QuickTip Tuesday: Halloween Tip!

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These might be a little late, but it’s a double tip day!

#1- Don’t do the Jimmy Kimmel Challenge. On his show, he challenges parents to tell their kids “I ate all your Halloween candy” and upload videos of the horrible reactions their kids have to social media with a specific hashtag. He shows his favorites on his TV show. Don’t do this. This is mean. Any first grader can tell you that.

#2- Make some soup to sit on a low stove, or in a slow cooker, while you take your kids trick-or-treating. It will be warm and delicious waiting for you when you get back. I am making homemade chicken noodle this year. My chicken is already cooked. We grilled chicken thighs last night and saved some for this soup. I will saute some onions, carrots, and celery in a soup pot and add the chicken and some chicken broth to simmer while we’re out. I’ll throw in some egg noodles as soon as we get home. They cook really fast. Then we will have a delicious dinner!

Foodie Friday: November Menu

Today is the first really cold day we’ve had this fall. It’s wonderful! My soup Mondays finally make sense! November will be here in a matter of days and it will be December in the blink of an eye! 2017 will be coming to a close… but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves!

My husband’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. He absolutely hates it that our culture seems to skip from Halloween straight into Christmas. Thanksgiving is nothing more than a meal where we all eat the same things. This year, let’s all celebrate Thanksgiving a little louder; a little prouder! We can eat roast turkey more than once. Cranberries can be enjoyed at any time! To help out, here’s my November menu.

November 2017 menu'


Be sure to check out the recipes on my November 2017 Menu Pinterest board!



I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned on my blog that I am in grad school. I am working on a master’s degree in Nutrition. I finished my coursework in May and I have spent the last 6 months working diligently on my thesis.

Today, I emailed my final draft to my committee! I defend in 8 days and then I should be done!!
Yay me!


And this little comic definitely describes the last 30 days for me.

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Things to Do This Holiday Season

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(Above: Amelia and her ticket aboard the Polar Express, 2014)

As the holiday season approaches, I am once again finding myself filling out a planning notebook. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite things to do- plan my holiday season. I write down all sorts of things from what our kids’ Elf on the Shelf will do each night of December to what activities we will be involved in to what we will be eating for dinner on Christmas Eve. It’s no secret that I love to plan. This year, however, I am keeping things very low-key in the activities department.

A few years back, I saw a beautiful advent calendar in my Pottery Barn catalog. Of course it was incredibly expensive and I didn’t buy it for that reason. My husband saw the picture of the advent calendar and decided he could probably make one. You can see it in my past blog post “Do You Advent?”  Since we started doing an advent calendar for our children, I have included a passage from scripture and an activity for each day from December 1st to December 24th. Years past have left me overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling less than joyful about actually doing the activities I had planned for each day. I work full time. I have been going to college for most of my adult life. It’s easy to get over-booked.

This year, I am keeping it simple. This year many of my planned activities are things we already do, just with a seasonal spin. Some nights the activity planned is a bedtime snack like vanilla milk and cookies or hot apple cider with toast. Friday nights (year round) we do movie night, so for December advent activities on Fridays we will have a Christmas themed movie night. BUT I do have some special things planned that are out of our norm. Here are my few, but favorite plans for this holiday season:

  • Collect 3 things to donate
  • Have a fancy tea party (at home with just us 3 girls)
  • Christmas themed Minute to Win it game night
  • Christmas Karaoke party- again at home with the fam
  • Go look at lights. Somewhere. Anywhere. In the car.

That’s really just 5 special activities, but 24 days worth of Advent fun!

What are your must-do activities for the Christmas season? I love hearing about family traditions.

QuickTip Tuesday: Be Careful in the Attic

My tip today comes from an at-home experience. If your air conditioner unit is in your attic, there is a chance that someday you will have a leak that causes wet spots on the ceiling. And if this happens, there is a chance that you or your spouse will go up into the attic to check it out. If you or your spouse has to do this, be careful to stay on the 2xwhatevers. If you fall off the stronger boards, you will go through the roof a la Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation.

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Halloween Costume Drama

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Halloween 2015                                            Halloween 2016 

If you have kids, you’ve probably been through this before. “What do you want to be for Halloween?” “A troll!….. No, Belle!…. I want to be Ariel…… Wonder Woman….. Spider girl!…” This year, my kids have watched the Trolls movie just about nonstop so I thought they would make the cutest little troll sisters. I found a DIY pattern online for a dress inspired by Princess Poppy and directions to make a big troll hair wig. It will be great! I got home and showed it to them only to hear that my older daughter didn’t want to be Poppy, but some other, more obscure character from the movie. No big deal. Same hair, different color. The little one has changed her mind just about every single day so far in October.

Here’s the deal. I am not willing to break the bank on Halloween. I have three nieces with October birthdays and a daughter with a November birthday, all of which are uncomfortably close to Christmas, if you know what I mean….

I finally got one daughter talked into wearing the Troll costume. We’re good there. The other daughter is still changing her mind daily. Today is Ariel. We have an Ariel dress already, so that should be fine… I’m just worried about what she’s going to say on October 31 and we don’t have her costume choice du jour.

If you’re interested in the DIY Princess Poppy costume, it can be found here.

What Halloween dramatics have been going on at your house? Let us know!

QuickTip Tuesday: Eat More Fruit…. Yes, I say it again.

Last week, my quick tip was to eat more fruit by focusing on whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Today I want to share this encouragement- Canned and Frozen fruit are also great options! In a society where anything processed is thought of as bad, canned and frozen produce should not be. Preserved produce reduces food waste and allows fruits and veggies to be picked at their peak ripeness instead of picked early. This results in a great flavor profile. It also lets us eat a bigger variety of fruits and vegetables year round.