Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I’m Loving Wednesday {Glimpses of Fall}

I’ve been breaking {okay, maybe tweaking} my own rules and slowly bringing in the teeniest bits of fall into my house.  I usually force myself to wait until September 1st to go full out fall-crazy, but since we’re traveling to PA this weekend for Labor Day, I’m allowing myself to decorate tomorrow.  (Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!)  I promise to show you my fall décor for this year once it’s up and set the way I like it….but in the meantime, here’s some things I’m loving this week:

{1} Vanilla Chai Hand Soap by Method

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Girls, seriously?  SERIOUSLY.  This soap is unreal.  I dare you not to sniff your hands over and over again after washing with it.  No really.  I dare you. :)


{2} Petite Pumpkin Spice Donuts

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Found this recipe via Pinterest and it is soooo yummy!  Chris and Luke and I were big fans.  I liked them plain (I gave them plain to Luke, too), and Chris liked them both plain and dipped in butter and cinnamon-sugar.  They would be super tasty with hot cider!  I happened to get my mini donut pan off a resale site on Facebook but you can find them at Target, too! 

I do recommend to eat these as soon as possible after baking – in my opinion, that’s when they’re best. 


{3} Burlap and Grapevine

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Stopped at JoAnn’s the other day with my mom….fall crafting is going to be starting soon!  I have an idea for a wreath and the burlap is going to be made into a table runner.  Can’t wait! :)


{4} Leopard Flats from Target

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These have been on my wish list for over a year(!!). Finally - a simple (cheap!) leopard flat!  They were on sale last week for $14 (and it also happened to be tax-free week in CT, yay!) so I snatched them up.  I love them and I’m so excited to wear them as the weather gets cooler. 


{5} Organic Chai by Tazo

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My husband doesn’t drink coffee but has recently become *obsessed* with chai tea.  This mix is $2.99 this week at Target – you blend half mix, half milk, and heat.  I’m not as much of a chai fan as he is but I have to admit it’s really good (especially with whipped cream and cinnamon on top!) lol


{6} Back in the CVS Game

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I fell off the coupon bandwagon for a while during the tiredness and sickness of first trimester.  I’m back on and had such a good week at CVS this week!  I was so pumped.  I got everything in the picture – 4 dish  soaps, 6 tissues, 2 packs of pull-ups, 2 candy bars, a 2-pack of floss, a Venus razor, and Stayfree pads (post-baby recovery!) for only $13 after my $10 gas card and $6 Extra Bucks!  Whoo hoo!


{7} Honey Nut Cheerios & Annie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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Okay so this isn’t really fall related, either.  It’s just for my brain to remember (and laugh later) about some of my crazy pregnancy cravings.  My husband loves cereal and I hadn’t bought him any kinds in a while that weren’t all-natural.  Honey Nut Cheerios was on sale last week so I bought him some.  I have NEVER liked this cereal but wouldn’t you know, he was eating it the other night and I could smell it and I HAD to have some.  I don’t let myself eat it everyday but ooooohhhh it tastes so good to my pregnant belly!  lol  I justify it to myself via the fact that my mom-of-2 brain forgets to take her prenatals sometimes (even when they’re right on the counter), so at least I’m getting good ol’ sprayed-on vitamins in my Cheerios! 

Oh, and the Annies?  The natural version of Kraft blue box.  SO GOOOOOOD! :)


Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Linking up with This Kind of Love

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Silly Question–But I Want Your Input!

Okay, so here goes. :)

This week, the first day of school for our town is Wednesday.  However, for the preschool students (like Luke), Wednesday is a special day – it’s called “Meet and Greet.”  Instead of a regular school day, the kids come with their parents and it’s a short session.  Luke will meet and play with the other kids in his class while Chris and I learn more about the program, get parent handouts, etc. 

Thursday will be his first day at school without us – he goes for the whole time alone.  Chris is already going into work late on Wednesday so that he can attend the parent session, so he’s not going to go in late on Thursday, as well.  It will be just be me getting Luke dressed and sending him off. 

