Whole Chicken in Crock Pot for Easter Day

April 4, 2021
 (We made these colored eggs with emoji stickers that came in our Easter egg coloring kit.)

Instead of ham this Easter, I am cooking a whole chicken in a crock pot today. I've done it before in the past and am not sure why I haven't cook my chicken this way more often. I think it's because it takes a long time and requires a bit of planning. 

For the whole chicken, I am seasoning with fresh garlic, 2 lemons, dried oregano, salt and pepper. I crushed a whole garlic and halved every clove. For my lemon, I cut 1 in half and another one in quarters. After cleaning my chicken and slicing to the bone around the drumsticks, I season my chicken with 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/3 teaspoon of pepper. Then, I browned the chicken in 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 halves of lemon and my garlic. After that, I transferred my chicken into the crock pot and used add 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, 1/4 cup of water, squeezed the wedges of lemon from the other lemon I sliced and mix them while the pan is still in medium heat. Then, I transfer all that yummy liquid, the halves of lemon, to the crock pot and drizzle it all over the chicken. Now, I'm setting the timer for 3.5 hours on high heat. I have a pretty hot crock pot. I always find that I always need to cook less time than recipes I've found online by a half hour or hour, depending on the setting or else my meat gets too dry. My chicken is about 5 pounds. I got it for a really good deal at Aldi for $4.80!

Whole Chicken Crock Pot Ingredients List:
  • 4 - 5 lb chicken
  • 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • .5 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of chicken bullion granules

Now, during the first hour, you may be tempted to add more liquids but don't! Within the second hour, you'll see the juices from the chicken come out as you know many of the chickens in the market nowadays have added water too.

I'm going to be serving this chicken with a side of steamed asparagus and whole boiled sweet potatoes. It's going to be healthy and hearty.

Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen!

See family-friendly things to do in San Luis Obispo County.

Madonna Inn Staycation

February 24, 2021
Earlier this month, my family decided to celebrate our son's birthday by planning a surprise staycation at the Madonna Inn!

Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted and back to a tier level, we felt that our son deserved something extra special. He missed traveling like we used to do when things were more normal and had always enjoyed staying at hotels so when Madonna Inn was advertising their weekday specials, we took advantage of it! We stayed at the San Francisco Room. The walls and ceilings were burgundy! Not pictured here were also 2 twin-sized beds that were perfect for my sons. Those were closer to the bathrooms. Therefore, there were 3 beds inside of the San Francisco Room.
Madonna Inn San Francisco Room
We checked-in on a Sunday because it was my son's actual birthday and coincidentally, he had a school day off the following day because his school was closed for Lincoln's Birthday! We're grateful for the good timing. We also took advantage of their pool area as well! Even though it was a bit windy, the hot spa kept us comfortable.
pool at Madonna Inn
Walking towards the pool's pathway, we got to take a nice stroll around and see more of Madonna Inn's beautiful architecture. 
Madonna Inn architecture
As a guest here, parking at the hotel was free, which is so nice. Many cities don't have the luxury of not charging hotel guests for parking. There are so many perks for living here in SLO county; and for travelers as well.

We also ordered from the Copper Cafe, Madonna's Inn famous Cafe and Bakery, twice during our stay. Since it was such a short walk within the property, we would just order ahead on the phone for take out and then walk there to pick it up. We mentioned that it's my son's birthday night so they gave us a free dessert. My son loves chocolate so we went with the Black Forest slice of cake. It was delicious and definitely big enough to share! We blew candles earlier that morning from a whole cake so I think he was just caked out. He had a few bites and was done so my husband and I devoured the rest! 
Free birthday slice from Madonna Inn for birthday\Black Forest cake from Madonna Inn
We were being rebels and ate dinner on the bed of the San Francisco Room as a family. My husband also stopped by the cellar that was downstairs from Madonna Inn's restaurants to pick up a bottle of Madonna Inn wine for our dinner as well. I really love their logo.
 Madonna Inn wine
As always, I take the majority of the photos of our adventures so I'd steal a take from a mirror to prove that I was there, if I could. Peek a boo!

