Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Halloween Coffee Chat

Happy Halloween!  I hope you have a fun and festive day with your favorite people.  My kids have fun things going on at school and cannot wait to trick or treat our neighborhood tonight.  Their costumes are so cute.  I can't wait to show them to you!

If we were grabbing coffee and a treat today, these are all the things I'd chat with you about:


1. Date night gone wrong.  We went to all the lengths to book our go to babysitter for Friday.  I planned the evening for a long awaited date night.  I made dinner for the kids and Kevin and I were so excited.  Our babysitter came, we hurried to get a few things done before dinner and walk around campus to enjoy the pretty leaves and then the babysitter called us home about an hour later.  Darn it!  We were just pulling into our dinner spot.  Leo wasn't feeling well and we needed to come home.  We grabbed Qdoba to bring home and made the most of our one hour date.  I know all parents out there feel the pain of a cancelled date night, but gosh, we were bummed.  We came home, ate our dinner, got the kids to bed and then watched some Chicago Fire together.  We're hoping to reschedule soon!

2. What are you watching right now?  I watched all the football documentaries - Quarterbacks, Kelce and we're loving Chicago Fire.  We're 4 seasons in and totally obsessed.  I'm curious to see if it can keep our interest for 11 seasons.

3. Preteen/Tween Moms - what are your kid's favorite shows or movies?  It's getting trickier to find shows that both Olive and Fletcher are excited about.  They both still like to watch Bunked and movies like Mega Mind.  We have watched Family Matters, Step by Step, Full House and Home Improvement as a family and those were all hits.

4. I'm on the hunt for some new shoes this season.  Cute tennis shoes, loafers, dressy mary janes and such.  Do you have a favorite spot to find shoes?  I struck out at Marshalls this past week which was disappointing because that's my go to for higher end shoes for a deal.

5. Where do you print your Christmas cards?  I used to always do photo cards from Sams because they were so affordable.  Then they messed up my order a year or two in a row.  I tried Walgreens last year and was pretty happy with their card stock cards.  I just had have them reprinted when the first batch had a big line through them.  I don't want to spend a ton per card because I send out a lot of cards.  Send me all your recommendations.

6. Do you have a great apple cider donut or bread recipe?  I'm hoping to find a really delicious one to try to make with some of our Wisconsin apple cider.

7. I can't wait to change all of our sheets to holiday sheets at the end of the week!  I always put winter/Christmas sheets on all of our beds around November 1st.  I do it while the kids are at school so they hop into bed to a festive surprise.

8. Fletcher is really into fossils.  Do you have any fun fossil books/toys to recommend?

9. I recently got to try Magic Spoon cereal.  It had been on my radar as a protein packed meal/snack option that I wanted to try.  It's about $10 a box and it's disgusting.  I have never tasted anything like it.  Picture eating the peanut butter cereal only to find out that it tastes like gritty peanut butter packing peanuts. I was so disappointed after seeing so many people promoting it.

10. Do you make your kids make their beds every day?


11. I just restarted my thankful journal.  I write one thing I'm thankful for that happened that day.  I got away from doing this because I kept forgetting about it.  I made one change and it's made all the difference.  I keep it in my van now and I jot down one thankful thing each day while I'm waiting in the pick up line for school.  It's been such a good routine!


12. I've been decluttering and purging things like crazy.  I just switched my closet over to Fall/Winter and got rid of a big bag of clothes that I don't wear anymore.  I put all the thick sweaters that I never reach for or the items that I always pass up when I'm getting dressed in a bag to consign.  It feels so good to see my closets have breathing room.  I've got a long way to go to get all of our spaces done, but working on this project every single week has been so good for us.  This is my nudge to you to get rid of end of the season Summer things that you never wore or to focus on the next season and get rid of any Fall clothes you aren't excited about wearing!  

Thanks for listening!  Chat with me in the comments!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Muffin Tin Meals

 My kids love these muffin tin meals or snacks!

They're easy and fun to put together.  It's the perfect way to use up all the last bits of food in your fridge and pantry.  I try to repeat their favorite things a time or two and I love doing these for holidays.  You can add in lots of holiday colored fruits and veggies and skip out on food coloring filled holiday foods.

Olive requested a Halloween lunch this weekend.  Here's what I came up with.  I added in a little Halloween candy, food picks and eye balls to make it extra festive.  The rest just came from our fridge or pantry.  I grabbed all the orange, green and  yellow things I could find.

My kids love these mini muffin pans.  I've got a 12 and 24 pans.  Both work great for these kind of meals.

