What I Wore

I didn’t post last week because of the holiday, so I have a lot of outfits to share this week!  I took photos of all but 3 days of outfits, and I will let you in on a little secret…those days were total PJ days!  I mean, shouldn’t it just be a law now that if you have a week off of school, you HAVE to have at least one pajama day?  So, I saved you the glamour of my dirty hair and pj pants pictures, haha!  Otherwise, here’s what I wore the past two weeks!

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I love this drapey burnt orange top, and I just added a long tan cardigan since it’s a bit too chilly for short sleeves (in NOVEMBER…but that’s beside the point).  Easy, easy outfit.

Orange Top- Crawford Collections

Tan Cardigan- Old Navy

Necklace- Gift

Skinny Jeans- Gap 

Leopard Pointy Flats- Amazon

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The week before Thanksgiving, the girls had a Thanksgiving lunch at school and parents were invited to join in.  This is what I wore to school for lunch!  It was a long day, but so much fun to eat lunch with my little beauties at school. 🙂  I LOVE this cream and black shawl/poncho, and it was only $13!!!!  Talk about a great Christmas gift!  I see myself wearing it a ton this fall and winter.

Also, I had a few people comment a few weeks ago that they like my mix of high(-ish) and low-end fashion, which I really appreciated!  I will be the first to say that I have no problem buying clothes at Wal-Mart (which has seriously stepped up their apparel department!) if it’s something relatively trendy that I don’t want to spend a lot of money on, or something that really looks nice for the price.  I have designer clothes in my closet, I have Anthropologie, Gap, Nordstrom, Loft, Old Navy, mid-range styles, and I have Wal-Mart, Target, Consignment Clothes, and a lot of things I’ve made myself!  I like mixing high and low, because it affords me the opportunity to buy more of what I want and what I like because I’m not spending a ton of money on each item.  Plus, I think it makes for a more interesting wardrobe anyway!

Cream and Black Shawl- Wal Mart 

Chambray Button Up Tunic- Belk 

Black Skinny Pants- Gap 

Beaded Necklace- Boutique in St. Augustine

Black Monogrammed Flats- Gift

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I LOVE longer tunic tops, but sometimes they can be hard to find for me.  Since I’m short (5’3″), a lot of regular tops of too short for my taste, but some tunics are too long for my short frame!  That’s why it is so great to MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES!!!  I made this peplum top and love it so much.  I used the Scout Tee pattern from Grainline Studios and hacked it a bit by adding length with a peplum ruffle.  Now it’s a great length for skinny jeans, and provides plenty of room.  I need to make a closet full of them!

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The day I wore it, I actually added my trusty camo jacket on top. 🙂

Ivory and Gold Polka Dot Peplum Scout Tee- Made by Me!

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections

Distressed Jeans- Target 

Camo Jacket- Abercrombie and Fitch via TJ Maxx

Perforated Booties- Jane

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I wanted to make special dresses for me and my girls for our holiday pictures this year.  I have been *coveting* this Cotton and Steel  Rifle Paper Co. Floral fabric, and had been wanting to order it for SO long.  And when I saw the newest Grainline Studio pattern, the Farrow Dress, I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to make!  I was terrified to cut into the fabric without trying out the pattern first (the fabric is gorgeous and NOT cheap!), so I made a quick muslin first that turned out really, really well, so I went ahead with the real deal!  It is a GREAT unique pattern that makes for the perfect little swingy high-low dress, and I am totally obsessed with it.  Again, I have plans for at least three more!  And I loved how it went with the rest of our family’s outfits for our pictures!

Red floral Farrow Dress- Made by Me!

Beaded Necklace- Boutique in St Augustine (wear this ALL the time!)

Brown Boots- Target 

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We have had a few chilly days, and I have been so excited to pull out my sweaters!  FINALLY!  I have had this poncho for years and while some ponchos can be kind of cumbersome and get in the way, since this one has armholes and the sides are closed, it’s much easier to move around in.  Which is key with three kids!

Brown Sweater Poncho- Gap 

Striped Longsleeve Tee- Gap

Jeggings- Target

Brown Boots- Target 

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Another favorite me-made dress!!  I shared several Pearl Shift dresses from Green Bee Patterns that I made a few weeks ago, but this might be my favorite.  I looooooove all the fall florals this year, and this fabric is no exception.  Easy shift dresses are seriously my sewing love language, and I could make a million more of these!

Floral Pearl Shift Dress- Made by Me!

Brown Lace Up Booties- Target 

Mother Pendent- Etsy 

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Another chilly day, and another poncho!!  I love the neutral grays and beiges in this one.  Perfect with a gray sweater underneath and jeans!

