Monthly Archives: September 2016

Corn Dog minus the Corn Dog

I didn’t know what else to calls these little nuggets but it’s a spin off of a corn dog, pig in a blanket and sausage & peppers. They look pretty ridiculous and are a little messy, but a change of pace and pretty stinkin’ yummy! Not to mention, they are EASY!


The recipe is super simple. Cut the tops off of Wax or Poblano Peppers ( any long and skinny pepper will work ) and remove all seeds. Drizzle Olive Oil on peppers and Sausage ( italian or chicken sausage is fine ). Slice some Onions and throw everything on the grill with medium heat. Stuff the pepper with sausage and onion, maybe top with some Spicy Mustard and enjoy!

DSC_0036I love this meal because it’s quick, it’s loaded with protein and veggies and the cleanup is minimal since it’s all done on the grill. It doesn’t even require Sunday Meal Prep!! BONUS!

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Any recipes you want to see? Any tips or tricks you want me to share? Have an ingredient but you just don’t know what to do with it, or you’re getting bored of the “same old”? Leave me a comment.

What’s a good deal on Diapers?

I started this post so many weeks ago but didn’t think it would be of interest to anyone…then I thought about it 645 times since then and decided it would be beneficial! I stocked up on diapers as soon as I knew I was pregnant and it was probably the best decision because those suckers are EXPENSIVE!

Buying diapers. Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from the mini stroke I just had. Diapers are so disgustingly expensive. I cringe every time I see someone carrying a case of diapers down the sidewalk at our complex because I know exactly how much they just spent and I feel for them! I am by NO means an “extreme couponer”; however, there are some things I refuse to pay full price for. One being diapers, and two being mayonnaise. <– it’s true.

Here is how/when/what I feel is the best price to pay for diapers. I clearly didn’t have time to count the numbers of diapers we used on a daily basis, I did some research and have found an estimate of how many you will need for the first year and how much you could be saving!

Because each size overlaps with the other do to a babies weight, you don’t have to go crazy having a certain size all the time. Depending on the size of your baby, Newborn size diapers may not be necessary for you. We had 2-3 packages as gifts so we used them just because they were there ( Brandon was 7lb3oz when he was born ). Newborn goes up to 10lb and Size 1 fits (on average) 8-14lb. We can see how the two sizes overlap.

Newborn (up to 10lb)
Size 1 (8-14lb)
Size 2 (12-18lb)
Size 3 (16-28lb)
Size 4 (22-37lb)
Size 5 (27+lb)
Size 6 (35+lb)
*information found here

I have found the best place to buy diapers is the Drugstore with the Grocery Store a close second and buying in bulk is not necessarily a better deal. The full price for a small package of diapers is typically $8.99-$12.99 – this is a basic package of any size and contains 20 (size 4) – 35 (size1) diapers (the larger the diaper, the less you get per package). Stocking up on different sizes during sales is a must. The good (in my opinion) sales come around about once a month, so buy a bunch.

I shop the sales, cut coupons and look for deals that I can add onto my store card – here is when you get the best savings. For example, I grocery store soetimes runs a $2-$2.25 coupon on a package of diapers which I can load to my store card, stack that with a $1-$3 manufacturers coupon, on top of sales, clearance or any other promotion they are running and that could be a $5 savings on one basic package of diapers – almost 50% savings. My grocery store also likes to run “save $10 instantly on purchase of two jumbo boxes of diapers”, this can be great savings but I highly, highly suggest you find a manufacturers coupon and savings loaded to your store card.

Costs per size, per diaper
Newborn / 13¢ — 16¢ / not usually necessary
Size 1 / 11¢ — 14¢ / 840 diapers
Size 2 / 14¢ — 16¢ / 560 diapers
Size 3 / 16¢ — 19¢ / 1512 diapers
this will take you through the first year / total 2912
Size 4 / 19¢ — 22¢ Size 5 / 22¢ — 26¢
Size 6 / 26¢ — 30¢

Don’t do the math on how much that will ACTUALLY cost you because you might fall out of your chair. However; if you follow sales and try to clip coupons it’ll save you beau-coup bucks in the long run.

