Monthly Archives

November 2018

  • Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

    My brother’s fiancee introduced us to Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower over the Thanksgiving holiday and I felt compelled to share. This delicious and exceptionally easy recipe is a perfect side dish or appetizer. As I mentioned before, my husband and I have been playing around with the Air Fryer and I’d like to report that we haven’t been disappointed! It is now a staple of our kitchen and probably my most used appliance. It’s easy to clean, easy to figure out (you choose your temperature, enter the time and press go) and super fast for a last minute cooker such as myself. Christmas is right around the corner, and I can’t think of a better gift idea. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest cauliflower fan, but when it’s prepared in a tangy buffalo sauce and comes out perfectly crispy I’ll snack on it all day.

    Ingredients:

    • 3/4 cup baking flour (gluten free, if need be)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 large head cauliflower cut into 1 1/2 inch florets (approximately 6 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup pepper sauce (I used Franks RedHot)
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • Add salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Mix all the ingredients, except for the cauliflower, together in a bowl. Whisk if necessary. Batter should be smooth and somewhat runny.
    2. Cover the cauliflower in sauce
    3. Coat air fryer with avocado or olive oil
    4. Add cauliflower to air fryer. Set temperature to 370 degrees and cook for 14-16 minutes
    5. Remove and let cool. Cauliflower should be crispy
    6. For reheating – add cauliflower back to air fryer for 1-2 minutes

    And there you have it! Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower is so tasty and healthier than those buffalo wings you’ve been craving. I paired mine with a blue cheese dip for more flavor. Enjoy!

    If you liked this article and want more fun ideas for the air fryer be sure to check out: Homemade Air Fryer Donuts

    Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins
     


    Ingredients
    • 3/4 cup baking flour (gluten free if need be)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 large head cauliflower cut into 1 1/2 inch florets (approximately 6 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons butter melted
    • 1/2 cup pepper sauce (I used Frank's RedHot)
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • Add salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cauliflower, together in a bowl. Whisk if necessary. Batter should be smooth and somewhat runny

    2. Cover the cauliflower in sauce

    3. Coat air fryer with avocado or olive oil

    4. Add cauliflower to air fryer. Set temperature to 370 degrees and cook for 14-16 minutes

    5. Remove and let cool. Cauliflower should be crispy 

    6. For reheating, add cauliflower back to air fryer for 1-2 minutes

    0
  • Black Friday Shopping Tips & 2018 Deals – Ads Included

    Guys – can you believe it is nearing the end of November already? It seems like the year just flew by and now, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it also means Black Friday (or week) is coming up too!

    If you are looking for the best deals and savings of the year, this week is the prime time to lock down the items you’ve been wanting to buy. I’ll be honest, I’ve switched to skipping the line and online shopping when Thanksgiving and Black Friday roll around. Maybe I like my holiday dinner too much, or I don’t have the energy to get up at 4 a.m. and stand in line (turkey will do that to you). Yet…there are always those willing to face the massive crowds in order to get those rock-bottom prices and to those I say, “May the force be with you!”

    For those braving the long lines, here are some helpful tips to help you get the deepest discounts and navigate Black Friday like a pro!

    Black Friday Shopping Tips & 2018 Deals - Ads Included | Check here to find the best tips and tricks for shopping on Black Friday like a pro

    If you are looking for the best deals and savings of the year, this week is the
    prime time to lock down the items you’ve been wanting to buy.

    1. Prepare

    Be sure to sign up for newsletters via email so you get the latest news regarding Black Friday deals. Prioritize your shopping by creating a detailed list by store and then your wish-list items by order of importance. Have a back up plan for must-have items in the unfortunate event that they should sell out.

    2. Dress Comfortably

    Wear comfortable shoes and ditch the heavy jacket and purses if you can. Do consider appropriate wear for standing in long lines outdoors. It might be necessary to bring a hat, gloves, jacket or even a blanket. A cell phone bank/charger is also a helpful tool to ensure a full battery while shopping and referencing your phone.

    Prioritize your shopping by creating a detailed list by store and then your wish-list items by order of importance.

    3. Bring a Friend

    Shopping with a partner is way more fun anyways! Head to the store with a friend (or two) and divide and conquer. Knock out individual sections of the store and use multiple lines if possible. You can also go to separate stores to up your chances of getting what you want.

    4. Keep the Kids at Home

    This is a no-brainer. You will be standing in long lines, running to get items off the shelves, and you don’t want to do that with a kid. Leave them with a family member or friend and enjoy your shopping experience.

    5. Use Gift Cards!

    What’s better than a deal? A discounted-deal. Use a website like Raise to purchase gifts cards at a lower price that you can, in turn, use while shopping.

    6. Reference Your Phone for the Latest News

    Be sure to download apps such as Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Shopkick for any available coupons. You can also check the DealNews app so you never miss a deal. You may also have luck following stores on Facebook and Twitter, as they like to surprise followers with extra savings.

    7. Avoid Price Matching

    Most stores have lowered their pricing so much for Black Friday, that they rarely budge on price matching. Stores who do not price match include Target, Walmart and Best Buy.

    8. Use Your Free Amazon App

    Scan or enter any products to see if you can get them at a lower price through Amazon.com. You can easily purchase it with one click and if you have Prime, well…you know you have guaranteed free shipping on participating items. Win!

    9. Avoid Overbuying

    Just because it looks like a great deal, does not mean that you need to buy it. Go in with a budget, prepare in advance and get the items important to you. Sure, getting caught up in the excitement of Black Friday is easy to do, but impulse purchases are not worth going into debt over – be smart and intentional!

    10. You Can Skip In-store Altogether

    Black Friday sales are not just for in-store sales; a lot of online retailers participate in Black Friday. And unless the item you want is an in-store only deal or door buster, you can probably find it online.