Gray and Beige Poncho Shawl- Wal-Mart 

Gray Turtleneck Sweater- Wal-Mart 

Distressed Jeans- Target

Gray Booties- Amazon

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This is what I wore up to Blue Ridge for Thanksgiving with my family.  A cozy plaid scarf with a roomy, swingy knit dress with plenty of room to hide overeating, haha!

Plaid Blanket Scarf- Jane

Navy Swing Dress- Bella Grace

Brown Boots- Target 

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Annnnnnd…this is what I wore home the next day!  I love an easy tunic and pair of jeans, especially on holiday break (as an upgrade from pajamas, haha!).

Rose Floral Print Tunic Top- TJ Maxx

Distressed Jeans- Target 

Perforated Booties- Jane

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Another roadtrip outfit, and another example of my favorite uniform- tunic, jeans, jacket, booties.  It works JUST about every time!

Gray Print Tunic Top- TJ Maxx

Camo Jacket- Abercrombie and Fitch vix TJ Maxx

Distressed Jeans- Target (I have been wearing these constantly lately!)

Perforated Booties- Jane (these too!)

Beaded Necklace- Boutique in St. Augustine

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections

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I wore this to Thanksgiving at my in-laws house last week.  Perfect choice too- the criss cross blouse was lightweight and roomy, and paired with leggings, I was comfy even after eating too much!  I love the print on this blouse too, it feels very autumn-y and looks cute with leggings or jeans.

Floral Criss Cross Tunic- Bella Grace

Borwn Leggings- Wal-Mart

Nude Booties- DSW

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And yesterday!!  We FIIIIIIIIIINALLY got some rain, so I took advantage of it and got out my rainboots.  And my trusty camo jacket, DUH (are you tired of it yet?  I might need another jacket.  Scott said, “you wear that jacket A LOT.” hahaha).  Camo, stripes, and boots are another solid uniform of mine that works just about every time.

Camo Jacket- Abercrombie and Fitch vix TJ Maxx

Black and White Striped Swing Dress- Old Navy

Hunter Boots- Zappos

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections

And LORDY, that’s it!  I’ll be joining in on Lindsey’s What I Wore link up over on the Pleated Poppy.  You should head over and check out all the awesome outfit inspiration.  So many great ideas!

Meal Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Detox Edition

Hello Friends!!  I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a nice break from work and/or school!  To be honest, I was so sad to send the kids back to school today.  Except for a few squabbles here and there, they played so well together over our break, and though it’s nice to have a little quiet today, I miss them!  Also, I was not prepared for my 6am alarm going off (that I snoozed until 7!)…it was SO hard to get out of bed!  But, we only have a few more weeks until CHRISTMAS break, so I’ll just be counting down the days!

We had THREE awesome Thanksgiving dinners, starting with my parents’ house, then my in-laws’ house, and then our house!  I made everything that I posted last Monday, and I have to say, I think it was our best Thanksgiving meal yet!  But I have hit my turkey quota for the year, and am ready for some lighter meals for the next few weeks before we feast again at Christmas!  So I am back with Meal Plan Monday again today, sharing what we’ll be eating this week.

Chicken and Egg Stir Fry with Asparagus

I have been wanting to try this recipe for so long!  It seems simple, not a bunch of ingredients, and many that we had on hand already.  Plus, with chicken, noodles, and a veggie all in one dish, no need to make extra side dishes!

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Soup

I mean, I have been cooking A LOT lately.  I need an easy night, and you can’t get much easier than this!  I like to use two cans of basic condensed tomato soup, add a can of water and a can of milk (to make it a little creamier), and then about a half a can of diced tomatoes with basil and Italian seasonings.  It is still super easy (and CHEAP!), but boosts the flavor.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas and Street Corn Salad

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a whole chicken (I can get a 3-pounder at Aldi for about $4- SUCH A DEAL), and put it in my crock pot on low for about 6 hours, and made the easiest and yummiest shredded chicken to use throughout the week.  Once the chicken is done cooking, it literally falls off the bone, and you can shred it up, and it makes enough for at least two dinners!!  So I have a chicken in the crock pot as I type this (I’ll post the recipe I use later this week), ready for these Chimichangas!  Kind of like a baked burrito, I thought they sounded really good.  And I like to avoid the typical rice and beans for side dishes (we never eat them), so we’re going to have a Street Corn salad that we have had before that the kids LOVE.

Ham, Green Beans, and Macaroni & Cheese

Like a broken record on this one. 🙂  A family fave that I can make in my sleep.  We all need a dinner like this at least once a week, right? 🙂

Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I’ll be using the rest of the crock pot shredded chicken on this warm and comforting soup later this week.  I have made it before, and it was a hit.  I wasn’t sure how Scott (or the kids) would like the gnocchi, but they are like little balls of mashed potatoes, and who wouldn’t like that??!  Highly recommend this one.

Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Spaghetti and Caesar Salad

Brussels Sprouts are the kids favorite vegetable, with tons of bacon, so why not combine it with their other favorite meal, spaghetti?!  You make a bit of a cream sauce with it (I’m hoping it will be a bit like a carbonara?), and I am really looking forward to trying this out.  Crossing my fingers for another winner.

And two weeks ago, I added two lunch options to my meal plan to have pre-made lunches for myself ready everyday when I open the fridge to eat a quick lunch at home.  I LOVED having two options all ready for lunchtime!  It made making lunch MUCH easier, and kept me from making unhealthy choices.  So here are my two lunch options for the week that I already have made and portioned out:

No-Mayo Broccoli Salad

Natalie from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers always has the BEST salad recipes that are perfect for lunches.  I’ve made this broccoli salad before, and though I am a HUGE mayo fan, you don’t even miss it!

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Another salad recipe from Natalie.  I love a good antipasto salad with olives, and parm, and salami, and am looking forward to making this one!

So that’s what we’ve got planned for the week.  What’s on your menu?

 

Meal Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Edition

Hello Friends!  Happy Thanksgiving Week!  We had a wonderful weekend in Blue Ridge with my family, and are looking forward to heading to South Carolina on Tuesday to spend some time with Scott’s family.  It’s nice to have this whole week off so that we have time to run back and forth between both families, and then be home to celebrate Thanksgiving Day quietly at home with my sweet little family.

What about you?  What do your plan entail?  Are you traveling?  Cooking?  Both?  Do you stick with traditional Thanksgiving food or do you do something different?  My mom makes the entire meal when we eat with my family, and Scott’s family (BIG family) does a potluck, so I’m bringing a few dishes this year.  And then since I just love cooking, and I want my kids to grow up with a Thanksgiving meal that mom made, I’ll be making the whole shebang again on Thursday.  Will we be a little tired of the whole thing?  I honestly don’t think so!!  The turkey is kind of the same over and over, but all the sides are different, and are all my favorite things anyway!  Scott makes one dish every year, and I think I am going to let the kids help me with one item each this year.  It certainly tries my patience, but it will make for good memories, and I will be so proud to allow the kids to participate in making a meal that is so important to us.  They will love helping out!

So since we will be eating leftovers (we had chili last night) and cleaning out the fridge until we leave for Aiken, and then eating Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, I thought I’d share our Thanksgiving menu today instead of a weekly meal plan!  So here’s what our little family will be eating on Turkey Day!

Appetizer: Ina Garten’s Baked Fontina

I like having one appetizer to snack on before we eat our Thanksgiving meal around 1:00-2:00.  Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Fontina is the most delicious herby, garlicky baked cheese dish that I have ever had, and I typically only make it on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I serve it with toasted bread, and it tides us over until the big meal.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Duh, the main attraction!  Since I am only cooking for the five of us on Thursday, I just roast a turkey breast instead of the whole bird in the oven.  It makes PLENTY (we are pretty much white-meat-only eaters anyway), and doesn’t take nearly as long to cook.

Bammy’s Cornbread Dressing

I have tried dressing made with stuffing mix, bread, breadcrumbs, rice, sausage, sage, oysters, you name it, but nothing even comes close to comparing with my mom’s cornbread stuffing.  It is my favorite part of the whole meal and I love making it since it is truly a family recipe being handed down to the next generation.

Pioneer Woman Mashed Potatoes

We are BIG mashed potatoes fans around here.  I make them from time to time, and use butter and milk, sometimes cream, but THIS recipe is for the ultimate mashed potatoes.  Like, once a year, holidays only, special occasion mashed potatoes.  A block and a half of cream cheese, a stick and a half of butter, cream, and half and half makes for the creamiest, most decadent, and most delicious mashed potatoes.  And worth. every. bite.

Green Beans

This is the dish that Scott makes each year.  We love green beans cooked within a minute of disintegrating, and canned beans just won’t cut it for Thanksgiving.  So we get fresh beans, and he doctors them up with chicken stock, bacon, and onions and they are delicious.

Cranberry Sauce

I love real cranberry sauce, but I like taking the easy way out and make it in the crockpot!  Throw in fresh cranberries, a jar of orange marmalade, sugar, cinnamon, and water, cook on high for 3 hours, and done!  It’s chunky, tart, sweet, and prefect for Thanksgiving day, and for sandwiches the day after!

Yeast Dinner Rolls

You just can’t beat Sister Schubert’s Yeast Rolls straight outta the freezer section at Kroger.  This is the part of our dinner that I phone-in and just buy pre-made!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

This is a new recipe to our Thanksgiving dinner, but one of our very favorite side dishes throughout the rest of the year!  I wanted to add one more vegetable side dish to our dinner, so I suggested a few to the kids, and they overwhelmingly chose the brussels sprouts.  Pretty sure they’ll fit right in, and there will be no leftovers.

