September 28, 2015

September Favorites

I'm sitting on my couch today battling a head cold turned evil sinus infection. There are only two things that can take me down…a messed up stomach and a sinus infection. It's crazy to me how having some congestion can make you feel so weak & tired.

This was the first month that I really tried to post regularly. I love this little space of mine and I love sharing things that I've learned, products I love, pieces of my home and of course all about parties. I plan to post just as much if not more next month. If there's anything you'd like to know, feel free to email me!

Here are some of the favorite posts from the past month.

This Pizza Pasta was a big hit with my family. It's also budget friendly and a great way to add some variety to pizza night. This recipe has been permanently added to our master meal list.

Add variety to pizza night with this Pizza Pasta

The Kids Craft & Activity Cabinet is still working out great! My girls are doing pretty good about keeping it neat and organized too!

How to organize a craft and activity cabinet for kids

These printable Halloween tags have been added to the Freebie Page. I can't wait to see how every one uses them!

Use these cute and free Halloween tags for your Halloween goodie bags

Last but not least, I shared my Entryway makeover. It hasn't gotten much use since it's still a billion degrees outside but that's ok, I'm sure it will get a lot of use soon. It has also kicked off a DIY passion in me so plan on seeing more DIY posts here.

A cozy entryway makeover

September 27, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 39

Our schedule seems to be getting the best of me. Monday through Wednesday is go, go, go and by Thursday I am completely worthless. I am getting behind on house work and last week I was soooo tired and now I have a nasty head cold. Ugh!

I need some things to be easy and effortless so to help me get back on track I've planned some easier, quicker meals for this week. Now, if I can just get the kitchen fairy to show up and clean the kitchen that would be AWESOME!

IBudget Friendly Meal Plan

Week 39 Meal Plan

Sunday
Honey Chicken / Fried Rice

Monday
Hot Ham & Cheese / Chips

Tuesday
Beef Tacos / Chips & Queso

Wednesday
Chicken Nuggets / Mashed Potatoes / Corn

Thursday
Frito Chili Pie

Friday
Pizza Night

Saturday
Beef Carnitas Burrito Bowls

Linking up this week with Orgjunkie for Meal Plan Monday

September 22, 2015

Happy National Ice Cream Cone Day!

In honor of National Ice cream day, I just added this adorable Here's the Scoop invitation to the shop.

Here's-the-Scoop-Invitation

An ice cream themed party would be so cute and easy to put together. All you really need is well, this invitation and ice cream! To make it even better, gather a bunch of toppings, ice cream bowls (ask me about the cute sticker design I have for the bowls) and some cute little wooden spoons and you've got yourself a party!

Here's the Scoop Printable Invitation

September 21, 2015

Home Tour + Entryway

I think it's about time for another room tour, don't you?

I've been waiting to have everything done before I continued doing room tours but I'm starting to realize that I'm never going to be done so at least once a month (that's my goal anyway) I plan to do a post on each room of our house. Besides, no room stays the same forever, right?

In case you missed them, I've already posted our Theatre room and TnT's room.

Now, on to our entryway!

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

The footprint of our entryway is pretty much the only space that didn't really change when we re-built our house. Sometimes I wish we had done something different but our options were pretty limited with the space so we just stuck with the original layout.

Our entryway is a typical entryway…there's a space for an entry table and a coat closet. The coat closet never gets used. I wanted to transform it by taking out the bar and adding hooks because it's easier to hang coats on hooks than hangers, right? I thought that might get people to use the coat closet but I got vetoed by my other half. Back to brainstorming.

Jumping back to a couple months ago…..I was out in our barn and came across 2 tornado salvaged plaques with hooks and thought surely I could find a place for them. I grabbed those plaques and put them in a storage tub of other things I had come across to repurpose and use in the house.

In the past month or so, I've been seeing entryways on Pinterest with board and batten and hooks and have fallen in love with the way they look. Well one day I passed that tub of home décor items I had set aside and spotted those plaques with hooks and immediately had a light bulb moment! I suddenly had a vision of what my entryway could look like!

I grabbed a can of white spray paint (Rustoleum is my favorite right now because it goes on thick and smooth so it doesn't require too many coats) and got to work.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

I am so happy with the way they turned out!

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

Next it was time to add some décor above the hooks. A good friend of mine had the name cross picture made for us as a housewarming gift. It has been moved around our house until this project when it found it's permanent home. I also had been wanting the wooden hello since the first time I saw it at Hobby Lobby. When I noticed it was selling out fast, I decided to snatch one up quick. It goes perfectly in the entryway where everyone can see it when they hang their coats and/or purses on the hooks.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

Maybe now people will feel welcome and know immediately where to hang up their purses and coats when they walk in to our home.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

Don't you think it just makes the space feel complete and cozy. It also frees up space in our coat closet for other storage. Hmm…that just gave me another idea! Another post for another day though.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

Although I think I could use a couple more things for the entryway table….like a lamp and some other décor.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

I found this white bowl at a vintage flea market with another home in mind for it but I think it works better here.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

The squirrel never got packed up from last Thanksgiving. He was just too cute to pack up so I left him there to help welcome our guests.

