Food, family, and fitness... all with a bit of style.

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween!!!! I thought it would be fun to take a little stroll down memory of my little pumpkins over the past few years.
I have to admit, I was never a huge Halloween fan.....until I had kids. Now I kind of love it! The best part is the costumes and I really love it when I can convince my family to dress as a theme, although it has only happened twice! 
Ella's first Halloween she was only 4 weeks old and I was exhausted, so there was costume. But she did look cute in her little Carter's outfit!
When she was one she was flower. A warm and cozy flower, because it was freezing outside! 
Then we had the Pottery Barn dog! Ella was the dog and Luke was a monkey. And a chunky monkey too.....look at that chin! 
And we got our money's worth out of that costume. Luke wore it the next year and then my girlfriend borrowed it for her son!
Then the year I opened the bakery, Ella was a cupcake and Luke a dinosaur. The goal was still a warm costume because it always seemed so cold on Halloween! 
Then finally my wish came true and we were all characters from the Wizard of Oz!! I loved this Halloween!! 
It was short-lived as the next year we were back to random costumes...Darth Vadar and SuperWoman. 
I was still holding onto my dreams of a family theme so I went as Batgirl!
And then back to random...Ninja Turtle and a Watermelon Fairy!
Then 2 years ago Luke wanted to be a skeleton and Ella was eyeing a Day of the Dead costume and I felt another theme coming on! We were all skeletons and got Maddie a bone tutu and Bad to the Bone bandana! I loved that year! 
Luke loved it so much he wore it again the next year! Ella was a cat witch.  
And I bought Maddie a shark costume that was probably more suitably sized for a chihuaua than a golden..... 
And I threw on all black and a cat mask!

This year we were really close to a theme. Ella wanted to be Alice in Wonderland, I was going to go as the Queen of Hearts, but the boys were not on board. Somehow Ella ended up choosing a vampire and Luke a ninja. Here is a pic from their school Halloween dance last week. I volunteered at the dance and re-purposed my Ninja turtle running costume....
I hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween night!
See you tomorrow....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Five Meals for Your Family Table....Week 43

Hey, hey's Halloween week! We have a fun menu planned for tomorrow night and lots of other yumminess for the rest of the week. So grab your pen and paper....we have got your meals covered this week.
This is a favorite seafood dish in our house....perfect for Meatless Monday. This Cod Piccata had just the right amount of flavor with the capers and some fresh lemon juice. My kids are not huge fans of capers, so they opted for the fish without the caper sauce.
It's Halloween night! We are cooking up some Mummy Pizzas and Witch Fingers.
Maybe a Frankenstein salad too! 
Not your thing? I shared some other Halloween food fun here.
After a busy Halloween night, I need easy and these Buffalo Chicken Wraps are the answer!
The chicken cooks in the crockpot all day and you can just assemble your wraps at dinner time! 
 Place a pound of boneless chicken in the crockpot with 2 cups of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Take the chicken out, shred it and drain the pot (reserve about 1/2 cup of liquid). Return the chicken to the pot and add 1 cup of diced celery, the reserved liquid and more hot sauce if you need more heat. Layer the chicken into some large romaine leaves and sprinkle with bleu cheese. 
I saw a recipe for Thai Basil Beef with Coconut Rice a few weeks ago and had to try it. It was amazing. Everyone in my house loved it. We will be making this one again and again. You can get the recipe here. I did sub in liquid aminos for the soy sauce.
My crew is always a fan of breakfast for dinner and a fan of pizza, so why not put them together? Breakfast pizzas for the win on a Friday night. These can really be customized however you want. Just scramble 7 eggs and then add your "fixings" to the eggs. We love ham, spinach and broccoli. You can use sausage or bacon (both cooked), tomatoes, mushrooms.... whatever! Top some flatbreads with the egg mixture and sprinkle with a little cheese. Bake at 425 for about 5 minutes to just melt the cheese. Easy, yummy, breakfast for dinner!
Have a great Monday friends! See you tomorrow for a little stroll down Halloween lane! There's always room for one more at our family table.

Friday Favorites......Target Style!!

TGIF!!! Gosh I am so excited it is Friday! I have been travelling for work since Sunday and am so looking forward to catching up with my crew!!
I am switching it up for my Friday Favorites today and sharing some of my favorite Target finds! A few of my favorite pieces for Mamas, girls and boys. I linked everything to their site, so you can just click and shop ๐Ÿ˜‰
So I am linking up with some of my favorite blogging friends, AndreaNarci, and Erika for Friday Favorites....Target Style!

