Every year we travel to Georgia to my mom’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of the family. It’s my mom’s favorite holiday, so when we first got married we decided that we would spend Thanksgiving with my family. I just love everything about Thanksgiving. In fact, I love everything leading up to Thanksgiving from bonfires, pumpkin patches, hay rides, cool fall mornings, hot chocolate and everything in between. If those aren’t enough reasons, two of my three babies were born two weeks before Thanksgiving, so we have much to be thankful for in our home.continue reading…
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Giving back is so close to my heart. My father, who passed away 6 years, was such a huge giver. He didn’t teach me about giving through sitting down and talking about it. Instead, I watched his life. As a young girl I remember him stopping his truck to help an elderly lady carry her groceries home after passing her on the sidewalk. I can’t count how many times daddy would take bags of fresh vegetables from my grandfather’s garden and leave them in our pastor’s garage by the back door. Daddy always gave, always. It was just who he was. Not just to me, but to everyone who knew him, daddy was known by his heart to give to others. Because I grew up watching my daddy give, I love to give. But more importantly, I want to teach my children to be givers. However, I know this kind of lesson isn’t something that I “teach.” It has to be something that we purposefully live out as a family. This time of year we love to give back as a family and serve others through the Love the City project at our church, Redemption Point Church, whose mission is to be the most loving church in America. One way that we strive to achieve our mission is through serving the greater Chattanooga community in a way that provides for their basic needs. This year, Love the City, a ministry of RPC was able to provide Thanksgiving dinner to over 500 families. I couldn’t wait to join together with my family and serve our community together. First, we gathered together earlier last week to pack bags of groceries for the families. Each food item was spread out at stations throughout the gym. We each grabbed these huge ALDI grocery bags, that ALDI so graciously donated for the project, and walked through each station to fill. We provided each family with all of the items listed below: Pre-packaged items:
- Green Beans (2)
- Corn Can(2)
- Black Beans Can (2)
- Stuffing box (2)
- Brownies box (1)
- Rice (1 bag)
- Milk (1 Carton)
- Potatoes (10 lb) Pre-packaged
- Onions (3 lb) Pre-packaged
- Bread (1)
- Corn on the Cob
- Apples (3 lb) Per case
- Turkey (1)
So many people volunteered to help that we finished in less than an hour. This is my friend, Betsy, her smile and genuine excitement sums up our night. I love that my kids were able to participate by helping get the bags ready. It also created opportunities on the drive down to talk about how truly blessed we are as so many families are in need, especially so during the holidays. Then, on Saturday it was time to Love the City and hand out food to each family. My mom was in town to celebrate both of my girls’ birthdays so she was able to come with us as well. It’s not always convenient or easy to serve others. I want my kids to understand that serving and giving will always be a sacrifice, otherwise they will grow up thinking that it’s something we do when it’s convenient. Each family that we serve through Love the City had registers beforehand and arrived that day with a ticket. As they arrived they were met with smiling faces ready to help complete their Thanksgiving bags. There were a couple of items that we didn’t prepackage on Tuesday either to insure freshness or for the items we hadn’t received yet.This is my daughter (far left and several of her friends. On Saturday morning they gave each family that walked by a box of brownie mix, which was also donated by ALDI. One of my favorite parts of being a blogger is working with incredible companies like ALDI. Y’all this is what generosity looks like. When my church was gathering donations for our Love the City Thanksgiving Project I contacted ALDI about donating brownie mixes. They were so quick to jump on board and donated 500 brownie mixes and 500 large grocery bags. I’ve had the pleasure of working with ALDI over the past couple of years on several projects and they are by far the most generous of any brand. In addition, ALDI is my favorite place to shop for my family’s groceries on a weekly basis. I can always save money without having to worry about using coupons which is especially important in my very full life. I just can’t resist sharing our youngest little turkey with you. Someone asked me, “Wouldn’t it be easier to wait until the baby is older?” Of course, it would, but giving and serving others isn’t about what is easier. I have so many more pictures I want to share with you, but I’ll wrap up with this. Here, the girls are truly loving our city. As each individual or family passes by, they don’t just hand them a box of brownies. The look them in their eyes and offer them a word of encouragement. They see in person real people in need. They see boys and girls just like them who without help wouldn’t have a meal this Thanksgiving. In all the hustle of bustle of the holiday season, I hope more than anything that they are inspired to give more not just get more. At the end of the day, how we love others defines who we truly are. Disclosure: This post was underwritten by ALDI. I am so thankful for their generosity in donating 500 large grocery bags and 500 brownie mixes. All text and opinions are my own. Please see my full disclosure here.
We got this red vase right after we got married 17 years ago. While I still think it’s pretty, it doesn’t really match with our new color scheme. Instead of reds, greens, tans, and yellows, we are redoing the downstairs of our house with grey and white and a couple of accent colors like turquoise.