Home Tour | A Cozy & Welcoming Entryway

 

This post is linked up at:
Lamberts Lately

September 20, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 38

Week-38-Meal-Plan

I am a Summer girl through and through but for some reason I am ready for Fall. Our high one day last week was 97 degrees! I kept looking at my calendar to make sure it wasn't July. Where is our cooler weather?

I'm starting to crave all the warm comfort foods of Fall & Winter. I need some chili and some chicken and dumplings. I may just have to crank up the AC and just make these kind of meals regardless of the weather. Notice I have Chicken & Dumplings on the menu for next week….our high that day is 86 degrees so I guess it's getting a little bit cooler.

Week #38 Meal Plan

Sunday
Sloppy Joes / Chips

Monday
Chicken & Dumplings / Peas

Tuesday
Cheese Enchiladas / Beans & Rice

Wednesday
Leftovers

Thursday
Chicken Quesadillas / Chips & Queso

Friday
Pizza Night

Saturday
Family Date Day

Linking up with Orgjunkie for Menu Plan Monday.

September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

I have been pinning a lot lately so I thought I'd share some of my favorites from this past week. Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for all kinds of recipe, décor and DIY ideas!

Coffee Print

When I saw this Big Beautiful Cup of Coffee print, I seriously pinned it without thinking. I mean, my body just went into autopilot mode and immediately pinned it. If you know me you know how perfect this print is for me.

Big Beautiful Cup of Coffee

Pumpkin Butter

I can't believe this but I still have yet to have my beloved pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks this year. I may have to remedy that this weekend. Anyway, I found this recipe from The Idea Room for Pumpkin Butter that I will definitely be trying out. Seriously, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I pinned it.

Pumpkin-Butter-Recipe-3-684x1024

Fall Décor Inspiration

I haven't decorated for Fall yet (mainly because it's still in the 90's here) but come October 1st, hot or cooler weather, it's game on! Until then I'm enjoying seeing everyone else's fall décor. This Fall Vignette from House of Hoff caught my eye this week. I love that it's subtle and the aqua color, of course, is my jam.

Fall-Decorating-via-House-by-Hoff-572x800

Meatless Monday?

Because we are trying to pay off some debt we accrued this summer due to medical issues, I have been trying to figure out ways to cut our grocery budget. One of the ways I've read about how to do this is to have meatless meals. This is a new concept to me (I love my meat) but I'm willing to try anything. This Browned Butter Pasta with Peas caught my eye because I *think* even my girls would eat this so I'm going to give it a try!

Browned-Butter-Pasta-with-Peas-Square-2

Entryway Inspiration

When I saw this Entryway Makeover my wheels started spinning. I thought our entryway was complete but after seeing this I had a light bulb moment and started adding décor to our entry way.  I'll be sharing the before & after next week!

Entry Inspiration

Five on Friday Logo

September 16, 2015

Free Halloween Printable Tags




I can't believe it's time to start thinking about Halloween and Fall Festivals. Don't blink because Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it!

Our temps are still in the high 80's & low 90's around here so it just doesn't feel like Fall quite yet. Regardless of the weather though, it's time to start thinking about Halloween.

This is the first year I'm really having to think about school/class parties and handing out treats. I figured instead of being the last minute person that I usually am, I'd get a head start on Halloween goodies. First step, create some cute tags. Check!

Free printable Halloween tags at Just Wait til You have Kids

I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with them just yet but here are some ideas…..

You can use them as bag tags….

Free printable Halloween tags at Just Wait til You have Kids

Or you could make them into stickers by printing them on sticker paper or running them through a sticker maker.

Free printable Halloween tags at Just Wait til You have Kids

How about using them for cupcake toppers or a mini banner. Whatever you decide I'm sure it will be cute!

Free printable Halloween tags at Just Wait til You have Kids

Now I'm going to share these adorable little tags with all of you! Just click on the button below to download and if you choose to share on social media, be sure to use the tag #embellishology so I can see what you created!

Download free printables at justwaittilyouhavekids.com

September 14, 2015

Easy One Pot (or Pan) Meals

Now that school and all the extra curricular activities that come with it has started up, I thought I'd share some easy one pot meals for those nights that you feel semi-rushed to get dinner on the table.

Since my girls only go to school 2.5 hours every day, we aren't as rushed right now but I know there will come a day when we are going in several different directions and it will be quite the task to get dinner on the table. When that day comes, I will be glad that I have these recipes that I can start as soon as they get home from school and have them ready by the time JMac gets home from work.