Deviled Eggs

I hadn’t planned on making deviled eggs until we had them at my parents house this past weekend, and I just can’t leave them out.  I can eat deviled eggs until I am sick I love them so much.

Pecan Pie

Scott’s favorite, and a Southern Thanksgiving tradition!  I use the recipe on the Karo Corn Syrup package–such a classic, and hard to beat.

Buttermilk Pie

I wanted one other dessert option, and though I do like Pumpkin Pie, I wanted something a little different.  I have heard so much about this simple Buttermilk Pie for so long, that I decided I’m going to try it out!  It’s a custard pie, very simple, but I am betting it will be a hit.

So that’s what we’re going to be eating this year.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy each other’s company, as well as the food!

What I Wore

I am back today with another What I Wore Wednesday!  Thanks for all the comments and love and support for my first post back in while last week…it always is a bit awkward posting a whole bunch of photos of myself, ha!  But I love the idea behind WIWW- to inspire myself and others to branch out, try some new things, and put some effort into my appearance every day.  It really makes me feel more confident and more productive.  Check out Lindsey’s link up and give it a try!

Here’s what I wore this past week:

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I made this cardigan last year just as soon as the Laurelhurst Cardigan came out, and promptly made three more!  If you sew but are new to knits, this is a great beginner project with knits.  And then it’s hard to get much cozier than a loose tunic t and leggings!

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And everytime I take these pictures, my big boy always begs to get in the picture with me!  So here’s me and my Ben!  Don’t remind me how tall he’s getting!

Black and White Geometric Cardigan- Made by Me!

Black Pico Tunic- Jane.com

Black Leggings- Jane.com

Boots- Gift

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections

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It finally got chilly enough this week to wear a (light) sweater!  I may have had to take the scarf off my the afternoon, but at least we are out of the 80’s!  Notice that my necklace is on constant repeat, it just goes with everything!  But I need to grab a few neutral alternatives, I think!

Ivory Aztec Sweater- WalMart

Mustard Scarf- Gift

Distressed Jeans- Target

Perforated Booties- Jane.com

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I am so into ponchos and shawls this fall.  This one is actually from the summer, in a lightweight white cotton with tons of beautiful embroidery, but I think it transitions easily into fall with some jeans and booties!

White Embroidered Fringe Poncho- Crawford Collections

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections (seriously, y’all, if you are ever in Blue Ridge, go visit Candace!!  Her shop is amazing!)

Distressed Jeans- Target

Nude Booties- DSW

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I love a good monochromatic black on black on black outfit every once in a while.  Especially in the fall and winter when my closet favors more neutrals than in the spring and summer.  Old Navy has these amazing swing style dresses right now (in all sorts of colors, prints, sleeve lengths, etc), and I have been obsessed with them for about a year.  I love the lace detail on the sleeves and I felt comfortable but appropriate for church this past Sunday.

Black Swing Dress- Old Navy

Beaded Necklace- Boutique in St. Augustine

Back tights- Old Navy

Black Booties- Old Navy 

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I am still totally into plaid flannel shirts, puffy vests and boots for this fall and winter!  Easy casual look that doesn’t take much time or effort (especially when you have a fine collection of colorful plaid shirts that will coordinate with a variety of vests!!).

Navy and White Buffalo Plaid Flannel Button Up Shirt- Old Navy

Navy Puffy Vest- Belk

Jeans- Old Navy

Brown Boots- Macy’s

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One of my very favorite dresses I picked up this season.  I got this with my sister in law back in August, and have worn it several times since!  It was cute with nude wedges when it was warmer out, it’s cute with boots and booties now, and I will be wearing it with brown leggings when it gets cooler still in the upcoming months.  Even though I’m short, I’m kind of a prude when it comes to dress and skirt lengths, so I like to wear my ruffle extender with it to give it a bit more length.  It’s comfortable, I adore the embroidery, and feel very fall-ish and festive in the burnt orange color.

Orange and Ivory Embroidered Tunic Dress- Page 6 Boutique

Ivory Ruffle Extender- Grace & Lace

Brown Boots- Target

Necklace- Gift

That’s it for me this week!  I am linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore post, so hop over there and check out all the other bloggers and their fashion posts and get some wonderful outfit inspiration!

Loaded Hummus

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Sometimes when Scott’s away for dinner or out of town, I just don’t feel up to cooking a big dinner for me and the kids.  I fall back on frozen lasagna (I keep one in the freezer at all times just in case), waffles and bacon, or Spahgettios (they LOVE them!), and I make myself a little mezze platter instead of an actual dinner.  A plate of olives, nuts, a little cheese and maybe salami, and Loaded Hummus.  We are big hummus fans in this house (it’s one of Brantley’s favorite snacks with baby carrots), and typically a tub of Sabra is good enough, but with a few quick and easy additions, regular hummus is elevated into an easy lunch, appetizer or snack!  Not to mention, with my nuts, olives, cheese, and meat, it makes for a quick and delicious no-cook dinner.  What mom wouldn’t love that?!