The next morning, we ordered breakfast to-go from the Copper Cafe and ate on the bed again. Their breakfast portions were huge, even the kid's portion! Then, we checked out and upon check out, they let us pick a postcard to keep for free. Of course, we picked the San Francisco Room postcard for keepsake.
See a list of all hotels in the San Luis Obispo County area.

You can also check out my TikTok video covering my Madonna Inn Staycation:


Dutch Bros Review in Arroyo Grande

February 24, 2021
Located on the same side of the Starbucks on Grand Ave., Dutch Bros is a refreshing alternative for getting coffee. The high-spirited staff will get you excited as you're greeted for ordering coffee with their mobile device! 
picture of Dutch Bros coffee from Arroyo Grande
The lines can get long but there were two lanes when I arrived yesterday in the drive-thru. There were four ladies walking around getting orders so it made the process of ordering so efficient and fast. If you don't know what you're going to order when one of them gets to your vehicle, they will definitely help you. The coffee cup pictured on the left is called the 911 and it has 6 shots of espresso so if you have a weak heart, please beware! Those who need this high caffeinated drink, it is a dream!
Dutch Bros Arroyo Grande SLO
Even before I made it to the window, my drinks were ready and someone walked to my vehicle and handed them to me. I was so impressed with their energy and customer service throughout the whole experience. They have a rewards program you can join with their app. They give you a free welcome drink if you have that app! Address of Dutch Bros. in Arroyo Grande: 1259 E Grand Ave Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Early Learning Center Review in San Luis Obispo County

January 28, 2021
I cannot say enough good things about the Early Learning Center that my 4 year old is going to. Even during the pandemic, they are able to get the kids to come twice a week for 3 hours in the mornings. This has been our saving grace as my little one needed some social interaction and some experience with school before he starts kindergarten in the fall.

More information about Early Learning Centers in San Luis Obispo County.

Because they had different grants for this school year, you don't have to be a low income family to apply your kid into this free program. They are state funded and follow strict guidelines so I trust that my little one is getting what he needs that is appropriate for his age group. They also make sure they keep the kids wearing masks, sanitizing their hands and taking their temperatures.

Normally, the kids have to attend Early Learning Center, which we just call "school", 5 days a week, 3 hours a day but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the kids are only going twice a week. We're happy for that. I know that these are some difficult times. Also, normally parents would need to volunteer twice a month but for safety and health precautions, the parents are not allowed in the classrooms so that is not mandatory right now. See all Early Learning Centers locations in San Luis Obispo County. There are locations throughout the county that include: Atascadero, Paso Robles, Grover Beach, Nipomo, Oceano and San Miguel.

You would need to contact them to learn more about the program and how to register. If you call them at the number that's noted on the Early Learning Center's website, they should be able to get back to you within a day or so, which was the case for us. The age criteria for your child to attend is they have to be between 3 - 4 years old when they enroll before the fall school year, however you can enroll them even after fall semester has started up until a certain point. They would also need to be completely potty-trained.

See a list of other preschool and childcare options in San Luis Obispo County.

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January 2021 in San Luis Obispo County

January 4, 2021
Happy 2021! We're still under a stay at home order in our county and the public schools are also still distance learning from home, although we're still in Winter Break until January 11, 2020.

It's been cloudy so far for 2021 and it feels like winter, but nothing like the East Coast's winter. When we used to live on the East Coast, there were many days where it was below freezing! We don't have that here and we're thankful for it. All of the restaurants are only outdoor dining or to-go so no one is allowed to dine inside right now. Masks are mandatory for being outside, stay 6 feet apart and don't gather in large groups with other people who don't live with you. Those are the basic rules and I think people are definitely following orders now. Compared to Thanksgiving, our New Year's was quiet around the neighborhood. We have younger neighbors close by who usually have parties with other young folk and they didn't have one so that was a good sign. 

Stay safe, everyone. Just endure this for the next few months while the vaccines are making their rounds. Get through this and hopefully by summer, we'll have a more normal. God bless.


About Me Originally from San Diego, California, I'm a San Diego State University alumna, veteran's wife and mom of two kids who were born two years apart. After living on the East Coast for 6 years, we now reside in San Luis Obispo County and here, the exploration continues.
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