These recipes only require one pot so you don't have to worry about a lot of extra dishes to clean up! Plates, cups and utensils can be thrown in the dishwasher and the pot can soak overnight for easy cleaning the next morning.

With the weather (hopefully) turning cooler soon, this One Pot Chili Mac & Cheese is sure to keep you warm. This recipe makes a ton so you're sure to have leftovers for another meal!

One Pot Recipe Roundup | This One Pot Chili Mac & Cheese makes enough for 2 meals!

Another favorite of ours is this One Pan Chicken Alfredo. This meal was one of the first with noodles that my girls would eat and they will eat every last bit on their plates. One time I tried to make it meatless and much to my surprise, they were very disappointed there was no chicken. I won't make that mistake again!

One Pan Recipe Roundup | This Chicken Alfredo is kid and budget friendly!

We are not out of the can sloppy joe eaters in this house but I was determined to find a sloppy joe recipe that we liked. I was pleasantly surprised to find this Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe recipe that we loved on the first try. If you are a loyal to the canned version, you may not like this because it tastes nothing like it. This recipe is MUCH better. Now this one is a crock pot recipe but that's one pot so it counts, right? Especially if you brown your beef right in the crockpot!

One Pot Recipe Roundup | These sloppy joes are much better than the typical canned variety...and just as budget friendly!

One of my favorite dishes that I only get around the holidays is broccoli & rice casserole.  I'm not sure why we only make it around the holidays but when I found this One Pan Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice recipe I made it almost immediately! A quick and easy comfort food meal for your family that can't be beat.

One Pot Recipe Roundup | This Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice is a quick and easy comfort food meal!

This last one pot recipe is quite the crowd pleaser. I had heard about Spicy Sausage Pasta for months before I decided to finally give it a try. Much to my surprise I loved it and my hubby did too!

One Pot Recipe Roundup | This spicy sausage pasta is a grown up version of Mac & Cheese with cut up hot dogs.

 

To see other recipes I'm trying out, follow me on Pinterest!

September 13, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 37

Week-37-Meal-Plan

Over budget. I went over my grocery budget this time. I was so hopeful but in the end, we needed more staples than I realized. I didn't go over our max budget…yet, but I did go over the amount that I had hoped to spend. However, I take comfort in that I didn't go over because I was being frivolous. We will use up everything that I bought.

Eventually, I hope to get a decent stockpile that will last until the next sales cycles. At that point, staying in budget should be a cake walk.

Baby steps.

I did buy a double pack of roast that will easily give us 4 meals so this will help on the next round of meal planning.

Week #37 Meal Plan

Sunday
Pot Roast / Potatoes / Carrots

Monday
Chicken Alfredo / Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday
Crock Pot Carnita Tacos

Wednesday
Spicy Sausage Pasta / Peas

Thursday
Roast Beef Sandwiches / Chips

Friday
Pizza Ring (using my favorite pizza sauce) / Salad

Saturday
Leftovers

 

Breakfast options:  oatmeal (I really want to try baked oatmeal), breakfast sandwiches, Eggo wafflers (on the go for the girls) and scrambled eggs

Lunch options:  leftovers, sandwiches, corn dogs (for the girls), popcorn chicken and salad

What are you eating this week?

 

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday over at Orgjunkie

September 11, 2015

Friday Faves

Is it just me or did this week just fly by? Holiday weekends always get me messed up. It totally does not feel like a Friday to me. And also, I feel like I still have so much more to do before next week! Eek!

One

Last Sunday we had a family fun day. We took the girls to a Children's music festival called Wiggle Out Loud and it was HOT….as in sweltering. Nevertheless, the girls really enjoyed it and didn't want to leave so we had to lure them away with the promise of ice cream. We ended up eating lunch at one of their favorite places, Smashburger and then went home to rest up before going to a fireworks show at a local Arts Festival. I will never tire of watching my girls get excited about things. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is the best thing and I think as adults we need to be more like our children and get excited about the little things.

Fireworks

 

Two

Alone time….The girls being in school has been life changing for me. It's only 2 hours (between drop off and pick up) but it's amazing how productive I can be in those 2 hours. I find myself longing for more time (to clean and organize) so I'm counting down until the girls go to school all day (in 2 more years) but I am taking full advantage of every minute I have now working on this blog and my Etsy shop….something I've dreamed of since pretty much right after they were born.

 

Three

Now that the weather is trying to turn cooler, I've realized that I don't have any jeans that fit. I have several pairs of capris but all my jeans are too big. In the next couple of weeks I plan to go to my favorite store for jeans and pick up a pair or two. I've also fallen in love with their t-shirts and need to replace some of my old worn out shirts so I might pick up a couple of those too!