Loaded Hummus 

(Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking)

Tub of Sabra Orginal Hummus, or Your Favorite Brand (You could definitely make your own homemade hummus if you are so inclined. but the whole point of this recipe for me is quick and easy, and I love the flavor and consistency of Sabra)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

Seeds from one Pomegranate (or dried cranberries)

1/4 Red Onion, sliced very thinly

Goat Cheese (or Feta)

Roasted Pepitas (or Pine Nuts, or Almonds- seed/nut of your choice)

Pita Bread or Naan Sliced into wedges, Pita Chips, Vegetable Crudite- Whatever You Plan to Dip 🙂

And it’s so simple to put together-

Put the hummus in a small serving bowl.  Top with a drizzle of olive oil, then add chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds, red onion, pepitas, and crumble goat cheese on top.  Serve with pita bread, chips, or veggies.

That’s it!  Super simple, and really tasty.  It would even make a great appetizer for Thanksgiving!  Hope you’ll try it out, and let me know what you think!

Meal Plan Monday…and Something New!

Hi Friends!  I hope you had a nice, restful weekend!  We got out of the house and walked around our sweet little local downtown area, and went to the most precious new children’s bookstore that is pretty much the best children’s bookstore ever.  But more about that later this week.  Today, as I do each Monday, I’m sharing our meal plan for the week!

If you’re not familiar with my blog, I LOVE meal planning for our family and post our plan for the week every Monday.  I am totally a planner, and so meal planning is right up my alley, but more importantly, meal planning helps me save money at the grocery store (I shop for the week each Sunday) by having a real plan and not just buying on impulse or without a good idea of the meals I want to make for dinner each week.  Also, I meal plan, so, duh, I know what we’re going to eat for dinner each night!  At all costs I try to avoid opening the fridge at 6pm and not knowing what we’re going to eat for dinner.  That is just too much stress at an already stressful time of day!  I buy 6 meals for the week (I leave one night open for leftovers, or eating out, or sending Scott to the store for steaks or something special and spontaneous), but don’t assign each meal to a specific night (for the most part- I do decide on easy meals like pizza or crockpot meals for busy nights that we have activities), so we can still kinda of choose which meal we feel like on each night.

So that’s how and why I typically do my meal planning.  But this week, I have added something new!  Since I am a stay at home/work from home mama, I am home during lunchtime pretty much every day.  I have noticed that I do that one thing every day at lunchtime that my dinner meal planning helps me avoid at 6pm every night– I open the fridge, stare inside, and have no idea what I want to make/eat for lunch!  Every day!  I am sick of not having some good, healthy lunch options, so I am going to add lunches to my weekly meal plan.  I have decided that I am going to add one large salad recipe, and one soup recipe to my weekly meal plan to make for my lunches.  So I made this week’s lunch recipes last night, before I cooked dinner, and portioned them out for lunches throughout the week.  I already make Brantley and Grayson’s lunches for the week all on Sunday afternoon (I loathe making lunches in the morning while trying to make breakfasts too and get everyone out the door, and don’t mind making them at all when I am not under a time restraint!) and it works out so very well (I’m also going to start premaking Ben’s as well!), so why not go ahead and make my lunches too.  That way, each day I’m home during the week, I’ll grab my soup or salad, have a quick and easy lunch, and no digging through the produce drawer trying to piece a salad together, or setting for a peanut butter sandwich again.

SO!  With all that being said…here’s what we’re eating for dinner this week:

Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Sometimes you just need a little warm comfort food.  A friend of mine posted these pork chops on Facebook last week, and I just thought they sounded so good.  Plus, I think Scott will really like them, and mashed potatoes and green beans are favorites of the kids.  I think this meal is going to be a real winner.

Pepperoni Pizza Spaghetti Squash Bowls and Caesar Salad

So, I told you last week about my obsession with squash.  I know, however, that my kids (and Scott too, TBH) will need a bit of convincing to give spaghetti squash a try.  I am thinking that if I top it with marinara, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni, that I’ll have some converts!  Worst case– they all like Caesar salads. 🙂

Blackened Tilapia, Rice, Broccoli, and Squash

Tilapia is super, super easy to make when you just sprinkle it with blackening seasoning and bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  While it bakes, I’ll make the rice, steam the broccoli, and saute the squash, and dinner will be ready in less than 30 minutes.  And BONUS- it’s healthy!

