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Friday Favorites!

Friday, October 30, 2015

HI!! Happy Friday!!
What a fun weekend ahead! Do you have any exciting plans for Halloween? Can you believe starting next week it will be November?!?

My in-laws flew in from Austin, TX last night and we have a fun, jam-packed weekend planned!  We are so excited to have them here for Halloween- I think it will be so neat for them to see the kids all dressed up!! 

Okay...time to share my Favorites from this past week!!

We were shopping at Sam's Club a couple weekends ago and I picked up a 6-pack of Glade Plug-Ins in the scent "Spirit." They had all sorts of lovely holiday scents- but the girls and I like spirit the best.  Well...I put a few of the plug-ins around our house a few days ago while I was cleaning and I AM OBSESSED!! This scent is amazing. I told my husband we are going back to Sam's Club and getting 3 more packs of 6 because I want to have them even when the holidays are over!! Hands down- it is my FAVORITE scent I have ever found for my home!! **After searching around on the internet- it seems like very few places are carrying the "spirit" scent- but one of them is Home Depot!  If you happen to be in there- look for them and give them a smell :)** 




ONE

TWO
Last weekend we visited my grandpa in Southern Illinois.  It just so happened that it was Homecoming weekend at Southern Illinois University- where I went to school!  My mom and 6 of her 7 sisters also went to school at SIU AND both of my brothers and sister went there.  We are defniitely a Saluki family :)  
So on Saturday afternoon, my mom, dad, sister, her husband, her 2 kids, our 4 kids, Aaron and I all loaded up to go walk around campus and check out the Homecoming festivities. 
IT WAS SO FUN!!!  I LOVED being back on campus! We went to the Alumni tent and got to see the marching band play a few songs and the energy was just awesome.
I just kept thinking about when my kids go off to college and how I hope they have as great of an experience as I did.  I also told Aaron we are DEFINITELY going to hang out with our kids when they are in college :)  He responded with, "Oh- for SURE." HA!
And a totally random thing happened! While we were in the food line getting a sandwich at the Alumni tent- I saw a girl who works at our local YMCA! We saw her almost every day at the pool this past summer!  I said hi to her and found out she goes to SIU.  Then she asked when I graduated....  I told her 13 years ago- and she responded with "NO WAY.  You look so young! You can't be that old!" Hahahaha!!
THREE
I mentioned earlier in the week that Cora Maye and James have both been sick.  James especially has needed A LOT of extra attention...and while I totally love snuggling with him- it does make it quite difficult to accomplish anything around the house :)  Well...a couple days ago- all the stars aligned and after I got the girls home from school, they all went down for a nap- including James!  (He has been so feverish- he wasn't really sleeping well and if he was- it was on Aaron or me).  I piled up all the laundry that needed to be folded and put on an episode of one of my favorite shows- Diners, Drive-In's and Dives.  This is going to show how dorky I am- but it was pure bliss for me!! I was getting some house work done while enjoying a show I hardly ever watch.  Definitely a favorite moment of the week for me!
FOUR
I volunteered to be the "treat maker" for all of Charlotte's class parties this year.  I LOVE to bake AND it is a way I can be involved in her class.  Well...the room moms asked me if I could make Frankenstein treats for the "Fall" Party and when I looked at the picture of them- I totally thought, "What have I gotten myself into?!?" HA!
They ended up being really easy to make- just very time consuming.  Because I have limited chunks of "free" time during the day- I made them over the course of 3 days.
I finished them up yesterday and I think they turned out SO cute! They are definitely not "Pinterest Perfect" by any means...but I am figuring a bunch of 1st graders who are handed a chocolate dipped rice crispie treat on a stick aren't going to care about some imperfectly placed eyeballs- HA!
When Charlotte saw them yesterday, she was SO excited. And that made all the time it took to make them worth it. Making her smile is totally a FAVORITE for me!
FIVE
The girls are SO excited about Halloween!! James is going to be a lion, Celine is going to be Tinkerbell, Cora Maye is still undecided :) and Charlotte is going to be Elsa.  
We don't at all focus on the spooky or scary aspect of Halloween...it is just all about having tons of fun getting dressed up and going trick or treating.  The girls are so excited that their Poppy will be going with them this year.  Aaron's mom and I will hang back at the house with James the Lion and hand out candy :)  As a kid, Halloween was one of my FAVORITE holidays!  I have such wonderful memories of going into my brothers' room after we got back from trick or treating and organizing all of our candy.  Then, we would totally have a candy "swap" and trade snickers for milky ways :)  I can only imagine in a few more years, my girls will be doing the same thing with each other!!
YAY for a fun, no pressure "holiday" that falls on a weekend this year- that is the BEST!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend....and whatever your plans are...they are spent with people you LOVE! :)