Diaper cost source

Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins

Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins
recipe adapted from

dsc_0029gold cupcake paper / red white & blue


2 scoops Whey Protein ( protein I use )
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk ( vanilla is good too )
1 1/2 tbsp almond butter ( or peanut butter )
1 cup applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
sliced almonds
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees / whisk protein powder, agave and almond milk together until smooth / add almond butter and whisk until smooth / add remaining wet ingredients and mix.

Add oats, baking powder, cinnamon and mix well / fold in blueberries / pour mixture into cupcake paper / top with almond slices or nuts / bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean



The answer to “where do I put this”, “how can I hide this”, “why are there toys all over the floor?” – is Baskets. They can literally go in every inch, every room of your house yet all take on a completely different function! The key is to use baskets to hide crap and keep things tidy but without looking like a basket factory. Keep it toned down by using a few baskets for a specific purpose and decoration instead of just a hold-all.

I love baskets, they’re all over our house and most of them are empty, just waiting for something to fall in them. Kevin always points out the fact I spend money on baskets that are just sitting around. Yes, this is a fact. However, once we have a decent house ( hopefully sooner rather than later ) I will have places for all my gorgeous baskets and places to decorate.

Everytime a basket is on sale, I’m all “must. have. that. now.” So, I rounded up some different ones and helped share some ways to use them for function!

baskets Stackable Baskets / Small Wire / Three Piece / Round Handled / Tiered / Metal Lined / Tall / 3-Piece Round / Raffia / Canvas

Are you not drooling? I mean, come ON! I am so obsessed with these baskets someone needs to take my credit card away. STAT!

I’m all about keeping Brandon’s toys, duplo legos, shoes and anything that needs to be grabbed quickly in baskets. With the open top it’s easy to throw something in, take something out – all one handed because we most likely have a 30lb child in the other! Tall baskets are great for toys, large toys, stuffed animals and plush building blocks. where smaller ones are better for on a shelf or in a changing table cabinet to hold diapers, shoes and socks.

The laundry room and linen closet are two places we don’t always think to use a container of some sort for storage. I would go for something that fits easily side by side like a rectangle or square as well as something that is lined so you can take the liner out and wash it!

Bathrooms! Where do you keep all the bath toys? Extra towels and toilet paper? I LOVE the tiered basket to hold wash cloths, face washes & moisturizers and makeup brushes! The raffia basket would be a cute addition to the bathroom to use as a trash.

Possibilities are endless when it comes to the kitchen and living room. Larger baskets can hold throws and extra pillows for the couch and round flat baskets can act as trays on a coffee table or on a counter or kitchen table to hold spices, silverware and condiments. Instead of moving a hundred little things to clean the counter you only have to move one!

I had a little too much fun today looking for basket storage ideas and inspiration, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!

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Grocery Haul and Meal Prep

We have had ( and are having ) some busy weekends as summer comes to and end and life picks back up again – why does summer always seem like vacation even though we have the same routine? Kevin’s summer hours ended, I head back to work full-time, school is back in session which means morning commutes are more stressful and time to stock up the pantry for the cold weather. OK – maybe it’s not going to get THAT cold THAT soon, but I’m preparing.

Without realizing it, I tend to stock up the freezer for the cold months and by the time the first peak of warm weather shows, it’s time to eat fresh food! This week I did a huge grocery haul and planned meals for the next two weeks due to holidays and wedding travel. Here’s a look at what $99 of groceries looks like. I also did some meal prepping as usual.

I talked about stocking up on sale items for future use ( Dinner for $10 ) – this will save you time and money. Time, because you already have the food on hand ( maybe even keep a running inventory of your freezer or pantry ) and Money because you spend half the price or more on something you would normally buy anyway!

image1dsc_0003Trying to get everything shoved into one frame was tricky, sorry for the bad quality.

