Friday, September 17, 2021

Fall Friday Favorites

It's feeling like Fall in Indiana!!  The mornings and evenings are cool and the weather has been lovely.  I decorated for Fall, baked Fall things and had a great week.

Let me show you my favorite moments!

1. My DIY Fall Wreath

I made the prettiest Fall wreath for my front door.  Look at those pretty yellow pom pom flowers.  You can read all about it here.  What do you put on your front door for Fall?

2. I decorated the inside for Fall!  Neutrals + oranges and yellows.  Just a few pumpkins here and there and a one year old that is into everything.  Thoughts and prayers for my holiday decor this year.





3. Fall Baking!  I love this Fall M&M mix and pumpkin cookies.


4. School lunches - A peachy + orange theme one day this week.


5. Family Friendly Charcuterie!  I love making these for dinner.  Read all my tips and tricks here.  This is easily my family's favorite dinner.

6. These cute kittens love to greet us at the door when we get back home.  Penny & Pearl also love hanging out in our laundry baskets.



7. Look where I found Leo... in a tiny Barbie bed in the Barbie Dreamhouse.  Silly baby!


8. Fletcher came home from school and was so excited to try out a science experiment that he'd learned at school.  It's fun to see how much he's learning in kindergarten.


9. The local mom's group that I'm the President of was recently awarded big community grant from United Way to revitalize and improve our local Storywalk trail at a local park.  The board and I worked really hard writing this grant over the summer so we were very excited to win!  I posted our sign over the weekend and am excited to work on this project in the coming year.

10. I took the kids on a hike last weekend.  The weather was perfect and the kids loved exploring!  Leo was eager to keep up with the big kids.  Then he decided climbing was a little scary once he got up on the fallen tree :)





I hope you have a great weekend!  See you back here on Monday.

I'm linking up with Momfessionals

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Family Friendly Charcuterie Boards

There are few things that I love more than putting together family friendly charcuterie boards.  I just love them!  They're so easy and such a fun way to use up all the little bits of food in the pantry and the fridge.

Today I'm going to talk to you about how to get started making your own boards at home.

I hope that my tips will give you a little boost of confidence to make a board for your family or friends.

Tip 1 // You don't actually have to have a wooden board - any big plate will work!  A tray, a cookie sheet, a large serving plate - Use whatever you have to make your boards.  We love a lazy susan wooden board and the most affordable places I've found to buy those is at TJMaxx.  They're around $20 and about double that price online.

Tip 2 // Start small on your menu at first if you A. aren't sure your family will love a charcuterie board and B. start with 3 or 4 meats and cheeses to find out what your family favorites are.  Start with basics - favorite lunch meat, basic salami, pepperoni and some kind of meat stick.  Then for cheeses do basics - any cheese you know your family enjoys and then try one or two new ones.  Once you figure out what they like, it'll be easier to plan your boards.  I also like to ask my family what they want on our boards and try to include things they request - fresh pineapple, a certain brand of salami or cheese cubes.

Tip 3 // Add in fruits and veggies your family loves.  Add one or two new ones to introduce them to new things.  Same strategy with salty snacks, nuts and dips.  I like to chop the fruits and veggies during nap time or in the evenings when the kids go to bed.  This really helps assembling the boards to be a quick process when everything is pre-chopped.

Tip 4 // Then go over some charcuterie ground rules - you only grab one thing at a time, you need to eat a variety of things (not all the strawberries or wiping out a whole stack of pepperoni) and enjoy picking out your own dinner.

Tip 5 // My last tip is: Shop at Aldi for your charcuterie boards.  It is wild how much cheaper their meats, cheeses, crackers, nuts, produce and holiday treats are.  You'll save yourself a lot of money at Aldi.  If you don't have an Aldi, Walmart is a nice back up option.


Here are a couple of our favorite family friendly charcuterie board dinners from this month.

I love to pair them with something warm like soft pretzels or a fresh loaf of crusty bread.

These are the easiest dinners - no dishes, very little clean up and a great variety of foods.

 

Family Friendly Board #1

Family Friendly Board #2




 

These charcuterie boards are great for family, friends, tailgating or sharing.

Do you have any charcuterie questions or hang ups that I can help you with???