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!
 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!

Thoughts for Thursday!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hi!! Happy Thursday!! 
Do you ever have weeks where they go by slow and fast at the same time??? Yeah. That has been my week :)  It has been busy and fast because I have been getting ready for my in-laws to visit as well as doing a Halloween project for my oldest daughter's party tomorrow....but the days have also felt like they have been dragging due to yucky, rainy weather and a majorly sick baby.  Good news is James is doing better and tomorrow is Friday! YAY!

A couple weeks ago, I was shopping for my niece Layla's birthday.   She is only 3 weeks older than my daughter Charlotte, so you would think it would be super easy to come up with a gift idea! Totally not the case though!  First- of all- we don't live in the same town as my sister and her kids- so I really don't know what Layla has in regard to toys and stuff.  I also know that she is a very well taken care of little girl :) and has a TON of stuff (just like my girls :) She is turning 7 and at that age where she is starting to have more specific likes and dislikes- and while buying her a My Little Pony would be fine- it would basically just be 
adding another toy to her collection.  All this to say- I wanted to get her a birthday gift she would LOVE and USE.  Just like my girls, Layla is all about crafts, coloring and art projects.  So I came up with the idea to make her a craft box!! 

I first started by getting her some fun writing paper, a pack of construction paper and a big sticker pad.  

I got this Sterilite container from Walmart to use as her "craft box." We have a couple of these containers and I LOVE them!  We keep our crayons and markers in them.  They are great because they have tons of room, the girls can lock the lid on themselves and the handle is perfect for carrying them from our craft area in the pantry to the kitchen table where the girls like to color.  

 Then- I started picking up things to fill up the craft box!  I had SO much fun doing this!!!  I got a couple things, including the fuzzy balls and one of the packages of foam stickers at Walmart. The rest of the items I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  Everything I got was on sale, minus the glitter glue- and I used my 40% off coupon for it.  With Christmas coming up, I thought it would be fun to include a few Christmas crafts and winter themed stickers too! 
I put everything in her box, along with the construction paper and sticker pad, put it in a Cinderella gift bag and DONE! Perfect gift for the sweetest little girl!

I know this isn't a crazy original idea- but it really has a lot of possibilities as far as tailoring the "box" to the child you are buying for.  You could do a specific theme or get things in their favorite colors! Again- I love the fact that this gift is activity related and gives the child a chance to be creative!  
I had such a blast putting this box together, I have decided that one of my girls' 3 Christmas gifts is going to be a craft box.  They were totally in awe of Layla's box and I know they would  LOVE to have their own box filled with crafts and goodies!!  Also- since we are cooped up so much more in the winter months- new, fun art projects will be perfect for those afternoons on the weekend when "there is NOOOOTHHIINNGG to do!!" 
(Please tell me my kids aren't the only ones who say this!! HA!)

Have you ever put together something like this?
If you have kids, are they all about art projects and crafts?
If you have any fun, creative ideas you have done with or for your kids- share them with me!! I would love to hear about them!

Hope you have the BEST day!!

Linking up with Annie and Natalie today!

Fall Blogger Swap!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hi!! Happy Wednesday!! 

I recently participated in a fun, Fall blogger swap hosted by my blogger friend Johannah and two other lovely ladies, Desiree and Bri!