Sale items I stocked up on:
Shrimp ( originally $19.99/2lb = sale $11 each ) 45% savings
Grass Fed Hot Dogs ( originally $7.99 = sale and coupons $5.99 ) 25% savings
Morning Star ( originally $4.99+ = sale 3/$10 plus free french fries ) 45%+ savings
Ground Turkey ( originally $5.99 = sale and coupons $2.99 ) 50% savings
Naan ( originally $2.99 = sale $1.99 ) 30% savings
Chicken Breast ( originally $2.99/lb = sale $1.79/lb ) 40% savings

I have a method to my madness (usually) which, in this case, means I DO NOT buy certain items unless they heavily on sale and/or I have a coupon. Shrimp is one of these items. Shrimp is SO expensive and I feel like it’s all I want to eat sometimes. I will only buy shrimp if it is $6/lb or less ( preferably $5 – $5.50/lb ) and second is mayonnaise. Yes, it’s an unhealthy condiment but one I CANNOT live without. I only purchase mayo when it is on sale AND I have a coupon. Naan is a pantry staple in our house. When I saw them on sale this week I had to grab 2 more packages – they can easily be frozen, but we eat it at least once a week so I know they won’t go to waste.

After all my shopping is done, it’s time to prep some items for the week. Some weeks contain more prep than others and this was one of those weeks. To be honest, I am so OK with that because it makes week nights smooth as butter!

dsc_0005 dsc_0004I make my menu, prepare a shopping list being as specific as possible ( list number of zucchini or bananas you need so it’s not a guessing game when you’re in the store ) and then plan what I will prep ahead of time. Some easy items to prep are yogurt, hummus & veggies and overnight oats.

image2This week, prep took a little longer – I shredded the zucchini and carrots for muffins ( adapted from here ) using my food processor, then cooked/pureed the eggplant in the food processor and baked the “meat”balls as well. We mixed and baked the zucchini muffins, peeled/mashed/mixed bananas and cooked pancakes, cooked a batch of eggs, chopped celery and onion & made tuna fish, and steamed five heads of broccoli.

It was a lot of cutting, chopping, cleaning, washing and cooling – I got a little run down and luckily Kevin finished things up. Come Monday, all we have to do is boil water for pasta and heat sauce and dinner is ready! Crockpot chicken on Tuesday takes no time at all and just like that, two days worth of meals are almost completely done for you!

First Day of Fall & Giveaway

Happy Fall! Leaves are turning, the air is cool and crisp and it’s time for pumpkin picking and candle burning!

I decided to start things early this year and try to really enjoy everything the season has to offer. Chili fests, pumpkin picking & painting, decorating the house and making sure we soak up every minute with family time!

dsc_0086dsc_0069Aside from going out and about, I am getting excited for dinner in the crockpot and one dish meals I can pop in the oven and forget about! Who’s with me? I love to make my table decor match special events and seasons. I don’t have all the money or storage in the world so making it work on a budget with a few staple items is what I’m all about. Here are some items to make your table Fall-cozy on the cheap.

Mason jars, I think these guys are timeless. I use mason jars for everything from vases and drinking glasses to gifts and storage for sauces & dips. Using different shapes and sizes makes the table look fun and cozy without feeling stiff or overly fancy. It gives texture and a feeling of relaxation ( in my non-expert opinion ). I like handled mason jars for parties where people will be walking around & mingling and basic mason jars ( here or here ) for seated dinner parties or brunch. I’m thinking this Apple Pie Moscow Mule recipe will be first on the list!

dsc_0075Silverware, plates, serving dishes and napkins are items that you don’t need to buy for every season or holiday – it’s so difficult to store and can be expensive in the long run – especially if you want to change it every year! I have basic everyday dishes but I also have Green Depression Glass which was my Great Aunt’s and I love using these for small, intimate occasions. It feels like I bought new items without doing so! Get a similar feel by going to tag sales or your local consignment store!

dsc_0070 dsc_0085Large Lantern / Medium Lantern / Natural Jute Placemat / Ladder ( similar here and here )

Table runners are my next must-have item to pull the table together and make it cozy. I’ve bought and returned and borrowed every runner under the sun to find the perfect one that can be used over and over. I love this ruffle runner or this macrame runner. Having a kids table? I bought this coloring paper runner for kids to color until their hearts can’t color anymore!    Genius.