SO.  (Just hear me out – I’m a mom and ex-teacher and trying hard not to be a perfectionist anymore but sometimes it gets the better of me!  lol)

If I wanted to take a picture of Luke with “First Day of Preschool” signs, should I do it on Wednesday or Thursday?  The town considers Wednesday the first day of school, plus I’ll have Chris here too, so he can help me get in some pictures with Luke, etc.  Or would you wait until he’s actually going to school by himself on Thursday to consider it his first day? 

And furthermore, which day would you put him in his cute “back to school” outfit?  lol


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Souper Satisfying {haha}

There’s something so domestically satisfying about seeing big bowls of hearty soup cooling on the counter to be eaten as leftovers and then frozen later for another quick meal. 


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Even if it is August.  And you’re pregnant.  And you had to have the a/c running full blast in your face in the dining room while you ate so that you didn’t have another hot flash. 

But still. :)


See my notes and the link to the recipe here – it’s fantastic and so easy! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thrifted {and Other} Finds

Last weekend, since my sister was home (yay!), the two of us and our mom went shopping on Saturday morning.  We hit up a maternity consignment store (no luck), a Goodwill, and the outlets. 

Since we moved in last year to a smaller house than our PA house, I really try to be careful about what I bring in.  We simply don’t have a ton of storage space and since I don’t want to have my friends anonymously calling TLC to get me on Hoarders, I really try to be careful.  I’ve had 3 yard sales in a little over 14 months and somehow I still find things to get rid of…which is a good thing. :)

Anyway, I don’t yard sale or go thrifting as much because it gets soooo tempting.  But I was super happy with what I found on Saturday!

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Love this J.Crew belt for wearing this winter around a cardigan and reigning in the belly! lol It was $2.99.

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This J. Crew sweater-shirt {$3.99} obviously isn’t maternity but it is loose enough that I can totally wear it now and in early fall – it’s a size bigger than I normally buy and it works great.  Love the button detail on the sleeve. 

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Ironically, I didn’t find a single nice piece at the maternity consignment store but at Goodwill I managed to find a brand-new Liz Lange brown long-sleeved tee for $4.99!  :)

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I think my heart stopped beating for a second when I saw these mugs.  My friend Becca has them and every time we go to their house for small group I stare at them jealously lovingly.  $3.96 for all four!  They make me so happy! :)

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I hit the OshGosh outlet about two times a year to scout out stuff for Luke.  With a sale and coupon their clothes are reasonably priced, plus they are such good quality!  I had a coupon this time for 25% off a $40 purchase or more.  I didn’t buy a lot, though, because I am heading to a big kids’ consignment sale in RI at the end of September and I can’t beat those great prices!  So I just bought a few things.  I really try to get most of Luke’s clothes from thrift stores, yard sales, or consignment shops.  But if I ever do buy from a retail store, my goal is no more than $5 for a shirt and $10 for pants.  I met my goal! :)


Everything below was $38 after tax (dang CT clothes tax we have now!):

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I love, love, love their long-sleeved t-shirts and their athletic pants for boys.  The button-up shirt was on clearance for $6 (plus another 25% off), and right now it’s a contender for the first day of school outfit. :)

You better believe my boy is going to be rockin’ that “I heart Mom” shirt for Valentine’s Day at school. ;)


I had a fun day of shopping that didn’t break the bank! And it was fun to spend time with my sissy while she’s here visiting.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Linked to:

Thrifty Treasures @ Southern Hospitality

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Pinterest-Inspired Dinner Party

My sister is home for the week visiting and I told her I thought it would be fun to cook a bunch of foods we’d been wanting to try on our Pinterest boards and then serve them up to our family.  She thought it sounded like lots of fun so we started browsing our boards and came up with only one rule: it had to be a Pinterest recipe we’d never tried before. 