Chicken Taco Salad

The Pioneer Woman never lets me down.  I have a lot of leftovers that will be added into this salad.  Leftover roasted chicken, corn and tomatoes will all find their way into this dinner salad that I am really excited about.  I think the kids will love the salsa-ranch dressing!

Cabbage and Kielbasa Skillet with Honey Butter Roasted Carrots

Sauteed cabbage and sausage is an easy and cheap dinner, and for as simple as it is, it is SO GOOD.  And this recipe for roasted carrots is pretty much the only way my family will eat cooked carrots now.  They are sweet and savory, and a great side dish.

Zuppa Tuscana and Garlic Bread

This Olive Garden copy-cat soup recipe just screams fall to me.  Sausage, kale, and potatoes, and a hunk of garlic bread?  I can’t wait to try this out.

So that covers what we’ll be eating for dinners this week!  And these are the recipes I’ll be whipping up for myself, for lunches:

Cauliflower Soup 

I am a huge fan of cauliflower soup, and am excited about having it for lunch this week!  I was able to portion out about 4 bowls-worth of soup!

Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa, and Cranberry Salad

I made this as a side dish a while back and loved it.  I used my Apple Cider Vinaigrette that was leftover from my Chicken, Kale, and Butternut Squash Salad last week, and it’s the perfect dressing for all the flavors in the salad.

That about covers it!  What will you be eating this week?!

Things I Like

Happy Veterans Day and Happy Friday, friends!  We have the day off from school today, so my trio is home and we are relaxing in our jammies and making cards for our favorite veteran, my husband, Scott!  The kids are beginning to understand what Veteran’s Day means, and are SO proud to have one as their very own Daddy!

So I thought I’d get back to another little series I started a while back- just a list of things I am really liking right now.  Read along and share your own list if you’d like!

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Picking Apples- We picked apples last month in Ellijay, Georgia with my mom, and we all had so much fun!  I am still using up apples in recipes and in lunchboxes.  I plan on sharing some of our favorite apple recipes next week.

Fall Scented Candles- I LOVE candles, but really don’t burn them except when it’s cold outside.  But I have a Pumpkin Apple Bread and a Pumpkin Nutmeg Pie Candle on my desk, and they are amazing.

Coffee at 3pm- I love coffee all the time, and it’s basically a requirement for functioning in the morning, but I love just a small cup of hot coffee in the afternoons, now that it’s chilly out, to get me through the rest of the day.

SQUASH- I am kind of obsessed with squash right now!  I have made two different soups with butternut squash (this one and this one) that have both been homeruns, we have roasted it at least three different times for a side dish, and are having it tonight in a salad with roasted chicken, kale, pepitas, sharp cheddar, and cranberries.  I have been pinning spaghetti squash recipes like crazy, and are trying out a Pepperoni Pizza Spaghetti Squash recipe next week (and if you have any other spaghetti squash recipes that you love, send them my way!).  It is like the honorary vegetable of the fall, and I think they are all so delicious.  And SO good for you!

Nude Peep Toe Booties- It’s allllllmost getting too chilly to wear them, but on these fall days that it’s still pretty warm in the afternoons, I love the look of peep toe booties that go with just everything- jeans and dresses alike.

Target Dollar Section- Also known as the “Just leave your entire wallet right here, Amanda” section. #amirite?

Apple Cider and Salted Caramel Vodka- Easiest and tastiest fall cocktail for, I don’t know, a lovely Friday evening?  You’re welcome.

Cozy Suede and Sherpa Slippers- I usually go barefoot inside the house until it gets cold, and then I am all about my slippers!  I love these and these and have a pair on as I write this!

Black Mirror on Netflix- Netflix is KILLING IT right now.  Black Mirror is actually a BBC series, and is an updated Twilight Zone of sorts for the digital age.  They just released a new season and it is SO GOOD.  It really speaks to the effect that technology and social media has on us and is so fascinating and kinda scary.  I also just finished Glitch, and WHOA IT IS AWESOME.  It’s only 6 episodes, so not a ridiculous time investment if you want to binge watch it, say, this weekend?!  And after the last episode, I am DYING for Season 2!  I am about to start The Crown, which I have heard such awesome things about.

Small Town Family Businesses- Our favorite little nearby small town, Monroe, has opened several new shops in their adorable downtown.  I haven’t made it over there yet, but am SO excited to check them out.  I love supporting small town, local family businesses, and can’t wait to get some Christmas shopping done with them soon.

Hope you have a wonderful Friday and a wonderful rest of your weekend!

What I Wore Wednesday

Hi Friends!  have been meaning and meaning to get back to doing a regular What I Wore Wednesday post, and decided, yep, that today would be the day!