The 12 slot muffin tins work great for single serving lunches.

These are such a fun after school snack, snack or meal.  I bet your kids or friends would love them!


Friday, October 27, 2023

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  I'm not sure how it's the last Friday of October, but we're here.  We had a fun week with lots of favorites, some stressful things, good sleep and lots of time outside.

Did you catch my blog posts this week?

New Board & Batten Entry Ways - this was a huge DIY project at our house!

Under $10 Teacher Gifts - big hit with the teachers!

Halloween Mummy Dogs - the easiest Halloween dinner idea.

Now onto my favorites:

1. Dreamy Dress

I was grabbing some groceries at Walmart this week with no intention to try on clothes.  Then I saw this gorgeous dress and had to pivot.  We hopped in the dressing room and it was love at first sight.  This Pioneer Woman dress is so good!  There's no stretch to the fabric so I'd size up and it's under $30.  I'm not usually a fan of the Pioneer Woman line of clothing, but her Fall dresses are lovely.

When Leo saw me in the dress he said "You're a princess!" and I was sold.  It comes in a pink floral and this floral.  I got both!

2. Hoops are back!

Have you heard!?  Hoops are back in style.  Maybe they never went out of style, but they're popular again.  I wore hoops for years and years so it's good to have them back in my rotation.  I grabbed this gold pair off of amazon and I'm seeing silver accessories everywhere.  The price is amazing and the quality is great.  They're a good weight and size where they look nice and you forget to have them in.  I get tons of compliments on them and am planning to gift some for the holidays.  

Here's my link for the hoops: 

3.  Showcase Night at School

The kids had a really fun book fair/showcase night at school this week.  We got to see lots of neat art on display, play with robots from their technology class and shop the book fair.  It was a neat night!  The kids loved showing up how to use all the technology.  Leo loved the life sized robots.

4. Happy Birthday, Mom!

I hosted my mom's birthday party this year and everything came together so nicely!  I went with a cute Halloween theme and we did a Fall menu of hot dogs and brats and a chili bar with pies for dessert.  Yummy!  I love a party menu where Kevin grills the meat and I take care of the inside stuff.

Happy Birthday, Mom!  We love you!

5. Pie Season

Pie season is my favorite.  I made a Derby Pie, Peanut Butter Pie (recipe coming!) and a Pumpkin Pie.  It was fun to enjoy a little pie buffet.  My kids love pumpkin and I love the others.  I added in some chocolate chip cookie bars just in case someone didn't like pie.

6. Penny snuggles

Penny loves being out on our patio.  It was a little chilly one day so snuggling her on the patio was my favorite.

7. Lunch Date

I'm so thankful to get to spend my days with Leo.  He's the best lunch date and since he's our baby I know that he'll be in school before I know it.  Toddlers the funniest little people.

 Definitely didn't need any help with his sunnies.

8. Outside

I spent every afternoon until dark outside this week.  The kids wanted me to watch them play or hang out with them and their friends or do some reading.  Fletcher loves to shoot his bow and arrow.  He really loves that he's taught Leo to fetch the arrows and bring them back to him.  The kids have been playing baseball or playing with cars nonstop.  This weather is my favorite!

9. Fire Pit season

Fire pit season is our favorite!  This corner of our yard just screams Fall!  I have all the s'more ingredients ready for evenings at the fire pit.

10. Tooth Fairy on duty

I set an alarm on my phone so that I made sure that the tooth fairy didn't forget her late night duties.  Little traditions like this make me smile.  I quickly cut out a tooth from an index card, wrote the message and left some cash.

11. Milestone

We've hit the big kid milestone of rarely using a stroller.  No more baby gear needed and running errands is actually pretty easy as long as I have snacks.  Leo walked through the mall with me to do a return and then stopped by to drive the cars.  Said hello to the Old Navy dog and held my hand.  No big deal.  No fits.  No chasing.  Just hanging out with mom.  Yay!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  We've got a pretty quiet one planned and I'm excited.  See you back here on Monday.

Linking up with Momfessionals for Friday Favorites

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Halloween Mummy Dogs

I made the yummiest Halloween dinner the other night - Mummy dogs!

My kids thought they were funny and pretty delicious.

I found lots of recipes online and I combined them all to make my own version.

8 hot dogs
1 can of crescent rolls
16 edible eyeballs

Toppings: Slices of cheese, ketchup and mustard.

Grill your favorite hot dogs.  We like Nathans from Sams.  I don't love hot dogs so grilling them for this recipe made all the difference.  I just grilled them on my stove top in my grill pan.  Let them cool on a paper towel to soak up the grease.