Well…we tried!  lol  But here’s the deal:

Our dad and brother won’t touch anything with sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, or cottage cheese.

My husband hates coconut.

Our mom can’t handle spicy foods.

Our sister-in-law doesn’t eat red meats. 

SO.  haha

After going back and forth, we decided to break our own rule and make the entrée something that my sister had made before.  Other than that, we made 4 other new dishes. 


It was SO much fun!  You could totally get together with friends and have a cooking day, or do this or with your sister or mom.  Jill and our friend Sara came over at 2 and we served dinner at 6 – so it really wasn’t that big of a time commitment. 


Here’s what we served, how we tweaked it, and what the family thought of it all:

1.  Southwestern-Style Egg Rolls

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What we changed: I nixed the spinach (sounded gross) and forgot the chiles at the store (although I did add in green Tabasco sauce).  Once we got the hang of it, the wrappers were pretty easy to do (my sister is a wonton-wrapping genius!  :). 

Family votes: IN LOVE
Personal vote: 3 out of 5

These were good but Jill and I weren’t wowed.  We thought they were a little bland.  Although they’re different than your usual appetizer, so that was fun!


2.  Quick and Easy Salsa

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What we changed: added a little more garlic; left out the jalapeno (for Mom); left out the honey because I like savory salsa, not sweet; used a small amount of cilantro. 

Family votes: IN LOVE.
Personal vote: 5 out of 5

This salsa is aaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmaaaaazing.  I want to eat it every day of my life.  I will be making it over and over and over again! *Note: it’s still pretty spicy, even without the jalapenos.*


3.  Chicken Enchilada Soup

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This is where we had to cheat a little; my sister had already made this before, but because she and her husband loved it so we used it because it fit all of the family criteria.  lol

What we changed: used regular chili powder, not ancho; nixed the jalapenos (again, for mom); didn’t use cojita cheese and just used all pepper-jack instead.  We tried cooking this on the crockpot and after four hours the veggies were still crunchy so we ended up just finishing it on the stove.   Next time I will just cook it on the stovetop to begin with. 

Family votes: IN LOVE.
Personal vote: 4.5 out of 5

I love Mexican food so it’s hard for me to be disappointed.  This was very good, especially when topped with pepper-jack, a little sour cream, and some crushed up chips.  I think it was even better today for lunch.  Definitely going to be making it again!  We also served it with corn muffins (not from Pinterest). 


4.  Chewy Lemon Snowdrops

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What we changed: salted butter instead of unsalted because I didn’t have any (just added less salt); honey rather than agave.

Family votes: Very good
Personal vote: 4 out of 5

I’m usually not crazy about lemony desserts, but I do have to say that these were pretty delish.  I recommend cooking them for 10 minutes (the recipe says 10-15) because they will continue to bake a little after you pull them out and I think they are better soft rather than on the crispy side.  Nice for summertime!


5.  Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars

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What we changed:  nothing (I normally buy all-natural peanut butter but for this I would recommend regular, creamy peanut butter.  Go big or go home, baby.)

Family votes: IN LOVE.
Personal vote: 5 out of 5

These are to die for.  No like literally I think they could put you into cardiac arrest!  lol  They are super rich and creamy and have that “authentic” Reese’s cup taste.  Sure, they’re not a health food, but everyone LOVED them – even our brother, who usually hates chocolate desserts.  You can’t go wrong if you bring these to a party!  And they are so rich that you could totally get away with making half a pan and cutting them into small, bite-sized squares. 


So that was our night!  We had a lot of fun with family and it was fun to check out some recipes we’d been wanting to try and add some new ones to the repertoire. 

Now I have to stare at the Reese’s bars in my fridge all day and will myself not to eat them.   I may have to name this baby Jif.  Or Skippy.  ;)


Linked to:

DIY: Accomplished @ Homemaker’s Challenge
Feasting in Fellowship Friday @ Comfy in the Kitchen