If you have read/followed my blog for long enough, you may remember my old WIWW posts!  The whole reason I started posting outfits was because I was in a rut.  I was pajamas all day everyday, not putting much effort into how I looked, and thus not feeling so great about myself.  I wanted to start holding myself accountable and getting dressed each day, wearing the clothes in my closet, and putting my best foot forward.  And you know what??  It made  BIG difference.  When I get up and get dressed, put on some makeup and fix my hair, I am more productive, more positive, more motivated, and just generally feel better about myself.  So why not keep it up?!  Knowing that I have a photo to take and post, gives me that much more incentive.  I feel like not only did I kind of fall back in a rut, but I like these WIWW posts because I am encouraged to wear pieces in my closet differently and try new things.  And I love seeing inspiration from others that post in The Pleated Poppy’s linkup, so why not join in again.

SO- here’s what I’ve been wearing lately.  I hope to make this a regular post again, so let me know what you think!

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Such an easy and versatile dress- one of my faves.  Stripes are pretty much neutrals now, I think!  This dress is cute on it’s own, but so easy to layer with cardigans, jackets, prints, solids, you name it.  Matter of fact, you’ll see it again in a minute. 🙂

Navy and White Striped Dress- Wal-Mart (only $14!!)

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections in Blue Ridge 

Tan Ballet Flats- Target 

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Love this drapey burnt orange top that was great when it was still warm out, and will be cute layered with cardigans and jackets this fall.  I am all about versatile pieces!

Burnt Orange Top- Crawford Collections in Blue Ridge 

Tassel Necklace- Crawford Collections

Beaded Necklace- Boutique in St. Augustine, FL

High Waisted Skinny Jeans- Gap

Leopard Print Pointy Flats- Amazon

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Sooo…I gotta admit that my Spring Handmade Closet list was a HUGE bust.  I had a  great big long list of things I wanted to sew myself over the Spring and summer that I just did not get around to.  BUT, I have gotten a few things made for myself this fall!  The Pearl Shift Dress was a pattern I bought last spring and used to make this easy, simple, and classic shift.  I loved making it so much (and loved the casual fit) that I have made two more!  One more is coming up… 🙂

Navy and White Geometric Print Pearl Shift Dress- Made By Me 🙂

Gold Pendant- Gift

Nude and Gold Watch- Kate Spade

Nude Peep Toe Booties- Old Navy 

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I love a long-sleeved dress. 🙂  And one that you can dress up or dress down in a gorgeous, season-less red?  Oh, and for $20??!!  Yep, don’t mind if I do.

Red Waist Tie Henley Dress- TJ Maxx

Nude Platform Heels- Old Navy

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See?!  My favorite striped dress from above with my faaaaaaavorite camo utility jacket, and my favorite neutral booties.  On days that I really just don’t know what to wear or don’t want to put in the effort, this combo is what I default to.  It’s very comfortable, and it makes me feel put together.

Navy and White Striped Dress- Wal-Mart 

Camo Utility Jacket- Abercrombie & Fitch from TJ Maxx

Gray Nude Booties- Amazon

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Another simple uniform for me in the fall- tunic, skinny jeans, booties.  Done.  I grabbed a few loose, blousy tunics late this summer at TJ Maxx that would all go with any pair of jeans, and with one or more pairs of ballet flats or booties in my closet.  It makes for an easy way to get dressed in the mornings, when I know that I have a couple outfit options that I know I can go to when I just don’t want to challenge myself too much!

Cream Henley Tunic- Old Navy

Destructed Skinny Jeans- Target 

Nude Booties- DSW

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I love this time of year- when it’s chilly out, but still warm enough to wear a long sleeve dress with bare legs or boots!  I love this dress that I picked up In Fort Mill, South Carolina while shopping with my sister in law when Scott and I were visiting Charlotte in August.  It’s too short to wear on it’s own as a dress, but is perfect with my ruffled dress extender!  I also think it will be cute with leggings once bare legs just won’t cut it.  But I love all the boho details on this dress- the bell sleeves, the navy floral print, and the velvet and embroidered placket detail, that are all so cute for this fall.

Navy Floral Dress- Page 6 Boutique

Nude Platform Heels- Old Navy

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My second and my favorite Pearl Shift Dress that I made!  I bought this black and white flannel buffalo check last fall, without knowing exactly what I wanted to make with it, so I just sat on it.  But after I made my first Pearl Shift, I knew that’s what I wanted to use it for!  It’s soft and loose, versatile and easy to wear, and I’d wear it everyday if I could.  I will certainly be making more Pearl Shifts in plaid flannel.  But I love that I can add color through accessories with this black and white one, or, like I did the other day, just keep it black, white, and gray!

Black and White Flannel Pearl Shift Dress- Made by Me!

Black and White Herringbone Vest- Christmas Gift

Gray Nude Booties- Amazon

Beaded Necklace- Boutique in St. Augustine, FL

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And here’s the dress on it’s own without the vest.  The silhouette and shape is so simple, but it’s so versatile, easy to wear, and flattering!