I got paired up with super sweet Heather, whose writes over at Joshua's Girl!



It was so fun to know I would be expecting a surprise package in the mail!

Heather did such a GREAT job with the goodies she got for me!
She got me a super cute Fall "themed" notepad- which has already been used a TON! Some fun, Fall sticky notes (again- I have been writing notes on those things like you wouldn't believe! :), some super cute Halloween straws- which the girls love, a gift card to Starbucks to get myself a special drink and a Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm!

 She also sent a really nice black dish towel (perfect neutral color for my kitchen!) and a cute pair of socks :)  My girls thought the socks were so cute and funny!

 I really loved everything that Heather put in my package, but if I had to pick favorites- it would definitely be my new lip balm- seriously- SO IN LOVE WITH IT!! And my Starbucks gift card.  The only time I go to Starbucks is if I have a gift card- and it is such a fun treat for me!! I am going to save my gift card for my birthday....I always get a yummy coffee drink on my birthday- and it will be so fun to use my gift card from Heather!

Heather- thank you so much for the cute, fun and THOUGHTFUL package!!




Menu Plan (A Day Late :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hi!! I hope your week is off to a good start!

We had a slightly bumpy start to our week :)
I had to take my daughter Cora Maye to the doctor yesterday because she has had a low fever (101 or less) for the last 5 days!! Poor thing is super congested and exhausted :( The good news is that she doesn't have an ear infection and her lungs are clear- our doctor said it is just a yucky virus traveling around.  The not so great news is that about 2 hours after we had gotten home from the doctor, I picked up James and he felt hot to me.  Poor thing had a fever too!! I gave him some tylenol and he took a really long nap and seemed to be doing ok once he woke up from his nap...but then a couple hours later, his fever went from 101 to 105!!! He was super lathargic and Aaron and I were really worried about him!! He ended up responding to the dose of ibuprofen we gave him and his fever came down several degrees AND he perked up a little bit- which was such a good sign.  We really thought we might have had to take him to the ER because of how high his fever got!!
Despite his fever coming down a little bit, he was still pretty miserable and the only place he would sleep was on top of Aaron's chest or snuggled up with me.  Needless to say, he ended up getting a good night's rest...but Aaron and I will be chugging copious amounts of coffee today! HA! 
My 2 daughters have a field trip today to a local farm- so we are going to give out a couple good doses of tylenol and hope for the best :)  Afternoon naps should be nice and long! :)

Now that I have rambled on waaayyy too long about my day yesterday- let's talk about the point of today's post- my menu plan for the week! :)
I usually post this on Monday- but I linked up with Erika and Andrea's Favorite Things Party yesterday- so I am a day late :)

Here is what we are eating this week- starting with last night's meal! :)

Monday: Chicken and Quinoa Soup (link to recipe here!)

Tuesday: Make Your Own Pizza Night!
I got these pizza crusts (and the mozzarella cheese) from Aldi when I was doing my shopping last Friday.  We love their Take N Bake pizzas...so I am excited to try this pizza "kit" and see what we think of it! 

Wednesday: Cheesy Sausage and Rice with steamed green beans
Last week we had jumbalaya for dinner and I put the leftovers in the freezer.  This week- I am going to add a bunch a sharp cheddar cheese to it and season it up a little more! 

Thursday: Barbecue Pork Sandwiches, steamed broccoli and mac 'n' cheese
I have a tupperware of plain, shredded pork in the freezer, so I am going to add some BBQ sauce to it and make sandwiches out of it! We love Aldi's frozen broccoli florets as well as their organic mac 'n' cheese!

