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Tuesday

The Great Freezer Swap (Ladies Night With A Twist)

Last night some girlfriends and I did something really fun and different. I mean we still made a dinner of Spanish cheese and salami and popped bubbly, BUT we combined all of that goodness with a freezer swap!

The night started out with us looking into doing one of those spice-company parties where you come with prepped ingredients, gather around a kitchen, and put together your meals together. We all liked this idea, but it was starting to seem a little expensive and complicated, and we didn't want to spend the entire evening more concerned about measuring out ingredients than chatting. 

So we simplified it to the Nth degree and decided that each of us would prepare a meal of our choosing at home, multiply it by five (there were 6 of us there last night), and bring it to Margot's house. We all chatted and had great girl time, then at the end of the night we talked about how to prepare what we brought and took one of each of the dishes. So we all left with 5 different freezer meals!


I know you've been dying for a photo of me holding raw chicken thighs, so here you go.

I did a sheet pan dinner in the picture above. Chicken thighs, carrots, brussel sprouts, onion, green beans, sweet potatoes. All marinated in a garlic/herb/citrus marinade (to be honest -- the kind from the packet where you just add the citrus juice) to which I added olive oil and stone ground mustard. 

I froze it before the evening, and to prepare, my friends just have to thaw the bag in the fridge, dump it out on a sheet pan, and cook at 400 degrees flipping halfway through!

And in my freezer now I have chicken enchiladas, a crockpot chicken stew, BBQ chicken chili and cornbread, meatballs and pasta, and shrimp creole with rice. 

Now THAT is a productive girls night ... am I right?!

Friday

Five On Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

O N E
Just wanted to start off with a big virtual hug to my amazing mama. The girls and I spent Tuesday evening through Wednesday lunch down at my folks' lakehouse -- a quick trip but a good one. We were originally planning to go to the SC State Fair but the threat of rain in the forecast sort of skewed everything. But we rolled with the punches and had a great visit anyway, lots of good chats ... and I always like seeing Camille and Charlotte play with the same toys that my sisters and I played with as kids! I loved that she saved some of our most important toys, dolls, and books.



T W O
I'm not much of a salad eater for lunches (give me ALL the sandwiches), but my mom is, and she's a good influence on me. Plus, she had cool salad ingredients and mine are always lame. Look at these spiralized BEETS!

So this salad was spring greens, spiralized beets, red apples, celery, swiss cheese chunks, capers, and balsamic dressing. So incredibly tasty and she's inspired me to incorporate salads more often.




T H R E E
Went for my every-other-weekend gel mani on Saturday and went with the amazing color Apartment For Two by OPI. Of course I didn't snap a photo and by now it's almost a week grown out so you'll have to excuse. But it's the BEST color and so pretty for fall!



F O U R
Fellow Lilly fans, did you score anything from the sale on Rue La La? There's only a little time left! My very favorite grocery list pads (I seriously use these EVERY week) are majorly marked down -- you can get two stacks for $14.99. One for you, one for a stocking stuffer! There are 60 sheets per pad so a pad will easily last you through a year of weekly grocery lists. I love this thing and it looks cute in our countertop organizer where we keep stationery, stamps, and notepads. And Barbie shoes.

Image result for lilly grocery list

There are so many great items $20 and less so check RLL out before the Lilly sale is over. A few items only have a few hours left before they go away!


F I V E
Boone-bound and so excited! Happy weekending, everyone!

lets go to the mountains




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That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!





Thursday

Camille's Fall Fashion

Remember when we '80s babies were growing up, and the coolest concept in the world was a SHOPPING SPREE?

I remember talking to girls in elementary or middle school and being like "So what did you get for your birthday?" and they would say, "Ohhh, my grandma took me on a shopping spree" and I was jealousssss like crazy. Just thinking about a crimped-hair girl popping into every single store in the fluorescent-lit mall with shopping bags all up and down her arms. 

Well, I went on a bit of a shopping spree for Camille the other day while she was at preschool and I picked up the CUTEST things! Everything is from Kid to Kid and I paid between $1-5 for most every single item. Consignment shopping is my favorite!

So, I know you're dying to see this fall fashion. Here we go!


First things first, girlfriend got a chambray shirt. AND Under Armour yoga pants. AND the cutest little tulle skirt (it was a dollar and I figure it will be adorable over leggings). 


