries and leaders.  They love learning about the different countries, capitals, and lately, the presidents of the United States of America.  Presidents' Day is coming up in February, so I wanted to provide them with many opportunities to become acquainted with some of our great leaders from the past!  Homeschooling this year has given me freedom to teach different things that the boys show interest in, at their levels, and tie it in to other subjects and things they need to learn.

The first thing the Captain wanted to do was play this presidential matching game from Oriental Trading Company. There were far too many cards to begin with, so we found the matches and only played with about 1/4 of them.  It was fun to find the different matches and hear the Captain try to pronounce their names.  He does pretty well, but it is still very cute!  Each president has two cards – one blue and one red – with different, interesting facts.  We learned a lot about the presidents this way, plus it was fun.  Fun education is the best kind! 

presidentialmatchinggame2The boys also flipped over the presidents door border, (which is a steal at $1.38 right now, if you're interested!)  All of the presidents are displayed, along with their names, years that they served as president, and they are all in order, as well.  What a great way to capture the history of our country and a fabulous way to introduce the boys to a love of history.  The Captain loved quizzing my parents via FaceTime about some of these men, too!presidential door frameThe most fun the boys had in our study of the presidents was the fun masks!  12 presidential faces were fun to play with.  From George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama….they love to pretend to be the presidents and try to talk like they think they might have talked.  These masks would be great for plays or pretending to give important speeches. 
presidentsday

That's definitely not all, just search for "presidents" at Oriental Trading and see the great teaching tools you can find.  

I used one of the 12 president rulers that came in a pack to create our very own presidential timeline.  I simply cut the presidents' faces out, which had their names and years served underneath, and made a timeline using sentence strips.  Each year was represented with a half of an inch (great since I had a ruler right there, ha!)  Then, I wrote each president's name in red marker and the Captain came along and matched each picture to the name.  Seeing it all on a timeline was educational to me, too, because I could see how many years (or days – some presidents didn't get to serve for very long!) each president was in office, how many terms, and incouraged the boys to ask questions about each president.  I mentioned earlier how the Captain was excited to talk about the presidents with his grandparents and show them his timeline….what a great way to learn even more and practice skills like math, writing, matching, measuring, and much more, all while having good conversation with his relatives!  

DIY Presidential Timeline for Presidents' Day

Materials needed:

DIY Presidential Timeline

Instructions:

  1. Write the years that began each presidential term, counting 1/2" for each year, using the presidential timeline ruler.  
  2. With a different color, write each corresponding president's name above the spot on the timeline that they served as president.
  3. Cut out each president's picture.
  4. Match each president's picture to the time period that they served and glue or tape to secure.
  5. Display your timeline and enjoy being able to visualize the history of our nation!

 

Free Shipping on orders over $49

Simple Textured Paint Football Craft for Kids

Simple Textured Craft for Kids

We are gearing up for the youth group Super Bowl party at our house on Sunday.  The boys want to decorate and have made a few posters for the big event already, but we needed some more football decor.  The Captain created this adorable textured paint football craft for kids and it turned out great!

Materials Needed:

Directions:

  1. Cut a football shape out of a plain piece of white paper.  (Can freehand or use a template.)
  2. Lay football cutout on a sheet of bubble wrap.Simple Textured Craft for Kids  
  3. Wrap more bubble wrap around the end of a glue bottle, then secure with a rubber band.  This will be your "brush."
  4. Use the bubble wrap covered bottle to dab into paint and onto the football.  This creates the texture effect.
  5. Once the football is covered in brown paint, let dry.
  6. When paint is completely dry, cut felt pieces for the lines and stitching on the football and glue on.
  7. Allow to dry overnight and hang for your Super Bowl party or wall art!

Simple Textured Craft for Kids

Simple Textured Craft for Kids

Looking for more fun Super Bowl activities for kids?  Print a copy of my free Super Bowl XLIX Word Search!