Friday: Dinner out with Nana and Poppy!
Aaron's parents will be here for a weekend visit and I thought it would be fun to go out to Chuy's!  His parents live outside of Austin, TX, which is where the Chuy's franchise got started.  We happen to have a Chuy's about 5 minutes from us- so I think that is where we will be going to celebrate our favorite Texans! :)

Saturday: Easy French Dip Sandwiches (link to recipe found here!) and Mummy Dogs (link to the recipe I am using found here!)
The night of Halloween will be fun and chaotic while we get all the kids dressed up in their costumes.  I wanted something easy, but yummy, on the menu for dinner.  The grown-ups are going to have April's French Dip sandwiches and I am going to make the kids mummy dogs!
Sunday: Copycat Olive Garden Salad and Zuppa Tuscana Soup (link to recipe found here and here!)
For Sunday's dinner, we are having Olive Garden...at home :)  I make the copy cat version of Olive Garden's salad all the time and it is SO good! 
source

I found this recipe for a copy cat version of their Zuppa Toscana soup and can't wait to try it out! It looks super simple to make and super yummy!!
source

So that's what's for dinner at our house this week?  Do you have a menu plan for this week? Are you trying out any new recipes?? Anything you would recommend I include in next week's menu plan?? Let me know! :)

I am linking up with Laura!

Favorite Things: Favorite Fall Fashion Find Under $50!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hi!!
Happy Monday! How was your weekend??
We had a great time visiting my family in Southern Illinois! This week we are looking forward to seeing Aaron's parents- who will be visiting from Texas later on this week!

And one more thing- just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for all the sweet comments that so many of you left in regard to our news about expecting baby #5!! We are SO excited and I was so happy to share the news with all of you! :)

Okay- now on to the fun stuff :)  Today, I am joining Erika and Andrea for their Favorite Things link up party!  Today's theme is: Favorite Fall Find Under $50!

My absolute FAVORITE fall/winter clothing item is this "Leisure Tunic" from Target.  
Seriously- I LOVE it!! I have 3 of them and they are my go-to tops to wear in the fall and winter.  Here are a few reasons why it is my FAVORITE:

1) It is tunic length- so I can wear it with leggings or jeans.
2) It is INCREDIBLY comfortable.  It is made out of a sweatshirt material- but it is "smooth" (you know what I mean??) and it has some stretch to it- so while it feels like a comfy sweatshirt- it actually looks much dressier.
3) The material, the length, the cowl neck- all of these features make it the type of top that is flattering on ANYONE!! 
4) It is $27.99- and currently Target is running a sale where you can buy one clothing item and get one 50% off!

They come in several different colors.  This color is called oatmeal heather.  LOVE it!!
What a perfect neutral!! 
You can find the other colors here, here and here!


Here is a picture of me wearing one of the tunics.  This one is an army green color- which they are not carrying this season (I got this particular tunic 2 years ago- and it still looks GREAT!)  For a sizing reference- I wear a small in these tunics.  I like my clothes to be more fitted than I do roomy- and even in the small I have some wiggle room.  I am 5' 8" and you can see that it hits me below my hips- and covers my bottom! :)  
(P.S. please don't think I have my Christmas decorations up already- HA! This picture is from last December :)
I know just from talking to my mom and sister-in-law, that each Target varies in the colors they carry in these tunics.  I am all about online shopping- so I say- buy a couple colors and sizes online, get them sent to your door, try them on in the comfort of your home and then return the ones that don't work at the store :)  But that's just me :)
Currently, at my Target they are only carrying this tunic in black, the camel color and one sweater version of it.  

You really need to get one of these tunics....you will love it and live in it!! :)

Hope you have the best day and if you end up getting one of these tops- let me know what you think!! 

Friday Favorites!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hi!! Happy Friday!! How was your week??
My girls have been off of school since Wednesday and it has been WONDERFUL.  I have been able to get A LOT of housework done and the girls have had a blast playing together all day.  We have such a busy day-to-day routine...it really has been so nice to just slow down for a couple of days!  
Today, we are traveling to Southern Illinois to visit my grandfather! My parents will be meeting us at his house and we will also get to see my sister and her family (she lives about 45 minutes away from my grandpa).  Tomorrow, we are headed to the Homecoming football game at Southern Illinois University- my Alma Mater (as well as my mom's, my 6 aunts, both of my brothers and my sister)- we are a Saluki family!! :) It is going to be so much fun to go back to campus and see how much everything has changed (considering I graduated, ahem, 13 years ago)!  
We will head back to Indianapolis early Sunday morning so we can get home in time to get organized for the week.  It is going to be a busy, fun weekend!