Smells of the season! To be fair, Fall candle selections are probably my favorite of all. With the windows open and the cool breeze blowing from room to room, is there really anything better than Macintosh Apple to accompany it? My friend and small shop owner of Chattahoochee Candles Company ( IG chattahoochee_candles ) was generous enough to send me some items from her collection to try! These soy candles smell amazing and last for hours. If you have children or animals and candles aren’t for you, they also offer wax melts that are so luxurious and yummy! Aside from candles and melts, they offer bath salts and soon to be bath bombs! To top it off, we have a special Giveaway happening where TWO readers can win either a Chattahoochee Candle & Wax Melt or A Mason Jar Warmer & Wax Melt!

dsc_0090Mason Wax Warmer / Mason Outlet Wax Warmer

dsc_0079 dsc_0080 If you don’t win, don’t worry! Use code ” FALL25 ” for 25% off your entire purchase! Code will expire on October 31st! Happy Shopping Ghouls!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

dsc_0105 Thank you Jessica for helping sponsor this post and sharing your love for candles with us!

Diaper Bag Essentials at 18 Months

dsc_0066I’m totally “that Mom” who leaves the house to run errands and doesn’t bring a diaper bag. It’s not sitting by the door, it’s never fully stocked – as in it’s usually missing a minimum of two essential items. oh well. I’ve been trying to combat this lack of being prepared in a couple of ways… 1. keeping diapers & wipes in the car at all times so I don’t need to bring a bag with me for short trips ( this was a recent #fail because the last time I needed the emergency stash, the wipes were dry and the diapers were the wrong size! ) and 2. using a larger purse and keeping a couple diapers and a small package of wipes for emergencies.

Here are the items I have in the diaper bag ( in our case backpack ) when it is fully stocked!

dsc_0067(Vera Bradley Diaper bag from the Outlet two years ago – similar here)

– probably the most obvious item. Over the summer I always had a couple “swimmers” diapers in addition to the regular diapers because you never know when there’s a pool or splash pad right around the corner.

Wipes – behind the diapers, this is second most obvious ( I hope ).

Snacks – in our family, this is probably more essential than the diapers and wipes because Brandon will absolutely lose his ess-aych-eye-tee if he doesn’t have something to eat every 85 seconds. The new Little Journey line from Aldi has impressed us with their snack selection. Brandon devoured the Little Munchers in about two days ( along with my help ) and the Yogurt Bites are full of flavor. They also carry Puffs and USDA Organic fruit and veggie Pouches.

Toys – this doesn’t mean grab every single toy in the house and throw it in the bag. We typically have a handful of toys that ALWAYS stay in the diaper bag which is nice because you don’t have to think about packing some or realizing you forgot his favorite ducky but even better than that is the toys always seem new to him! The toys that are around the house everyday are boring. When that little book with the puppet shark comes out once a month it’s a whole new ballgame.

Powder / Ointment – another necessity. Brandon loves carrying around small containers of powder and now that he knows how to open the cap, we keep the use at a minimum.

Miscellaneous – ziploc bag and spare clothes for accidents, snacks for Mom and Dad, sippy cup, changing pad if one isn’t already packed, pacifier, sunblock and hat for the summer months and an activity books and crayons.



Thank you Aldi and Influenster for sponsoring this blog post. I received my ALDI Little Journey products complimentary from Influenster and am entering the Brand Challenge for a chance to win a prize.



Started the season off early with a quick trip to the Orchard for Pumpkins, Apple Cider and Donuts!

dsc_0042 dsc_0049 img_9212

Brandon found the best seat in the house after trying to step on and pick up every pumpkin in the patch!

dsc_0060 img_9222

We came home with a couple white pumpkins which is why we went in the first place and a handful of small ones that Brandon picked out. We’ll go to the patch in a few weeks and get “real” carving pumpkins as we get closer to Halloween! Here’s a sneak peak at my white ones! I’m loving the look of them this year.