 

 

*contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you*

Happy Valentine’s Day, Curious George! Banana Valentine Craft for Kids

One of the boys' favorite book characters is Curious George.  How can you resist this lovable, mischievous little monkey?  One book we like to read this time of year is Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George!

banana valentineI love crafts that the boys can create on their own, and this is definitely one of them!  Enjoy making this valentine craft for kids as you prepare for the fun day!

valentine

Supplies:

 
  • Yellow felt
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pen
  • Markers

vdayCollageDirections:

  1. Print out or freehand a banana and peel on yellow construction paper.
  2. You or your child cut out the banana and peel. 
  3. You will then want to help your child carefully trace the shapes on to the yellow felt. The yellow felt will serve as a backing to the banana and will make the valentine more durable. The yellow felt will also work as the banana’s peel as you continue to assemble your valentine.
  4. Cut out the shapes on the yellow felt. For this job, you may want to take the reigns since felt can be a little tricky to cut. 
  5. Once you have everything cut, it is time to start the fun part – putting it all together!
  6. On a flat surface, glue the construction paper banana shape onto the felt version. Then, on top of the construction paper banana, glue the felt banana peel.
  7. Use glue to tack down the edges of the peel so it looks as if the banana has been peeled down. 
  8. Once everything is glued down, take either a thin tip marker or pen and write your chosen valentine's day message. 
  9. Finally, use a brown marker to draw a heart, or even a monkey if you’re feeling ambitious, in the space between  your valentines message and your child’s name.
  10. For an extra special valentine, attach the handmade banana to a copy of Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George! or any other Curious George favorites!

Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday. There’s candy, candy, oh and more candy, but a homemade valentine craft makes it all so much more special for you and your little one!

Banana vday

 

 

*Contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you*

Super Bowl XLIX Wordsearch {Free Printable}

The Captain is so excited for the Super Bowl this year!  He really got into football (much to my dismay!) since the last Super Bowl and has really learned about the game.  He decided to go against his Texas roots and he picked the Seattle Seahawks as "his" team.  Possibly because he's a bandwagon fan, but whatever…. he's six!  He wanted a Seattle Seahawks birthday cake and was thrilled with his Seattle Seahawks shirt.  Russell Wilson is his favorite player and that makes me happy because he really is a great role model.  So, I decided to combine his love for football and word searches and made this awesome Super Bowl XLIX wordsearch for him and I am sharing it with you, too!  This would be a great addition to a homeschool curriculum, church activity, or a fun game for kids to do during the Super Bowl.  Super Bowl

SuperBowlWordsearch

(click image to download)

And to make your Super Bowl party extra awesome, check out these awesome party foods!

11Oven Baked Hot Wings1

Make your Super Bowl party great with this Super Bowl tablecloth for around $5 on Amazon:

superbowltablecloth

 

Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

This casseroles post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

winter casseroles

Check out Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

by Gena at Foodie.com

Casseroles are not just for church potlucks anymore!  I love casseroles because they can be a great side dish or a whole meal rolled into one.  Casseroles are also great for hiding vegetables in a delicious dish, using leftovers, or for busy week night dinners.  They usually can be prepared ahead of time and sometimes frozen for future meals.  There is no limit to what you can make a casserole out of!  I try to use real food ingredients so the casserole is not just a big dish of junk.  For instance, I try to use homemade cream of mushroom soup if the recipe calls for it, which is pretty simple to make and keep on hand.  Any of these casseroles would look elegant served in a beautiful casserole dish.

I have collected nineteen delicious, hearty casseroles that are great for serving on cold winter nights!  Pick one or pick them all and enjoy!  Add them to a Foodie recipe collection of your own and get a head start on the week's meal planning.

 

Crafts and Activities Inspired by Our Favorite Children’s Books

The boys love listening to a good book.  I love seeing their excitement for a character like Corduroy or Clifford come alive.  To extend their excitement and understanding, I search for a fun craft or activity based on the book we have read.  This makes it fun for the whole family and provides a genuine love of literature that I want my children to have.  I want to share a few activities that I have found that are based on children's books.  Pick one, a few, or all of these awesome crafts to do with your children and watch the excitement come to life!

children's books

The Lorax handprint craft

Harry Potter pretend magic potions craft 

Chicken Little craft

Rainbow Fish craft

make naturally colored Green Eggs and Ham

The Lorax tangerine snack

preschool book baskets 

Jack and the Beanstalk activity

Corduroy the Bear craft

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish activities

The Gingerbread Man activities

Llama Llama Red Pajama shape quilt craft

The Very Hungry Caterpillar craft (in Spanish, but self explanatory)

Joseph Had A Little Overcoat collage

upcycled comic book can

Follow my Pinterest board for all of these pins in one spot!

What is/was your favorite children's book?  Do you have a craft or activity to share?