Now for my Friday Favorites :)  Being that it is October and it is ALL ABOUT PUMPKIN EVERYTHING- I had to share my favorite pumpkin "items" with you today. 
It is a total cliche' and just has to be done :) HA!
I will throw it out there, that while I love many "pumpkiny" things- I do NOT love the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. GASP! I know! I used to drink them all the time- but then it seemed like they just got to be too much.  
So now- my favorite holiday drink from Starbucks is a peppermint mocha- 
and I usually wait until my birthday to get my first one of the season :)

Okay- let's get started!

ONE
I have mentioned my love for 719 Walnut Avenue candles here and here on my blog. They are almost identical to Bath and Body Works triple wick candles and are $5!!!
One of my favorite scents is Pumpkin Waffle.  At first- I was worried it was going to be too strong...but it is the perfect Fall scent!! I have not seen this scent in the stores- but you can order it online!

TWO
Aaron's favorite dessert, whether it is summer, spring, fall or winter, is pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  Last week, I posted the recipe for them.  Check it out here and then immediately go to the store to get the ingredients to make them.  
You won't regret it!!  They are the perfect pumpkin dessert in the fact that they are not too pumpkiny and the mixture of the cheesecake middle and cream cheese icing just make them YUMMY.  The next pumpkin dessert I want to make is this pumpkin dream cake. Um. How amazing does that sound?? (Just between you and me- I would probably skip the maple cream cheese icing and just stick to regular cream cheese icing...I am purist when it comes to that sort of thing ;)
(please don't be jealous of my ah-mazing food photography skills!! ;)
THREE
Coffeemate's Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Creamer has been my all time favorite for years now!! It seriously turns a boring cup of coffee into perfection :)  I always have had a hard time finding it at most grocery stores- except for Target- who always has it in stock!  Well...for about 9 months now, I have cut dairy and products with dairy and lactose in them out of my diet.  So I now use almond milk coffee creamer.  Which means no Coffeemate Pumpkin Spice Creamer for me :(  Buutttt...I was totally intrigued when I found this recipe for a homemade, non-dairy version of pumpkin spice creamer!!  If I can get my hands on some arrowroot powder (????) I think I will try making some!!


FOUR
I LOVE pumpkin bread. Not with chocolate chips, not with nuts- just good ol' plain pumpkin bread.  This is an amazing recipe for it- the 5 star reviews kind of indicate that it is worth making, huh??  If you have a couple hours free this weekend- gather up your kids, make a mess and bake a couple loaves of this pumpkin bread. I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!!
source

FIVE
Finally, what is a post about all things pumpkin if I don't post a picture of my 4, soon to be FIVE, little pumpkins??!? 

YUP. Do you see how I snuck that "5" in there?? We are elated to be expecting our fifth precious baby around April 27, 2016!!

I am 13 weeks and the girls like to tell me everyday how ginormous my stomach is getting- HA!  James obviously has no clue what is going on, Celine wants a girl baby or a boy baby AND a girl baby (not happening sister!) and the "big" girls can't decide what they "want." HA!
We don't find out the gender of our babies, so as always, it will be the BEST surprise to find out what we are having on the baby's birthday!

We are totally humbled and so grateful God has blessed us with another baby.
So, so thankful!

And there you have it- my "all things pumpkin" edition of Friday Favorites!! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a FABULOUS weekend!

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!
 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!


Weekly Walmart Finds!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hi! Happy Wednesday! I am feeling pretty happy over here because my girls are on Fall Break for the rest of the week- which means- we don't have to get up early and rush out the door by 7:05 am!! I appreciate SO much not having anything to do (even though I have a TON to do:) and am just really looking forward to a couple days off our "regular" schedule!
Aaron and I have been married for 7 1/2 years and we still use EVERYTHING that we got for our wedding- in regard to dishes, cups, mugs, silverware, etc.  Everything we have is in great shape and still very nice- but I am definitely getting the itch to do a little updating with the items in our kitchen cabinets :) So of course, I went to my favorite site, Walmart.com and picked out a few fun things I definitely would mind adding to our kitchen!