October Book Review

Yay it's book review day! I was three for three this month! Three books this month. The first one was "meh" and I loved the other two! I am linking up with Narci over at  Grace and Love Blog  for her monthly book review link up. Be sure to check out her  blog for all her picks too!!
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. I was so excited to read this one, as it has been on my list for a few months now.
 It all starts at a dinner party with neighbors, when something goes terribly wrong with one couple's baby Cora. The parents are immediately suspects and so ensues an investigation where lots of secrets are uncovered. The book kept moving and was a really quick read ( I read it over one weekend). It wasn't my favorite suspense book, but worth a read.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan has been on my list for a while too and it did not disappoint! This book was so much fun to read.
 Image result
 The story of Rachel and Nick... a young couple living in NYC....and Rachel's first trip to Singapore with Nick to meet his family. Nick comes from a really, really wealthy family that has some pretty strong feelings on who Nick should be with. I loved the characters and the peek inside of the world of wealthy Asian families.And I hear they are making this into a movie!
I love Crazy Rich Asians so much, I followed up with the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend. 
Loved this one just as much! This one followed Nick & Rachel as they planned their wedding and continued their search for Rachel's father. They end up travelling Asia again with all kinds of crazy coming out. Read the first book, then this one... both so much fun!

If you missed any of our other reviews, you can catch up here.
February Book Review
March Book Review
April Book Review
May Book Review
June Book Review
July Book Review
August Book Review
September Book Review
See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites! There's always room for one more at our family table.

What's Up Wednesday.....October Edition

Happy Wednesday friends!It's time to link up with ShayMel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday....October Edition.
 A fun monthly post where we answer these questions....

Show & Tell Tuesday.....Favorite Holiday

Hey, hey Tuesday! I am linking up with Andrea over at Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday. Today's topic is going to give me all the feels......Favorite Holiday!!!
Hands down it is Christmas. And come next Wednesday, this will be me.

Five Meals for Your Family Table......Week 42

Happy Monday friends!! I cannot believe we are in the last full week of October. That means Halloween is next week. And if you are looking for fun Halloween food ideas, be sure to check out my post from last week. Halloween themed breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas.
Fun with Halloween Food

Friday Favorites....

Happy, Happy Friday friends!!! We are in full fledged Fall mode over here after a trip to the pumpkin patch, a little cooler weather and the kids choosing their costumes! So I am linking up with some of my favorite blogging friends, AndreaNarci, and Erika for Friday Favorites.
A super-sized list of my favorites....mostly Fall inspired things from the week!

A Little Life Lately......

Happy Thursday friends! I have not done a weekend wrap up in a bit, so I though I would share a little bit of life lately around this house.
We have had a beautiful start to Fall and have been enjoying the warmer weather outside as much as we can! 

Fun with Halloween Food

It's no secret that I love a good theme. I think it is so fun to plan your food around some kind of theme. So for Halloween I go all out.
Who wouldn't love some "Candy Corn Waffles".  Not with actual candy corn....they just look like it! I use a box pancake mix. I love this one pictured below. I know all of the ingredients and they are loaded with protein which is a great way to start off the day.

Tuesday Talk....Changing the Face of Beauty

Hi friends! I am linking up with  Erika &  Ashley for Tuesday Talk. A monthly link up where we can talk about any and everything!
Today we are going to talk about a wonderful organization,  Changing the Face of Beauty. Why? Well, this month we celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness.....something very close to my heart. I have talked about my sister Emma often here on the blog. 
Back in March, I shared Emma's story here for World Down Syndrome Day. If you missed it, you can catch up  here. The morning I shared that post, I received so many beautiful comments & people wanting to share her story. I also discovered one of my favorite local shops, Research & Design was selling a tee to raise money for DS Awareness. I ran right over to grab one.
Through the power of social media, I found the little girl that inspired these shirts...sweet Shea. I chatted with her Mama and we quickly became Instagram friends๐Ÿ˜‰
We met at the local Step Up for Down Syndrome walk last month and talked about collaborating on a post during this month. It seemed the right time, as we are celebrating World Down Syndrome Day all month, Shea is turning 18 months today, and the Buffalo Electric Tower will be lit up in blue and yellow this weekend to help celebrate. 
Shea is an ambassador for  Changing the Face of Beauty. This organization is a nonprofit corporation that is committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media worldwide.
And gosh this organization has one of the sweetest ambassadors! Meet my friend Shea.....
Let me tell you, my cheeks hurt from smiling with this girl. She gives you a little side eye and then the sweetest smile. And don't even get me started on her cheeks. 
I have become friends with her Mama, Julie, who is very passionate about Changing the Face of Beauty. She wants people of all abilities represented in advertising and social media. CTFOB is helping to do just that and has accomplished so much in their short 5 years. I think Shea's shirt sums it up perfectly.
Shea is a brand ambassador for TrendyBubs.  I mean this girl has a better wardrobe than me! Not only do they have adorable clothes, but even more adorable models. Check out their site here. You are sure to smile ๐Ÿ˜Š
Are you kidding me with these leggings???
I love how passionate Julie is to bringing more sweet faces like Shea's to advertising and social media. She partnered with a local shop to design a shirt for Down Syndrome Awareness month. 
Head over to  MintBerry Market to grab yours....they are donating a portion of every sale to CTFOB.
These girls' shirts sum up Shea's mission...... "My smile is changing the world". Yes, sure is.
Friends, be sure to share this post and help us to  Change the Face of Beauty.
Have the best Tuesday!
See you tomorrow, there's always room for one more at our family table.