Hold On, Imma Take A Selfie (While My Wife Is In Labor)

After reading these hilariously funny posts about selfies and how they have gone too far on Buzzfeed this morning, I decided…it is time.  When I was looking through pictures of my labor with Captain Fussybuckets 6 years ago, I found this little gem.  I had gone in on Halloween with contractions, being a first time mom, I was not sure if it was "time" or not.  (It wasn't.)  They monitored me for a bit and were going to let me go, but they noticed that the contractions were causing the Captain's heart rate to dip unsafely.  SO, long story short, I was over 40 weeks pregnant, in labor, but not *really* in labor, so they gave me some Pitocin (a.k.a. "The Devil's Drug") and on top of that, my epidural didn't work too well.  (Apparently being a redhead with a janky spine who wasn't really in true labor affects that, but anyway.  We live and learn.)  It was a majorly horrible part in my memory, but apparently Hubby was bored and excited and on the brink, in 2008, of this big "selfie" movement.  (If only he had invented the selfie stick!)  So, I present to you…….the "Selfie While My Wife Is In Agonizing Pain" shot:

Labor Selfie

I am happy to report that he was the BEST labor and delivery coach for all three boys and I really think he was trying to capture his excitement and the moment rather than "look how cute I am" selfie.  Although, he is pretty cute, I must say.  I love you, Hubby!

 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Light & Delicious New Year’s Eve Snacks

New Year's Eve Snacks

The last two months have been a whirlwind of traveling, celebrating, shopping, and EATING!  Before the boys' birthday party, I was on a "healthy eating plan" and had lost some weight, but with the tempting foods of the season, it was very hard to practice healthy eating and moderation.  While I think we did a good job, there was definitely some unhealthy eating going on.  I kept that in mind when creating this collection of snacks for our annual New Year's Eve party.  Let's be honest….we will eat whatever is available on nights like this, so why not have healthy options available?  Sometimes I eat just to stay awake, so it's better to eat real food than some of the other NYE traditions.  All of these recipes are easy to pack up and transport to your New Year's Eve party, too!  

Finger Foods

Healthy Popcorn – Musings of a Modern Hippie

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans – This West Coast Mommy

Quick & Easy Mini Bruschetta – Three Different Directions

No Bake Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites – Grace and Good Eats (pictured)

Eggplant French Bread Pizza -Simmworks Family Blog

Veggie Pizza Appetizer – Simmworks Family Blog

Candied Nuts – Turning the Clock Back

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars – This West Coast Mommy

Homemade Potato Chips – Thrifty Jinxy

Chicken & Tomato Meatballs – Thrifty Jinxy

Kale Chips – Ann's Entitled Life

Matbucha – Ann's Entitled Life

Oven Roasted Parmesan Green Beans – Ann's Entitled Life

Lemon-Herb Deviled Eggs – Brittany's Pantry (pictured)

Three-Ingredient Tomato, Broccoli, Cream Cheese Bites – Couponing for Freebies

Apple and Cheese Quesadillas – The Thrifty Couple (pictured)

Watermelon Lime Party Bites – Driftwood Gardens

Fruit Cups – See Mom Click (pictured)

Apple Bacon Arugula Bites – Thrifty  Northwest Mom

Panko Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Chocolate Candy

Dips, Spreads, and Salsas:

Avocado and Greek Yogurt Dip – Turning the Clock Back

Easy Creamy Onion Dip – Thrifty Jinxy

Black Eyed Pea Hummus - Mama Likes To Cook (pictured)

Sweet Pepper Cream Cheese Dip – Mama Likes To Cook

Dragon Fruit Salsa – Mama Likes To Cook (pictured)

Easy Veggie Spread – Brittany's Panty (pictured)

Black Bean Salsa – Brittany's Pantry (pictured)

Watermelon Pico de Gallo – The Thrifty Couple

Cowboy Caviar – Housewives of Frederick County

Fresh and Easy Homemade Guacamole – See Mom Click

Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus – Two Healthy Kitchens

Peanut Butter Silk Pie Dip – Two Healthy Kitchens

Italian Cannelini Hummus – Two Healthy Kitchens

Queso con Carne without Velveeta

Tomatillo Salsa

Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Other:

Mango Shrimp Ceviche – Confessions of an Overworked Mom (pictured)

New Year's Eve Snacks

If you happen to attend a party that is well supplied with New Year's Eve snacks, make sure to pack yours in Glad® food protection.  Glad® MatchWare is great for stacking in a reusable shopping bag, easily setting up at a party, and then just popping the lid back on and bringing back home.  Then, you can limit the number of dishes and nothing goes to waste.  Wake up late on New Year's Day (if you're so lucky!) and snack on your party leftovers for a mid morning brunch.  Nothing beats that!

Near Year's Eve snacks

Visit the Glad website to enter the Food Fairy Tale sweepstakes. You could win a $2,500 grand prize by sharing your Food Fairy Tale! 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.