Our coffee mug situation is pretty pathetic.  We have a set of plain white mugs that came with our every day china set that we got at our wedding shower.  Then we just have a bunch of random coffee mugs.  I really would love to have a pretty, new set of mugs for when we have people over or for when my parents are visiting us for the weekend.  I found these Pioneer Woman coffee mugs and I just love the look of them and the beautiful turquoise color! A set of 4 is $15.88, they are dishwasher safe and come in a couple other colors.  I will definitely be looking for these the next time I am in the store!
Isn't this the cutest, most cheerful little bowl you have ever seen? These bowls come in a set of 4 and are $15.88.  I love how they have the same turquoise color as the mugs.  I like things to be coordinated- but not matchy matchy :)  All of the Pioneer Woman's line is dishwasher safe- which is huge for me- since dishes are my arch nemesis :)  Wouldn't a set of these bowls and a homemade batch of soup or chili be the nicest housewarming gift to bring over to some friends?  Or a family that just had a new baby?  LOVE these bowls!!
Okay- I have seen these mason jars with lids and straws in the store and they are SO CUTE!! I love the cheerful yellow pattern on the lid and the yellow straw!  Now I know everyone is gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas and not even thinking like this- BUT when I saw these- I thought, "What a perfect gift for the girls' teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week!"  You could give each teacher a mason jar and tie on some crystal light drink packets or some ice tea mix. What a lovely (AND affordable) gift! I will definitely be picking up a couple packs of these and stashing them away for next spring!!
So- we make eggs at our house every day, if not a couple times a day.  We really put our little non-stick skillet to WORK.  And it is time to replace it!  Rachael Ray has an awesome kitchen line and Walmart sells it in the stores and online.  This pair of non-stick skillets caught my eye- especially since they were on sale for $31.98! These skillets have an almost 5 star rating- which I always love to see! 
Please tell me we aren't the only ones whose kitchen towels have seen better days??  Similar to my coffee mug situation- we are have huge mishmash of towels- most of them with stains or tears in them and they are just plain ugly!! I really need to get rid of a lot of them and get some towels that are not only absorbent- but look pretty when I have them out!
I really liked the fun, colorful pattern of these towels and they had awesome reviews!
You get a pack of 4 for just under $12- that's a pretty good deal for a quality dish towel! I think I am going to add these to my cart and try them out! 


Have you purchased any new kitchen items lately?? Any of them from Walmart?  Let me know if you have any good recommendations!!

Hope you have a WONDERFUL day!!