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Make Your Own Unique Fall Wreath

I was wandering through Hobby Lobby a week or two ago and noticed their Fall Florals were 40% off.  They had tons of pretty things - berries, branches, fall flowers, leaves and more.  I decided it was time for a Fall wreath refresh!  I like to lay out all of the options on the floor at hobby lobby and see how everything works together.  It can be really affordable to make your own wreath if you find your supplies on sale and if you repurpose things you already own.

Let's get started!

 

My old Fall wreath was a DIY sunflower wreath.  I loved it, but the sun was hard on it after a couple of Fall seasons.  Time to refresh the old and make it new again.

I started by removing everything from the grape vine wreath.  I threw away everything that was badly faded and then saved a few things to try to use again in my new wreath.

Begin with an empty wreath and maybe browse Pinterest for some wreath inspiration.

Then, add in one layer at a time.  Grapevine wreaths are great because you can weave floral picks into them without having to use much hot glue.  TIP: Take off price tags as you go instead of removing price tags from everything at the start.  You may end up with extra floral and if you've removed the tags you can't return them.

 Keep adding in layers.  I like to cut apart the florals and weave the wired stems into the grapevine.  If it won't stay in place securely, then I will add in some hot glue to make sure it doesn't go anywhere.

Until things look about how you want them.

Hang it on your door - try it out a few different ways to see which side looks best on top.  Also adjust the floral picks until everything is balanced nicely.

Voila!  A new and improved Fall wreath!  I love making unique things for my home that no one else has.  I just love all the different colors, textures and those mustard yellow flower balls.  It looks great on my front door, too.  I ended up with three extra stems and made an arrangement to go in my family room for Fall.


What's on your front door for Fall??

Monday, September 13, 2021

Money Saving Monday

Happy Monday!  I've got another round of money saving tips for you.  Some may be things you already do, but hopefully you'll find a few new ways to save money from my tips today.

1. Make Your Coffee At Home

Iced coffee is my favorite year round.  I just love it!  These are my favorite combos - Unsweetened Cold Brew & International Delight Mocha Light.  I love to mix the two.  It costs me $7.84 for these two and it lasts me for at least a week.  If I were to go through a drive thru for coffee every day it would easily cost me $3-5 a day.  This is a huge way to save!

My husband love hot coffee so he has a Keurig at home and in his office to make his own coffee.  He also asks for Starbucks gift cards anytime people ask him for gift ideas.  The he adds them to his reward card.

 

2. Swap Name Brands for Store Brands

This one takes a little work.  You've got to spend a little time trying out the store brand versions of your favorite foods in order to know if you've got a good dupe.  My favorite store brands are at Aldi, Great Value at Walmart and Members Mark at Sams.

I'll give you a quick example of how this saves us lots of money.  My kids love chocolate ice cream.  It's anywhere from $3.48-$7.24 for a container of name brand chocolate ice cream at Walmart.  Those prices add up!  I tried the Aldi brand chocolate ice cream recently as well as the Great Value chocolate ice cream.  My kids loved both and the container only costs $1.89 at Aldi and $1.97 at Walmart.

We also love store brand cheeses, tons of Aldi brand things like pasta, pasta sauce, produce and meats.  Almost everything at Aldi is cheaper.  I love Peter Pan Peanut Butter.  It was hard to find for a while so I switched to this Peanut Delight Creamy PB.  It's $2.14 at my Aldi.  The same size Peter Pan would cost $4.68.  Give me half price peanut butter anytime.  I've seen it get marked down to as low as $1.99 so I stock up when it's that low.  

If you can't eat or really do not like the store brand version of an item, you can return them for full refunds.  I would definitely take the time to make these returns if you are committed to saving money by switching out products.  It's not embarrassing to say - we just did not like the store brand of this item.


 

3. Sell on Your Local Marketplaces

I sell items my kids have outgrown or things that I no longer use on my local mom's group Facebook market page.  I keep a pile in our bonus room of things to sell and when the pile gets big enough, I list the whole thing.  It feels so good to get rid of things that are in the way and earn some extra cash. 

 

4. Look for the Freebies on Ibotta

This week I got a free tube of lipstick with my grocery pick up order!  Revlon Super Lustrous Moisturizing Lipstick - Cream finish - 435 Love That Pink.  It was $4.98 and the rebate was $5.  There were 20+ shades to pick from and I have been happy with it already.  Yay for freebies.  I've seen deals for free notebooks during back to school time and free cereals when a new flavor was released.

They also offer coupons on seasonal things like this Land O Lakes cinnamon butter.  It's not free, but I'll take $0.50 a yummy seasonal treat. 