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And my last outfit for today, his is what I wore yesterday!  Another example of my tunic-jeans-booties uniform that I love so much.  I did wear my trusty camo jacket in the morning when it was cooler, but it’s simple, basic, it’s easy, and I feel comfortable in it, and makes me feel put together.

Red Henley Tunic- TJ Maxx

Destructed Skinny Jeans- Target 

Nude Booties- DSW

I will be linking up with Lindsey’s What I Wore link party today!  Go check it out– there are so many people that post awesome ideas and outfit inspiration.  So many fresh ideas to get out of a rut and try something new!

Election Day 2016

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Corinthians 7:14

Today, on Election Day, I will pray.  And then I will vote for my selection of the next President of the United States.  And then I will pray more (and watch the election coverage obsessively all day and night, of course).  I hope you can join with me and, no matter the outcome of the election, pray for our newly elected leaders, and the future of our country and it’s citizens.  Lord knows, we will all need it.

Like my pastor said in church this past Sunday, no matter the results of the election, on Wednesday, November 9th, the Bible will still have all the answers we need.  There will still be room at the cross, and Jesus will still save.  On November 9th, our prayers will still be heard.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for his inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

***

“O God of justice and compassion. You have called us to use our gifts to your glory. You challenge us to claim Your power and presence in us. Today we lift up the gift of citizenship that we have been given in the United States. We give thanks for the opportunity to participate in this democracy. We know that You expect us to use the gifts You have given us. We will step forth in faith. We will become faithful citizens. We will use our gifts. We will study the issues. We will study Your word and the guidance You have given us. We will pray for our democracy, our current elected leaders, and our future leaders. We will seek to support the candidates that we think best reflect our values. We will use our power. We will claim our gifts. We will vote on Tuesday, November 8. And when the elections are over, we will pledge to support those elected through prayer and regular communication of our concerns to them. Thank you, God, for your gifts and the opportunities you see before us. Amen.”

By: National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice Source: Education for Justice

Meal Plan Monday

Hi Friends!  Hope you had a nice weekend– we took it eeeeeeeeasy on Saturday, which was so nice.  I actually got a few organizational projects done around the house, but never even changed out of my jammies.  I LOVE days like that every once in a while!  Watched football, ate soup, and rested.  Much needed!

We have a pretty crazy week coming up, so we don’t have complicated dinners planned, but lots of comfort food.  Here’s what we’ll be eating!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Corn Muffins

Doesn’t this sound so good???!!!!  I might just have to make this tonight, because I don’t think I can wait any longer to try it out!  I love chicken pot pies, but in a soup version??!  Sounds perfect to me.

Chicken Enchilada Baked Ravioli

I love using cheese ravioli as a shortcut in making lasagna, so why not try it out in this Chicken Enchilada bake?!  I have never made my own enchilada sauce, but it seems very simple, and utilizing a rotisserie chicken will keep prep to a minimum.  I’m also going to add a bit of chopped spinach in with the corn and black beans since I won’t be serving it with a side dish, to up the veggie ante.  Hoping it’s a winner!

Blackened Tilapia Taco Bowls

I bought the big bag of frozen tilapia filets last week, so we have plenty left over for fish taco bowls!  If you read this series on a regular basis, you know that I love a good rice bowl- and this is no exception.  The kids like it too, since we have a ton of yummy topping options, and I let them choose whatever they’d like to go with the rice and fish.  But me- I’ll be piling on the red onion, corn, black beans, cilantro, avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, lime, and fish!  I may whip up a little lime vinaigrette too, just for a bit of a sauce.

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

I wanted to have a big salad for dinner one night, and this is my new favorite fall salad.  I’m going to roast a few chicken breasts and some diced butternut squash to add to a bed of kale with thinly sliced apples, cranberries, roasted pepitas, shaved parmesan, and a homemade apple cider vinaigrette.  I made up this dressing a week or so ago, and OMG, it’s my new fave.  I’ll try to write down the actual measurements when I make it this week, but I use apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, and a bit of sugar.  I use my handy-dandy salad dressing tool thing from Pampered Chef that I have had forever, and it works perfectly!  The dressing is so good with this salad, and you can dress the kale with it a little early so it begins to break the kale down a bit, and then add more after you add all the salad fixings on top.

Asian Burgers with Hoisin Ketchup and Garlic French Fries

We have a ridiculous number of hamburger buns in our freezer, leftover from Scott’s birthday.  I figured I ought to try to use them up, and so…BURGERS!  I thought these Asian burgers sounded really good, with soy sauce and hoisin– a little different than just a typical burger.  We’ll keep it simple with french fries on the side, but season them with garlic salt and a garlic (and maybe sesame?) aioli om the side.

So that’s what we’re eating this week!  What will you be having??

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