Show and Tell Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hi!! Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start!
Today, I am linking up with the wonderful Andrea and joining her Show and Tell Tuesday party.  The theme today is all about sharing your Halloween costumes from years past!  
This was such a fun post to put together!!
While I dressed up for Halloween almost every year when I was in college and graduate school....those pictures just aren't anything I feel the need to share with the public- HA!
So- we are going to start off with Halloween 2006.  Aaron and I had just met about 6 weeks prior to this!! He dressed up as Clark Kent and I was Lois Lane. We went out on the town in downtown Austin and seriously had the time of our lives! It was so much fun!! 
I am not sure what we were doing for Halloween 2007, but I couldn't find any pictures of us. So fast forward to Halloween 2008!  We were newly married AND about 2 months away from expecting our first baby!  Aaron dressed up as a wanna-be doctor :) and I made a cliche' pumpkin shirt for my baby bump.  Our beloved Hunter dog was a pumpkin.  Hunter was a huge chocolate lab that weighed about 100 pounds and all I could find him was a size medium pumpkin costume...you better believe we managed to squeeze him into it! HA!
Halloween 2009!! We had just moved to Cleveland, OH and had our precious little Charlotte! She was the sweetest bumblebee! We found this costume on a whim at a local Goodwill store!
Halloween 2010- aaahhh...the year Charlotte refused to look at the camera! HA! Charlotte was a precious little ladybug :)
 And our precious 8 week old baby Cora Maye was a bat!  Seriously- cutest costume ever! I think it was meant for a boy to wear...but the costume I had planned on her wearing, a baby pea pod, was too small!! She was a CHUNKY baby! 
 Halloween 2011- We had a beautiful Sleeping Beauty Princess (costume borrowed from my dear friend Laura!!) and we recycled that super cute bee costume and had Cora Maye wear it!! 
 Halloween 2012!!
Charlotte was a "purple butterfly girl"- her words not mine :)  Cora Maye was Pocahontas and baby Celine was a caterpillar!! She seriously looks so uncomfortable and awkward in this picture- but I assure you she was happy and warm- which was a must when trick or treating in good ol' Cleveland!
 Halloween 2013- We had a Tinkerbell Fairy (my mom made Charlotte's costume out of one of my old prom dresses!), the cutest lion ever and a sweet lady bug!
Not sure if you seem a theme yet to our costumes- but there is a lot of wearing the same costume multiple times :) Also- about 90% of our costumes are hand-me-downs!! So thankful for generous friends and an awesome sister-in-law!
 Halloween 2014- our first Halloween in Indianapolis, in our new house! Wouldn't you know it- the weather was ABSOLUTELY terrible! There was hail, 50 MPH winds and it was about 35 degrees outside.  My girls are serious about getting candy though- so Aaron took them out for about 30 minutes and they came back, soaked, freezing and with a bagfuls of candy! HA!
 So...James was just cute and didn't really have a costume last year- but we did slip an eye patch on him- and BOOM- cutest baby pirate ever!  Celine wore our very loved ladybug costume, Charlotte was a Pirate Princess :) and Cora was the CUTEST cowgirl!!

I just love Halloween.  We don't take it too seriously and just have tons of fun dressing up in a cute costume.  Obviously- the best part about Halloween is the CANDY! :)  
My in-laws are going to be visiting us from Texas for Halloween this year- so that should be extra fun to have Nana and Poppy at our house for all the festivities!
As far as costumes go- I think 1/2 of our crew has decided on what they are wearing and the other half "just doesn't know what to be!!"  Which I am totally fine with because the girls know their costume selection is comprised of the Halloween bin down in the basement and the 10 princesses dresses up in their playroom.  Momma isn't buying a darn thing! HA!

Hope you all have the best day and thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet :)


A Mish Mash on Monday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hi!! How was your weekend??  I hope you had some beautiful fall weather and got to enjoy some time outside with people you love the most!

Sooo...I usually post my menu plan for the week on Monday- but I am skipping that today.  I have a menu plan- but it is not anything that needs to be posted for all of the internet to see. HA!  My girls go on Fall Break starting tomorrow and we are leaving on Friday to take a quick trip to see my grandfather in Southern Illinois.  So my mission for the week- was to only get the bare minimum from the grocery store and plan our meals around what we already have in the freezer and fridge.  So- you could say our meals are a bit random.
Anyway- next week- I will be back with our weekly menu plan and hopefully a few new recipes I am going to try out!