Meal Prepping & Back to Work

It’s my first week “back to work” since Brandon was born and I was both happy and sad. Happy for a more selfish reason which is being able to do errands on Fridays and not ruin my weekend with grocery shopping! Sad because it’s one less day I get to spend with my little guy – but I KNOW he’d much rather be with his friends at Daycare than with ol’ Mom!

The added day means more organization, more planning and more prep! Here was the shopping trip and menu.

Sweet & Purple Potatoes with Veggies and Sausage topped with a Fried Egg
dsc_0032Crockpot Pork Enchiladas

dsc_0035Buffalo Chicken Croissants

dsc_0034Turkey, Avocado and Goat Cheese Paninidsc_0033

18 Months

3Age: 18 Months

Stats: Height 34″ (93%), Weight 27lb 6.0oz (87%), Dome 48cm (68%) – I’m going to leave his 15 month stats below for comparison – Brandon had a growth spurt right before his last appointment and he had another one just a week ago before this 18 month appointment. He likes to show those stats who’s boss!

Height 32.5″ (90%), Weight 25-6.5lb (84%), Dome 47cm (55%)

Clothes/Size: Pretty much 18-24 month clothing and some 2T. PJs though – at LEAST 3T because those babies shrink so much! I always buy them second hand to ensure they are pre-shrunk.

Favorite Foods: He has gotten a LITTLE pickier over the last couple months and I think maybe it’s because his taste is developing more. The bland, no flavor, no spice option is NOT an option anymore. Sometimes he can take or leave meat – which is funny because when I was pregnant, ALL I wanted to eat was ground beef in any form. He’s starting to eat pasta and potatoes and LOVES fruit, avocado and anything he can dip in ketchup – sometimes you gotta pull out the big guns.

Diaper size: Size 4

How much am I eating: Still eating a ton. He has no off switch! He’s slowly being able to tell us he doesn’t want anymore which is nice….but that’s not very often. He eats 3 main meals with two snacks in between and sometimes a treat after dinner.

Words: “dada”, “mama”, “hi”, “hi dada”, “uhbuhbuh” (umbrella),”mem”, “owl”, “buhbuh” (bubbles), “apple”, “I mama (I love you mama), “mamama” (grandmama), “bubba” (grandpa), “nana” (snack), “ice”, “wawa” (water), “eyes”, “shoes”, “boo boo”, “shhh”, “up”, “off”

Activities: Climbing onto the couch and then walking all over it. Peeing on the floor. Playing outside (mostly just going to our neighbors house because they give him food), playing in the bathroom with all the hair and shaving products, watching Wheels on the Bus 500,000 times a day and anything to help us – set the table, throw things in the garbage and everything in between.

Sleep: I think we are finally on good sleeping terms! He goes to bed about 8pm and sleeps until about 6-7am. If he wakes up early, it’s usually because the pacifier fell on the floor sometime during the night – we give it back and he sleeps for maybe another half hour.

Favorite Things: Books. Music. Monitor. Remote Control. Phone. Bubbles or any small bottle or lotion tube. Not a fan of stuffed animals or anything like that.

Signature Moves: Giving kisses, hugs and cuddles, waving “hi” and bye-bye. Pulling every wipe out of the container when he’s supposed to be napping. Giving high-fives and putting his head on any animal that is “soft”.

Mom’s Proudest Moment: This is definitely the most fun age. He cracks me up far more than he drives me nuts. He naps great and goes to bed easily. He has started talking a lot more and words are finally starting to emerge. In social situations he is usually so good and goes with the flow, he doesn’t really get too shy (yet) and just walks around doing his thing. He’s got such a little personality.

Dad’s Proudest Moment: Brandon is getting so smart and remembering things. He may not be able to say the words yet but he knows everything we are saying to him. He is really getting good remembering faces and names which is the sweetest thing.

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