After having the same colors for so long I was ready for a change and am really loving it. My husband recently repainted our foyer to this beautiful grey color you see in the background. Instead of going out and buying all new decorative pieces, I thought I’d try my hand with some spray paint. The worse thing that could happen is that it would look terrible and I’d have to trash it. Thankfully, it turned out fantastic and cost way less than it would have to buy a new vase.continue reading…
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Huggies. All opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure here.
Recently, I shared with you that we have a new baby girl on the way due in November. So, we have lots of diapers in our future. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that 1 in 3 US moms suffer from diaper need? I can’t even imagine. Although, diapers will be an added expense to our budget, I know that we can provide diapers for our baby girl. States across the US have taken notice of this growing problem, and 14 states have issued official proclamations in support of Diaper Need Awareness Week September 8-12. No parent should have to worry about the next time their baby will have a clean diaper to wear.
My husband’s office is less than a mile from our house so he usually comes home for lunch everyday. We’ve been really busy in the evenings so sometimes I cook at lunch instead of dinner. A couple of weeks ago, I made this amazing spaghetti chock full of fresh veggies I didn’t want to go bad. My son HATES squash, I mean absolutely HATES it. However, when I made this spaghetti he had no idea he was eating squash. In fact, my kids are so used to veggies I don’t think they noticed all the veggies in their spaghetti. If your kids are picky you may want to chop the veggies finely in a food processor or chopper first. Otherwise, they will never know and you can feel good about feeding them a healthy meal. Instead of homemade sauce, I used ALDI’s organic marinara sauce and organic diced tomatoes. Amazing y’all seriously. continue reading…
Wondering how to save on Kids sports? I’ve got two kids in sports so I understand that sports and extracurricular activities can really take a bite out of your budget! The cost of equipment and snacks alone can be quite costly. Luckily, there are ways to save!continue reading…
My husband is from Ohio, and loves Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti. I usually use a Cincinnati Chili spice packet, but wanted to create a recipe that better fit into our clean eating lifestyle. Plus, it’s so important to me to make sure that we eat lots of veggies. Believe it or not, this spaghetti sauce is chock full of fresh squash, zucchini, onion, carrots, and green peppers. I know, hard to believe. Trust me, it doesn’t make the sauce taste weird at all. If anything it’s so much more hearty and robust. I used whole grain noodles, and served with a yummy salad. It’s also AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge Friendly.
I purchased the organic spaghetti sauce and organic canned diced tomatoes at ALDI at incredible prices! In case you didn’t know, ALDI is now carrying more natural and organic products! If you don’t see them in your store yet, hang on you’ll see more soon!!
Recently, I was contacted by ALDI about hosting a summer cookout. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to invite all the girls that help out on the blog and their family’s over for a cookout. Between trying to coordinate my schedule and everyone else’s along with the over abundance of rain I ended up having to pick a date on short notice. As in, I invited everyone on Monday and the party was on Thursday. Not much time to prepare since I was gone all day Monday and Tuesday. In fact, I didn’t even make it to ALDI until Wednesday night. So, I decided to keep everything super simple. I told everyone just to show up, I would take care of everything if they would just bring drinks for their family.continue reading…
Spruced Up Cake Mix: Double Chocolate Cake
Kasey here, recently we hosted a cook out at our house for the Time 2 $ave team and their family’s. It was so great to spend time with everyone, and our kids had a blast playing in the backyard together. I made a chocolate cake for dessert and posted the pic on facebook. Immediately my wall blew up with comments requesting the recipe. Who knew a chocolate cake could garner such a response. It was so simple to make! I followed my blogger friend, Hoosier Homemade’s advice and spruced up an ALDI cake mix. She always adds four eggs (even if the mix calls for less) and replaces the water with buttermilk. Although I generally prefer homemade cakes I thought I would try her suggestion since I was on such a tight time frame. Oh. My. Word. It was so moist and delicious! I added homemade icing, and garnished with one of the premium milk chocolate bars from ALDI. I think it turned out beautifully. Amazed at how easy it was to grate the chocolate bar using a cheese grater! I’ve included my recipe below for my spruced up cake mix double chocolate cake recipe!
I made another cake yesterday to take to church however it didn’t turn out nearly as pretty. It’s really important to give the cake time to completely cool before drizzling the icing. Then, allow the icing to cool before adding the chocolate shavings. I didn’t have time for either Saturday morning and by the time we got to church my cake looked like a hot mess! The chocolate shavings melted everywhere. Oh well, lesson learned!continue reading…
Since we started eating healthier this year, a large part of our grocery budget goes to fresh fruits and veggies. To keep our grocery budget under control I typically make an Aldi run since they have such great prices on produce. Since we had a list a mile long of projects we needed to tackle in our back yard I didn’t want to spend my afternoon running errands. We had to go to Walmart to pick up light bulbs and a couple other items so I decided to price match the produce in this weeks Aldi’s ad. I was surprised to see just how much money I saved.