Speaking of recipes- I have to tell you guys a funny story.  So a couple weeks ago- I had Shay's Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin on our menu plan.  After reading over her recipe, I got all of my ingredients ready to go and started dumping them in the crock pot.  The pork had been in the crock pot for couple hours when it was time for us to leave to go pick up my daughter from school and my youngest daughter, Celine, said, "What smells SO STINKY?" right as she walked by the crock pot! HA! That should have been my first clue I might have messed up the recipe.  But nope- I paid no attention to her comment and when Aaron got home from work- I told him to turn the crop pot to "warm" and shred the pork up so it would be ready for dinner.  You guys.  He came outside and said as soon as he lifted the lid off the crock pot- his eyes felt like they were going to burn out of his sockets. HA!  Then- he tried to taste a bite of the pork and choked on the "fumes" from the crock pot and couldn't even try the pork. I am dying laughing, but also thinking- what could possibly be wrong with this delicious pork tenderloin recipe?? So- I came inside to try the pork for myself- and totally choked when I opened the top to the crockpot.  Uh oh.  I totally messed something up. 
I quickly pulled up Shay's recipe and and read over it again.  And then I realized what I had done.  Her recipe calls for 8 cups of apple CIDER (or juice).  You guys.  I put in 8 CUPS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.  8 cups. of VINEGAR.  No wonder it smelled so stinky! Hahaha!! I have no idea why I "saw" vinegar after apple cider and why it didn't register with me that 8 cups of vinegar is not normal in a recipe.  Totally a winning moment for me in the kitchen.
Needless to say- I did everything I could to salvage our vinegar pork and my gracious husband literally choked down a serving of it at dinner (because I refused to let it all go to waste).  

Soooo.....yeah...I still have yet to make the CORRECT version of the apple cider pork tenderloin recipe...have you made it? It looks declicious!

Speaking of pork tenderloin- we made this recipe last night for dinner and it was WONDERFUL. The only change we made to the recipe is that it called for 1 cup of red wine, which we didn't have in the house (we are not wine drinkers).  So, we substituted a cup of chicken stock in place of the wine and it turned out great!  We served the pork tenderloin with a little bit of the juice (which you could easily turn into a gravy if you wanted to) over some mashed potatoes (totally took the easy way out and used these) and some steamed green beans. Only one of our kids didn't like it- so that is a complete dinner time success for us!! HA! 

And finally to end this super "mish-mash" of a post- I thought I would share a few fun pictures from our weekend. 

Friday night- we went to our church's "trunk or treat" event and it was so fun! The kids had a blast running around trick or treating and James had his first lollipop and I have to tell you- I think he is changed forever :)  I attempted to take pictures...but pretty much failed. There was just too much candy vying for the kids attention! HA!

Saturday- we had our friends over- they have 4 year old QUADRUPLETS!!! for a morning playdate!  We had donuts and apple slices for a snack and the kids played their little hearts jumping on the trampoline, playing on the play scape and making huge messes in our playroom.  Aaron and I had a blast chatting with our friends- we randomly met them at the YMCA over the summer and have become really good friends with them!!  Of course, I had great intentions of getting a picture of all 8 of the kids, being super cute and eating their donuts...and yeah. that didn't end up happening. HA!

After our friends left, we loaded up in our van, and headed to Sam's club to walk around and try out all the yummy samples they have on Saturday.  I may or may not have told Aaron that this was going to be everyone's lunch- and that he better fill up! HA!

Sample Time!!!
James was all about the chicken nugget samples...we might have had to go back and get him a second one ;)
 
The "big" girls and I ran some errands while the babies took an afternoon nap and Aaron started on the big job of re-organizing the storage side of our basement.  YUCK. So glad I got to wander around Bath and Body Works- HA!
Once the girls and I got home, we all headed out again to run a few more errands, one of which included a return at Home Depot.  The girls were BESIDE themselves when they saw all the Christmas decorations!! They seriously had the best.time.ever playing in this row of Christmas trees. I know where I am taking them the next time it is rainy and we are cooped up inside! Home Depot for the win! HA!
Sunday we had church and then it was lots of laundry for me and more organizing for Aaron while the kids napped and relaxed.  We had our family pictures last night and let me tell you- I don't even drink and I needed a STIFF cocktail after it was all said and done.  As you may already know....trying to get 6 people to all smile and look at the camera, at the same time, when one of them is a 15 month old baby boy who only wants to run and eat sticks and another one is a 3 year old drama queen...well...let's just say it was a doozy of a time. HA!
But then my friend sent me this "sneak peek" and I melted.  It was worth it!!
So...if you made it to the end of this super random post- CONGRATULATIONS!
Hope you have the best day and an awesome week!!

 
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