Five Meals for Your Family Table...Week 41

Hello Monday! I hope you guys had a great weekend. We finally got to the pumpkin patch this weekend, so I am a happy Mama ๐Ÿ˜Š.
Refill that coffee and jot down a grocery list....we have five yummy meals for your family table this week.
This right here is a favorite.....go to dinner in our house. Shrimp Fried Rice is loaded with flavor and veggies. You can grab the recipe here.
As always, we are eating some sort of Mexican inspired dish on Tuesdays. These sheet pan Chicken Fajitas are perfect for a busy weeknight. One pan and done! 
 Take a large sheet pan and cover with foil for easy clean up. One side lay 3-4 bell peppers and one large onion (both sliced) and toss with a little EVOO & sprinkle with salt and pepper. On the other side lay about a pound of chicken breasts (I cut mine lengthwise) and drizzle with a little EVOO and sprinkle with about 2 TBSP of taco seasoning. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Slice the chicken into bite size pieces and layer the chicken and pepper mixture into tortillas. We top ours with a little shredded cheddar and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.
This is one of my favorite ways to make meatloaf.  This Sundried Tomato & Feta Meatloaf with Greek Salad is so good. I found this recipe from Giada years ago. I follow all steps in the recipe, however I substitute oats for the breadcrumbs. We make a quick salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives & feta to go along with it.
This Walnut Crusted Pork just feels like Fall to me. This is a really delicious way to cook your pork. Take a one pound pork tenderloin & season with salt & pepper. Rub 1 1/2 TBSP of dijon mustard on  top of the pork. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and press 1/2 cup of  finely chopped walnuts on the pork. I pulsed mine in the food processor along with a few sprigs of thyme.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. This would also be delicious with pecans too! You can grab the recipes for the potatoes here
We are ending the week and keeping it simple with a crockpot dinner. I found this recipe for  Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore from  Mix & Match Mama. It was so easy and so full of flavor. She suggested putting it over egg  noodles, but we put it with cauliflower rice.... a delicious end to the week!
Have a great Monday! 
See you tomorrow for Tuesday Talk....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Friday Favorites

I am so, so happy to see you Friday!! This has just been a long week. Work was a little hectic and then we had like 3 things go wrong in the hot water in our master shower, our refrigerator (the garage one) died, and then Wednesday we had water leaking in from the window over the fireplace. I was extra thankful for my mechanical engineer hubby, he has a keen sense of how to fix things. But I still was feeling like this last night....

Ella's10th Birthday....Fixer Upper Style

Well somehow my blue eyed baby has turned double digits!  She is the sweetest girl with the biggest heart and a love for all things DIY!
We took her pic right before bed...her last night as a 9 year old!

Workin' It Wednesday....Making Your Home Cozy

Happy Wednesday friends! Welcome to Workin' It Wednesday. A monthly link up with Shay & ErikaSharing tips for working mamas on keeping it together.

Well grab a warm cup of coffee (or tea) and your fuzziest blanket.....because this month is all about making your home cozy.
I mean just the word cozy makes me want to curl up in a blanket on the couch with a good book.
Here are a few things I do to make our house cozy.
You can't get cozy with out a blanket. I have a basket by the fireplace filled with some of our favorite blankets.
Easy to grab one and head back to the couch.
Candles. I am really sensitive to most candle scents. They just give me a terrible headache. But I love when the house smells good and I love how candles look. So the only one I can burn is Yankee Candle's MacIntosh Apple.
I love the scent and it doesn't give me a headache. And it smells like applesauce is simmering on the stove.
Family pictures. I feel cozy with my family around, so I think family pictures around help your house to feel warm and cozy. I keep a mix of pictures in our entertainment center. It feels "home-y" to me to have holiday decor and family memories in there.
This might sound funny...but I always have little bowls of candy in the fall and winter. Something about grabbing a sweet treat just feels cozy.
Friends come over and love to see a little sweet treat. It makes you feel right at home.
I think it goes without saying, but a warm fire just makes the house cozy.  Nevermind that in this picture the fire wasn't actually on...but it still looks cozy๐Ÿ˜‰
And that goes for the outside fire too....that feels just as cozy!
I don't know about you, but a good book at home make me feel so cozy. So I am adding that to my list. 
And my crew would agree with me!
These slippers on my feet. I have blogged about these before, and I'm sure I will again.
They are a little pricey, but worth every penny! My feet are always cozy when I put these on. I start wearing them in September and they pretty much stay on until May! And those are Paul's tucked under the table. He loves them just at much!
And last but not least.......
I can't talk cozy without talking about Christmas. That is when my house is THE COZIEST!
 I blogged about our Christmas decor last year.
Yes I am a lover of all things Christmas. And yes I am ok to talk about it and get excited about it in October.

A few of our other Workin' It Wednesdays, in case you missed them......

And a peek at what's coming up later this year.
See you tomorrow, there's always room for one more at our family table.

Custom Post Signature