Maurices Hi Low T-ShirtMaurices Denim Flex Jeans

 

Four

After our crazy summer that included lots of procedures and illnesses, we've acquired a little bit of debt. I hate it. I absolutely hate debt so we are now in the process of getting things paid off…again. So I'm wondering, what is your best/favorite method of getting your debt paid off?

 

Five

Since I've been focusing on my blog and shop now that the girls are in school, I've been updating some of my older and more popular posts like the No Bake Granola Bars and the DIY Fall Wreath posts. I'll be updating more posts and my Freebie page soon as well. Lots and lots to do in just 2 short hours a day, huh? Maybe I should figure out a way to get a clone…that will work for free. LOL

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

September 8, 2015

How to Organize a Craft + Activity Cabinet for Kids

Kids-Activity-Cabinet_1

When we were building our house and planning our cabinet layout, I really wanted an enclosure with a cabinet for our refrigerator. There wasn't a lot of room for a deep cabinet but I thought surely I could use it for something. I mean, there's no such thing as too much storage, right?

Kids-Activity-Cabinet_2

So let's fast forward to when they brought in the cabinets. My thinking was that it would be deep enough to keep my cookbooks but when I opened the doors I realized that there was no way cookbooks were going to fit. The depth of the shelves were at most, six inches. What in the world was I going to use this cabinet for? (Side note, I also asked for shelves on either end of my island for cookbooks and they ended up being the same depth as this cabinet.)

Because my girls sit at the breakfast table to color and craft, I had been keeping some of their supplies in this cabinet but I've never liked how it was organized. It was like we just shoved stuff in there and quickly shut the doors so that nothing would fall out. Well this past weekend I decided I was going to figure out a way to make it work.

I started by cleaning out a drawer and another cabinet in the kitchen that housed some of the girls things….their junk drawer/cabinet if we're being honest. Some of the things (board games) were relocated to other parts of the house while other things got purged (I found about 100 pages of "art" that I still need to sort through *insert bug eyed emoji*).

The leftover items from the purge and re-location all found a place in the Craft/Activity Cabinet.

The top shelf is their most used items. I found these cute little buckets in the dollar spot at Target a couple of months ago with the intention of using them for this purpose. I filled each one with like items and labeled them accordingly (excuse the awful handwriting…it's hard to write on a curved surface!)

Kids-Activity-Cabinet_3

The next shelf is their big box of crayons (emptying all the torn up crayon boxes totally went against my Type A tendencies but it had to be done) and some of their smaller activity books. On the third shelf I have their Play-Doh and a basket with their Play-Doh tools. Also on this shelf I have their library books from school…I needed to have them in a place where I could remember to send them back when they were due.

Kids-Activity-Cabinet_4

The very bottom shelf has paper towels for cleanup as needed, some of their flash cards and then I used a little tray to hold (and keep them from sliding off the shelf) the taller coloring & activity books and construction paper.

Kids-Activity-Cabinet_5

So far I am very happy with the way it's organized. The girls get in this cabinet A LOT…like several times a day and I think it's going to take a couple of weeks for them to figure out and remember where everything goes because I've already had to "fix" it a few times.

Do you have a space that you just couldn't figure out how to organize? What was your solution? Or are you still struggling to find a solution? Let's discuss in the comments!

Link Party Palooza

September 6, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 36

Is everyone enjoying their Labor Day weekend? We don't have any special plans…just working on things around the house.

Weekly Meal Planning + Week 36

Planning lunches last week made things so much easier with the girls in school so I plan to include lunches in my meal plan going forward. Please note that I don't always eat what they eat for lunch. Sometimes I'll just eat a salad…no mom could eat like their kids and keep her girlish figure….actually, I probably could because my children don't eat much. Hmmmm…maybe I should eat what they eat.

Thanks to shopping at Aldi and meal planning from what I have, I am proud to say that as of right now, we have stayed under the $150 grocery budget that I set for this two week period. We had to buy milk this weekend but we are still under budget! The thing that helped the most was that I had a good stock of meat in the freezer. I will likely have to add to my stock this next go round.

I didn't realize it until I drafted this post that I planned all ground beef meals for this week. Oops. I may end up switching around some meals but for now, here's what I have planned.

Sunday
Dinner:  Leftovers

Monday
Dinner:  Grilled Burgers

Tuesday
Dinner:  Nachos/Nacho Salad

Wednesday
Lunch:  PB&Honey Sandwiches / Chips
Dinner: Spaghetti / Green Beans

Thursday
Lunch:  Cheese / Crackers / Fruit
Dinner:  Pancake / Eggs / Bacon

Friday
Lunch:  Hot Dogs / Chips
Dinner:  Pizza Night

Saturday
Salisbury Steak / Mashed Potatoes / Green Beans

 

mpm-1

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