If you're new to Ibotta - check out this post to see how to sign up with my referral code.


5. Buy Things in Bulk

Not everything that Sams sells in bulk is a great deal.  Remind yourself of that every time you are tempted to stock up on everything there.  These are the bulk items that are a good deal for us:

Hand soap

Kitty litter

Bread

Gardettos/Chex Mix

Chocolate Chips

Baking Ingredients

Dukes Sausage Links

French Toast Sticks

Mixed Nuts

Trail Mix

Trash Bags

Toilet Paper

Paper Towels

Puffs Plus

Keurig Coffee Pods (They're $7 off a box this month!!)

Contact Solution

Allergy Meds



Happy Deal Hunting!!

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Highlights

Happy Friday!  It was a fun week over here - long weekend, apple picking, gorgeous weather and lots of baking.  Let me show you...

1 // Apple Picking

Our favorite local apple orchard - Ditzler Orchard - is booming!  Huge apple crop this year.  We headed on a little drive through the country on Sunday to pick our own Honey Crisp Apples.  They're pricey, but totally worth it.  Our favorite farmer told us that when he first bought the orchard Red Delicious Apples were the #1 apple tree planted.  Not any more!  He said they barely sell any of them and won't be growing them after this season.  We are excited to go back several more times this Fall.

The kids loved it.  Leo took it as a personal challenge when the owner told us that Honey Crisps were too big for little hands and directed us towards some Ruby Johns that were smaller.  Leo thought that was ridiculous and spent an hour eating his very own giant Honey Crisp.  He has eaten them all week long - grabs an apple out of the bowl and goes to town.  It's adorable.

If you've never gone apple picking - find a way to do it this year!  It's so much fun!  It's fast, oftentimes you get to go on a tractor ride, soon there will be fresh apple cider and it's an awesome outdoor activity when the weather cools off a bit.



2 // Apple Galette

I made my first apple galette!  I loved trying something new.  I used this recipe and added a drizzle of caramel on top.  My husband and I loved the flavor and the ease of the recipe, but agreed that we'd rather have a big slice of regular apple pie.

3 // Game Day Cookies

I'm busy making game day cookies this weekend.  I've got lots of orders with color combos to match team colors.  I have a busy weekend of building game day charcuterie box orders for Jordan Bakery Box.  I just love football season!

4 // Fall Florals

Hobby Lobby has some really pretty Fall Florals right now.  They're 40% off and I can't wait to do a Fall wreath refresh this year.  I just love those fuzzy mustard colored flower balls.  I have yet to decorate with a single pumpkin, but I'm getting the itch do it.  My kids love to help me decorate for the holidays so maybe we will work on it together this weekend.

5 // Clouds

The clouds have been SO pretty in Indiana this week!  I snapped this as Kevin was driving us down to the pool one afternoon.

6 // 17 Months

Leo turned 17 months this week.  He's such a busy guy.  He is into everything.  Climbing everything.  Eating everything.  And now he's talking more.  He points and says "ook!" all day long when he wants us to look at something.  He loves being outside and swinging on this swing.  He's a super sweet guy giving hugs, kisses and love all day long.  He still scowls at strangers and takes a minute to warm up.  He's sleeping much better - only waking up once a night and we try not to take our eyes off of him for a second because he's always into something.

7 // Pool Days

We squeezed in as many pool days as we could before the country club pool closed.  The big kids became such good swimmers this year.  Neither wears floaties of any kind any more and are really getting confident in the water.  Hooray!  Penny and Pearl loved all the beach towels.  Mom Hack: I bought us all the same beach towel this season and it was so nice to help me keep track of our towels at the pool.  Count 5 yellow striped towels and I was done vs having to remember which towel each person used that day and hunt it down.  I definitely recommend a set of family towels.



8 // Game Day food is my favorite!

I loved this 12 Layer Warm Taco Dip I shared earlier this week.  I think I'm going to do a game day charcuterie board for the Notre Dame game this weekend. 

9 // Shoes

No one loves shoes more than this guy.  He carries all of our shoes all over the house.  Wears them and plays with them all day.  He's getting better at walking in them which is hilarious to see a tiny guy tromping around in adult shoes.  He even surprised us and put on his own shoes this week.  He's a guy on a mission. 


Linking up with Momfessionals

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!  See you back here on Monday :)