Friday, September 29, 2017

10lbs of Apples

We went apple picking yesterday with some friends and it was so much fun!!  I was a little nervous because I was going with a new group of moms and the last time we were there for strawberry picking Fletcher was a handful.  I was hoping cooler weather and a more convenient orchard location would mean a successful trip for us.  I was right!!  It was great!!

Have you ever been apple picking before?  I haven't been since I was in Kindergarten 30 years ago...

We had a blast!  The trees were low enough for my 4 year old to reach easily.  My 1 year old happily grabbed from the low hanging branches.  He also took some nibbles of the less than fresh apples from the ground.  We filled a basket in no time.  Which ended up 10lbs of Golden Delicious Apples.

Honeycrisp are my #1 favorites, but I'll eat Pink Lady, Gala or Fuji.  I figured we'd just tolerate the Golden Delicious, but we started sampling our harvest at the orchard and guess what... WE LOVED THEM!  Turns out Golden Delicious fresh from the tree are SO GOOD.  We've been eating apples like crazy and pinning apple recipes so leave me a comment with your favorite apple recipe below.

We stopped in the orchard store and picked up some apple butter, apple chips and our 10lbs of apples.

We really did have a great time with friends and it was a good reminder to me...

Get out and about and ENJOY life with your family! 

Make memories together and soak up these days with little ones.  The day will come when they get older and busier and will not be nearly as thrilled to hang out with you.  So for now, you can find me spending as much time as possible with my little people.

There was definitely a chill in the air this morning along with a gorgeous view!

Olive carefully placed her apples in our basket.  Fletcher launched them like a baseball.

 We scoped out the pumpkins and are planning to buy ours next week.

My kids have eaten SO MANY apples since our trip to the orchard!!

I'm hoping to make some of my favorite apple desserts sometime SOON:

Mini Apple Pies

Caramel Apple Crisp

Homemade Apple Sauce

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

What are you up to this weekend??
Hope you have a good one!

This Week on Polka-Dotty Place:

Monday: Game Day Recipe Round Up
Tuesday: Aldi Haul & Latest Faves
Wednesday: September Style & Nails

Linking up with

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September Style & Nails

I have some fun outfits to share with you today.  I've been putting some extra effort into styling outfits lately and it's felt so good.  Trying just a little harder is definitely giving me a boost in confidence and having cute go to outfits has been good for me.  I'd gotten in a bit of a fashion rut wearing the same things over and over again.  It's fun to be fitting back into some clothes I haven't worn in a while and enjoying my clothes again.

My favorite late Summer looks:

I always find cute ones in the juniors department, swimsuit section or with the cardigans in department stores.  The sizing is always so STRANGE.  I have some that are mediums and some that are XL.  You've got to try them on in multiple sizes to pick which fit you prefer. I hate when they're tight in the shoulders/arms.

I picked up some vnecks tees from Old Navy last year and have worn them a ton.  I love the style and length.  I wish they held up a little better, but that's a lot to expect for a super inexpensive tee.  Do you have a favorite v neck tee to recommend??

Kimono - JCP

Kimono - TJ Maxx (NEW)

Florals & Stripes are my go tos right now.
Both of these tops are from GAP and are old.  The floral shirt hanging on my TJ cart is a new shirt.  It'll be so cute for Fall.

I bought this embroidered dress at Old Navy this Spring and wish I'd picked it up in another color.  I've worn it all summer - as a swim suit cover up and as a dress.

I shared about my new, Mint Standard dress a few weeks ago and it's still my favorite.  I wear it every week if not a couple times a week and just switch up the accessories.  I've wore it everywhere - boating with friends, grocery shopping, play dates, family gatherings and to a back to school party.

I'm excited to share a really cool nail polish with you today.

Have you heard of Color Street Nails??

My friend, Jessi, sent me a set to review for you and they are so much fun!

I'm wearing Charleston Blush.  A full set of a solid color is $11.

They're nail polish STRIPS - no more wet polish, no more drying time and you get really long lasting wear!  They're so easy to apply - you just need a wipe, the strips and a nail file.  And you just need finger nail polish remover to take them off.  They go on super easy like a sticker, are shiny like real polish and are thin on your nails so it looks like regular polish.  They last so much longer for me than traditional polish and are really affordable.

The only downside I could come up with is that if you don't finish the end of the nail off smoothly it will chip quicker than promised.  It doesn't take long at all to figure out the technique of applying them.  I applied mine with both of my kids running around watching me.  They were so much easier to do than regular nail polish.  Perfect for any busy lady!

I've been wearing this set for days and they look great.  I've done dishes, baths, crafts, cooked, cleaned and all of my usual activities.  I am impressed!

Currently the nail polish strips are Buy 3 Get 1 free for solids, prints & glitter and the french manicures are BOGO.  The new fall line of colors was just released last week and there are lots of fun Halloween prints.  

You can head over to Color Street Nails to check out their selection or go to Jessi's facebook page to watch some demo videos and learn more about the product.

What styles have you been loving this time of year??

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Aldi Haul & Latest Faves

I have lots of new Aldi favorites to share with you this month!  I try to pick up several new products each time I shop so that I can expand my list of favorites.  I head to Aldi 1-2 times a month and stock up on the items that are a great deal that we LOVE.  I don't go every week because I can't get everything I need there.  My city is building a new Aldi on my side of town so I'm guessing I'll grow to love Aldi even more when it's just a couple of minutes away.

Did you hear that some Aldi's in bigger cities are offering grocery pick up service??  I'd love for that to come to my area some day.