Unroll one can of crescent rolls flat and slice them into thin strips.

Wrap your hot dogs in strips of crescent rolls (and cheese if your family likes cheese) and place on a baking sheet.  Bake them at 350 for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool and add eyes.

Serve with tator tots, cheeto bones and fruit.  Your family will love this Halloween dinner!  You could definitely prep these in advance and warm them up for dinner Halloween night or anytime this month.  Most baking sections will have edible eyeballs this time of year at craft stores or big stores like Walmart.  I bought a box of edible eyeballs of all sizes to keep on hand.

Yummy Mummies :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Under $10 Teacher Gifts

Have you thanked a teacher lately?

I love surprising my kid's teachers with something each month.  I try to write a handwritten note with specific compliments about them or their classroom and pair that with a small gift.  I love to find things under $15 because we have 4 or 5 teachers to shop for this year.

I grabbed these canvas bags at Marshalls at the beginning of the school year.  They were just $6.99 each!  They're BIG and sturdy and so affordable.  I loved all the patterns so we picked them out specific for each teacher.  I love the stationery aisle at stores like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or Marshalls.  They've always got really great teacher gift options so I keep an eye on that section year round for teacher gifts.


I love to wrap pretty presents in these clear bread bags.  They come with a twist tie and I add a big bow.  I covered up our teacher names, but the cards serve as the perfect gift tag inside the bag.  That way they won't get lost in transport from home to school.

For Fletcher's teacher, I wrote "Fletcher "TOTE-ally" loves being in your classroom!"

She loved it and was so excited about her new bag.

Olive's teacher loved the bow so much that she's been wearing it in her hair.  Olive loved that.


What are your favorite gifts to give teachers?

I promise that a genuine email or note of thanks will go a long way!  You can even email their principal to share all of the things that you appreciate about your child's teacher.  Both options are free and would really make their day!

Monday, October 23, 2023

New Board & Batten Entry Ways

Hello, new and improved entryways!  

Both of our entry ways now have board and batten trim thanks to my ideas and my dad's hard work.

Let me explain.

I knew our entryways would be the perfect spot to do this board and batten trim.  Our trim and our doors are perfect to pair with this kind of trim.

I texted my dad pictures for inspiration and he came over several times to talk through my options.  We decided on the look I wanted and then he did all the measuring, calculating and cutting ahead of time.  He measured and planned out the entryway for our front door and the entrance by the garage door.  My hope was to have entryways that looked polished and finished and were easy to wipe down.  

Mission accomplished.

BEFORE: Pictures of our two entrances before the trim was added.  Plain and simple.  I was eager for these spaces to have some personality.  Remember that's been one of our big goals with our house - add personality to our new build!

I love our current trim so we just worked with the baseboards and planned the wall trim to go with it.  He measured the vertical pieces to make sure they were even and didn't get in the way of any of our outlets.

Leo was so excited when Papaw showed up with all his tools and materials.  He was happy to supervise.  My dad cut almost all the pieces ahead of time so the install seemed to go really quickly.  He set up a work station in the garage to do a few cuts and barely made a mess inside.  It's nice to have someone who's super detail oriented and a perfectionist just like me working at my house :)

He glued each piece to the wall with caulk and then nailed them in place.  He commented that this project took a lot more caulk than he was expecting. 

Proof of planning and measuring.  

I'm thankful that wasn't my job :)  I have the ideas and he makes them come to life.

Papaw was teaching Leo about measuring and reading off the measurements.  Leo was repeating while keeping a close eye on all the tools.

Good progress!  We headed out of town for a few days for Fall break so my dad got to work in a quiet house.  The cats kept him company and my mom came to supervise :)

All the layers were installed.  Things were caulked and then he did a mix of brush and roll to paint the trim.  He ended up needing a gallon of trim paint.  Plan for more than you think so that you have some for touch ups later.  All the trim got two coats of paint and it looks so bright and crisp.  Leo ended up with paint in his hair and paint on his clothes because he just couldn't stand not be right next to Papaw while he worked.


The hallway to the garage has trim on both sides now and looks so nice!  I'm hoping to do a fresh coat of paint on the doors now that the trim is freshly painted.

Front entryway:

Our built in bookshelves and benches were his first big project for our house.  And now the that trim is complete for his second big job here.  Everyone keeps my dad busy with projects so he's already moved onto his next one.

Great job, Dad!  It's always a pleasure working with you on projects :)