We are big big big into the twirly skirt phase, so when I saw this little ivory holiday dress with the quilted top (I just can't) and tulle twirly skirt (she just can't), I knew she would go BA-NANAS. And the lavender dress on the right with the castle and unicorns playing in snow was a dollar. I think it's cute, but good thing I didn't overpay ... I don't think she'll wear it because the skirt doesn't have spin. 

But is that laughing pose a style blogger pose, or what. I think I had to make a toot sound to get that. 


Cinderella shirt because she is all-princess-all-the-time. 
Skinny jeans. Necessary.
This little royal blue swing top with pockets is an Old Navy score -- we have it in a smaller size in a yellow color and she wore it a lot last year. 


I cuffed the skinny jeans and topped it with this black and white tunic dress from Carters. 

And that little navy shirt and pleated-side kilt! The tartan is almost an exact match for Ian's family tartan! He loves that I found this for her!


Lastly, this adorable aqua corduroy skirt with dogs on it is probably too snug, but it was like $2.50 so I will just keep it for Charlotte. 

And this little matching outfit with cats on it, matching leggings and that sassy coral bow at the neckline! Adorbs!

So, FALL COLLEZIONE 2017 a la Camille. She is my #stylegoals 

Tuesday

Fall Festival Planning!


I am so excited to share with you the goodies that I received from Oriental Trading Company! I partnered with them to collaborate on our upcoming neighborhood fall festival. They provided us with this awesome assortment of items that will make our annual festival a hit. 

I have used them for various events and birthday parties in the past. Looking through their website, you can truly find just about anything you are searching for! For this event, I was able to stock up on everything from disposables to photo booth props, all in one fell swoop. In addition to a kids craft table, we are also having a bounce house, a face painter, lots of cheesy pizza, and an ice cream truck. I can already tell you that Camille will be most excited about these temporary tattoos more than anything! 

Thanks to Oriental Trading Company for ensuring that our neighborhood gathering is a great one! I appreciate you all so much!




Toddler Rave

Walking into Frozen On Ice this past Sunday, my neighbor Rachel said, "You know these things are like toddler raves."

YES.
THAT.

Three, four, five year olds losing their ever-loving minds, glow sticks everywhere, loud pumping music, dancing in the aisles and stairways, pauses for rehydration, light-up wands and fairy tiaras, and just overindulgence. 

Overindulgence of Elsa and Anna and Hans and Kristoff and Olaf, this time around. 


And we loved every. single. second.

I took just my big girl for a special afternoon date. 



This sweet Anna costume was a pass-down from a sweet friend. Well, I traded her a hairbow for it. :) My favorite way to "shop"! The old school barter system!


We scanned in our tickets, my keychain mace was confiscated (WHOOPS), and in we went! Our amazing neighbors were there -- we all purchased seats near each other. 



The smartest thing my friend Rachel did was buy THIS WAND from Amazon for all of our girls. They are $9 which is more than a THIRD of the wands selling there! YES, thirty stinking dollars for a cheap plastic wand that will inevitably end up at the bottom of one of our multiple toy bins. 

The quality of the Amazon wand is pretty much what you'd expect, but Camille thought it was the most magical thing ever. EVER! Hellooooo, stocking stuffer idea for you mamas out there!



I do have to admit that I teared up at several parts of the show. The cast was great and just seeing the magical snowy scenes through Camille's eyes was totally worth the $21.00 I paid shortly thereafter for event parking. Ha. 

If you can get to one of these shows, DO. It's magical. Just get the wand beforehand. ;) Oh, and leave that keychain mace at home. 

Friday

Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

O N E
I have to start with this adorable photo because it is easily one of the highlights of my week. My two sweet girls, doing something adorable together that didn't end up with either of them hurt. WIN. Camille likes to play a farm game on my iPad while I'm getting ready for the day and she pulled Char on her lap and was talking to her in the sweetest little teacher-type voice. So cute.



T W O
October! We broke out the Halloween totes on Sunday and started decorating the house. We LOVE Halloween and all things spooky, and Camille has also been enjoying a cute little show called Vampirina. The love of all things spooky is in her DNA!