Come see what I found at Aldi:

Diapers - $4.29 for 23 - great deal!  I think they run small so we size up.
Brown sugar - $0.99 - great!
PB Sandwich crackers - $2.29 - so good!  Great for snacks and lunches.
Cheese - we love it all and it's all about $1 cheaper per item than our usual stores.
Tortilla shells - love them all!
Black beans $0.59 - delish!
Turkey pepperoni - $2.19 - great for homemade pizza

Sweet and Salt Nut granola bars were on super sale this month for less than $2.  They were really tasty!  They aren't quite as good as the Nature Valley ones, but for a half price knock off option they are great.

 Yes to all the pasta!  Great deal and it all tastes great!  Although I've been warned about the Aldi mac and cheese being gross.

Apple Peach Squeeze pouches - $1.49 for FOUR!!  Fletcher loved them and I couldn't believe I got four pouches for that price.  Perfect on the go snack.
Fudge Mint Cookies - $0.95 - Sorry, Girl Scouts.  These are delicious and so much cheaper!
Fruit and Grain Cereal Bars - $1.39 - my kids like them
Dark Chocolate Super Berries - $2.99 - SO GOOD!  And they're about $2 cheaper than the name brand version.  I'd definitely buy them again and again.
Marinated Mozz Cheese - $2.99 - fun to try, but kind of bland.  They were great in a pasta salad, but I added in lots of extra flavors to make them tasty.
Raisins -$2.79 - my kids like them
Yeast $0.89 - cheaper than name brand, but I haven't baked with it yet.

I made this pasta salad with the Marinated Mozz Cheese.  It was delicious and you can find my recipe in the blog post from yesterday.

I'm hoping to try out some breads, frozen fruits, frozen foods in general and ice cream on my next Aldi Haul.

What have you been enjoying at Aldi lately?

It's time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk ladies.
Be sure to join us with a current post.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Game Day Recipe Round Up

It's been a delicious month at my house!  I fixed all of our favorites and we watched a lot of football.  So today I'm going to share some of our game day favorite recipes with you.

I made two batches of this delicious dip this month.  It's always a crowd pleaser.  I left out the avocado this time and it worked just fine.  We eat it with tortilla chips, top our tacos with it, add it to salads or nachos.  All combinations are delicious.
You can find my recipe here.

I picked up this container of marinated mozzarella at Aldi this month because I'd heard several people recommend it.  It was fine, but it definitely needed some help to turn it into something delicious.

I started digging through my fridge and pantry and whipped up this delicious pasta salad.  It turned out great and I ate it for lunch several days in a row.

1/2 box your favorite pasta
1 container fresh mozzarella
balsamic dressing
handful chopped purple onion
handful frozen peas
1 cooked brat/turkey sausage or chicken sausage sliced thin

Cook the pasta and combine everything else.  Drizzle balsamic on top and enjoy!

Kroger brand brats are our favorite.  They've got great flavor, aren't greasy and they're really fresh.  We love Millie's buns, Kroger brand Salt and Vinegar Chips and Kroger brand yellow potato salad.  Sometimes you've just got to pick up those convenient sides at the store to whip up a homemade meal.  Kevin grilled and picked up all the sides on his way home.  Worked out perfectly!

In case you missed this recipe on Friday... they're AMAZING!!

(original recipe from Two Twenty One's blog, but I made some changes and my recipe is below)

1/2 c canola oil
1 c pumpkin puree
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 t whole milk (yes, 1 t milk :)
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking powder
2 c flour
1 c chocolate chips

Combine wet ingredients.  Add in dry ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips last.

Let the cookie dough sit for 15 minutes before you bake.  The dough will be runnier than regular cookie dough, but should still hold its shape when you scoop the dough out.  Scoop dough out with a cookie scoop for uniform cookies.  Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes.

Sams sells these delicious salad mixes.  We like the sweet kale salad.  It's crunchy and goes perfectly with anything on the grill.  It also comes with pumpkin seeds and craisins.  The salad is under $3 and serves several people.

We did a game day themed lunch for the kids.
Funny face plates are always a hit.

You can find my recipe here.
It's really great because it only makes 6 big cinnamon rolls!

You can find my recipe here.

You can find my recipe here.
Have you tried any new recipes lately??
Now I'm starving!!  Which recipes are you anxious to try???
I'm linking up with 2 of my favorite cooking ladies today
and we're all sharing our best recipes from the month.

Linking up with Southern Plate

Katie @ Cup of Tea
New Recipes to Try September

Whitney @ Come Home for Comfort
What We're Eating September

I just finished reading Come and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table and am excited to share it with you.  It was a really inspiring read for gathering your family, friends and strangers around your kitchen table.  There were delicious recipes throughout the book and many challenges to get you thinking about ways to include more people at your table.  This book is empowering, exciting, motivating and the stories McKoy shares of her experiences around the table will tug at your heart strings.  I appreciated her honesty about gathering people for a meal.  It's not always easy and sometimes it takes convincing to get people to share a meal with you.  Her stories were inspiring and you finish the book wanting to immediately establish a better routine of gathering people.  She quotes Bible stories, talks about Jesus and reminds readers that the Bible references gathering at tables a lot.  I loved the attention to focusing on your spiritual gifts when hosting others and look for ways to make your dining experience unique.  This book gives you a good game plan to start hosting and recipes to get the ball rolling.  It's everything you need to start enjoying meals at your table regularly.  There are prayers, questions to reflect on and act on in every chapter.  This book was really enjoyable and gives you a lot to think about for your own kitchen table.
*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review of it.

Head over to their blogs to see what delicious meals they are sharing this month!
 We've also started a Pinterest Board called
New Recipes We've Tried and Loved!
Be sure to check it out and get some great ideas for meals at your house.