I've also been working with a little neighborhood committee on a big fall festival here in the 'hood. Earlier this week I picked out the cutest fall/Halloween decorations and some Halloween crafts for the kids tables from Oriental Trading Co. You can't beat their pricing for big groups like ours. For example ... look at these cute DIY masks I got for the group.

Halloween+Mask+Craft+Kit+-+OrientalTrading.com


T H R E E
Speaking of shows, I've gotten hooked again on Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team. I watch it on CMT On Demand. Pretty sure it's the only show I've ever ever watched on CMT so that makes me laugh! But I love watching these gorgeous girls compete to make the team. I was never a cheerleader (too nervous to try out, too busy with ballet) so I'm living vicariously through these girls.

Image result for dcc making the team

F O U R
On Wednesday this week the girls and I had a nice little park date with a picnic lunch. Know what's crazy good? Bugles.



F I V E
This weekend, my big girl gets to go see Frozen on Ice! Anyone else in Charlotte heading there as well? I don't know who's more excited, her or ME!



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That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!






Thursday

Taking A ... Jab ... At Tae Kwon Do

My little ballerina is hanging up her tutu (for the time being) and we are trying TAE KWON DO.

I'm so excited.

Camille, as you may know, has a big personality and is no shrinking violet. Ironic since Violet was one of my top baby names for her.


She was the sweetest little ballerina, but I did want to see how she channeled her energy in a higher-energy type of class, and with a TKD studio around the corner from us, I decided to enroll her in the free trial class the other day.

The class is 3-6 year olds and only 30 minutes long. At certain parts she was really shy and didn't fully participate, but the other parents watching told me that was completely normal and that their child did the same. 


My sisters and I grew up practically living at the dance studio -- we took classical ballet more days out of the week than not. So this is a whole new ballgame to me. But I love the idea of trying it all when she's small and exposing her to all sorts of new skills and experiences.

Plus, there is a BIG emphasis in these classes on respect, listening, and following orders, so I think any parent of a toddler is like #enrollmychild

After our trial class, we've decided to move forward with regular classes. It's $90/month for once-a-week classes, so not inexpensive in the least. But Ian and I talked about it and think it will be great to try it month to month and see if it sticks!


Halfway thru the class she ripped her pink hairbow out and ran over to me and shoved it in my hand. 

So, here's to a new experience and a bad-a$$ little tae kwon do-er. Ahem, excuse my language. (Proud mama.)

Wednesday

Life Reflection + New Mama Meal

I've been realizing recently that...

less is more.

(You're probably thinking "yeah, yeah, like BLOGGING, right April?!) It's no doubt that my blogging has been spottier than normal, but I've sort of been burning the wick at both ends and something has to give. 

ALAS. I'm back today and I'll be back tomorrow and Friday, and today I am sharing a "less is more" meal for a new parent that I dropped off to a girlfriend last week.

Backstory: I used to be a lot more traditional with meals for parents of newborns. Everything had to be organized through a meal delivery service like Take Them A Meal, it had to be a full-on hearty meal that could basically serve a small army. But that equals a TON of prep work, and the new parents are typically freezing so much because of all the food that can be dumped on them. I'm NOT saying it's not appreciated ... but sometimes that huge aluminum pan of stuffed shells is just more than anyone should have to deal with. 



So I've simplified it all and tried to keep the meals simpler and easier for everyone!

Last week I took Kristen a pancetta, mozzarella and onion quiche (I use THIS recipe each and every time), some freshly cut fruit, warm chocolate chip cookies, and an organic chia drink. 

I like taking a quiche to new parents because it can work for breakfast, lunch OR dinner!

And freshly cut fruit is so nice to have on hand, especially when you have had your fill of heavier meals and are craving something a little healthier. Of course the cookies are there to balance out that wacky healthy craving. 

Other add-ons that are my favorites: 1) tossed salad with homemade vinaigrette on the side, 2) cheese and crackers, 3) hummus with carrot sticks, celery, and red pepper strips. 

So while it may not be completely newsworthy, I did want to share a simple meal I like bringing a new parent, because I know sometimes we all need some fresh new ideas. And taking care of newborn parents is ALWAYS a swell idea!

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I'd love to hear from you. Comment below with some of the meals you loved receiving when you had a baby, a procedure/surgery, or just needed a little TLC from your loved ones!
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