    Additionally, this years Small Business Saturday is November 24th and you may find many businesses in your area participating. Consider shopping small and supporting your local businesses while putting money back into your community!

    Check Out the 2018 Black Friday Deals
    (*Latest update: 11/20/2018*)

    Amazon Deals

    Best Buy Deals

    JCPenney Deals

    Kohl’s Deals

    Lowe’s Deals

    Macy’s Deals

    Target Deals

    Walmart Deals

    Happy shopping,

    0
  • Where Do I Live? Kid Activity – Introducing Geography and Teaching Kids Their Address

    One thing I am trying to teach Rylan, especially since starting school, is where he lives. Turns out – teaching geographical concepts and answering “Where Do I Live?” to a 5-year-old is a lot harder than it seems. After all, we live in a city, in a state, in a country and a continent – that’s a lot of places. And after explaining them all to the best of my ability, Rylan is still left thinking there are 7 continents in Virginia and we live in the state of South America. Now you see my dilemma…

    I understand that in time he will grasp the vastness of the Earth and then be able to put it all into perspective, but I definitely feel there are better ways to visually make this easier for him. So today when his school had a “snow” day, I wanted to break out the craft supplies and do something fun and educational that might just answer “Where do I live?”

    I came across this project by 123 Home School 4 Me and decided it was perfect. Not only would it help with address memorization, but it scales from the bigger picture (Earth) to the smaller picture (home) and gives children a better understanding of ALL the locations they live, right down to the street and house number. And as Rylan is learning about maps in school, I figured it would be a great reinforcement to his classroom education as well. Follow along to see how we made ours!

    This “Where Do I Live?” project gives children a better understanding of ALL the locations they live, right down to the street and house number.

    1. Gather your supplies!

    • Construction Paper (I cut these into squares, starting with 3″x3″ and then marking the others 1″  larger than the previous one)
    • Coloring Supplies
    • Hole Puncher
    • Glue Stick
    • Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets (optional)
    • Printer Paper for the images (I cut these into squares, starting with 2″x2″ and then marking the others 1″ larger than the previous one)
    • Binder Ring or String to put it all together

    2. Print out pictures of your country, state, city, etc.

    The following images were specific to us, but I am glad to share them with you. You can easily google “_____ clip art” and find the images that apply to you.

    Print your images on plain paper and cut out.

    3. Cut your construction paper backgrounds

    Cut your construction paper into different sizes. As the sizes get smaller, the more concentrated the geographical areas are. Then label them, starting with the largest paper:

    • Planet
    • Continent
    • Country
    • State
    • City
    • Street
    • House Number

    4. Get creative!

    It’s key to give your child a lot of freedom with this project – to encourage learning, creativity and fine motor skills. I asked Rylan to look at the pictures and color land vs. bodies of water, the different countries and even the state of Virginia in a different color. When they are done, have them use the glue stick and place the images to the corresponding construction papers (this is a good way to test if they understand geography locations as well).

    It’s key to give your child a lot of freedom with this project, while encouraging learning too. See if your child can put the squares in order from biggest to smallest.

    5. Tie it all together!

    Optional: Use self-adhesive laminate on your sheets to make them last longer.

    Punch holes in the top left corner and encourage your child to string and tie together the sheets (we used a spare binder ring). Your “Where Do I Live?” project is done!

    The project was super easy and although it required a little digging for images, I feel confident it is going to help teach him more about where we live in the world – a vital life skill to prepare your child with. It’s also a good source of reference as he continues to memorize our address!

    Have you tried this project? Has another one worked for your child? Please feel free to share your thoughts!

     

     

     

     

    If you enjoy this blog post, you might want to teach your child their phone number too! Check out this blog post to see our 3 fun and engaging activities to help your child memorize important phone numbers!

    PPS. Luckily the snow didn’t last, so Auntie Annes’s date it is!

     

    7
  • Homemade Air Fryer Donuts: A Fun and Delicious Activity

    Calling all donut lovers! I have a treat for you, and its appropriately entitled the Homemade Air Fryer Donut.

    My husband and I have been experimenting with the air fryer lately and I came across an idea for homemade donuts. At first I was skeptical, as the process is surprisingly easy. However, spoiler alert: they are DELICIOUS and definitely worth getting out of bed for. My oldest son and I had the best time decorating and getting creative with the icing and toppings. In this post I will provide the icing recipe, the step by step directions and a few ways we took liberties with leftover Halloween candy which I’m sure most of you are dying to get rid of, ha! This is the Air Fryer we use and I highly recommend it.

    All you will need for the donut itself is:

    • A can of pre-made flaky biscuit dough

    And for the glaze:

    • 1 1/4 cups of confectioners sugar
    • 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
    • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
    • 1 tablespoon of milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:

    1. Separate and place biscuits on a cutting board or clean surface. Use a biscuit cutter or a small shot glass (thats what I had and it worked perfectly) to cut holes in the middle of the biscuits
    2. Spray your Air Fryer with a little cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
    3. Place a few donuts in the Air Fryer at a time, making sure they aren’t touching
    4. Close the Fryer and set to 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes
    5. Pull the donuts out of the Fryer and cover with icing (we used a paintbrush) and toppings

    After Air Fryer

    When my son asked for more toppings to add on his donuts I pulled out the Halloween stash and used a cooking hammer to smash the candy until they were crumbles. My son thoroughly enjoyed creating his own unique donuts and taste testing along the way. The icing does dry fast so I had to keep adding more in order for the toppings to stick. The extra layer of glaze yielded an even tastier donut.

    In addition to flexing those creativity muscles, I’d like to think that because these Homemade Air Fryer Donuts are not deep fried in oil they’re a bit heathier and definitely less greasy.

    So there you have it! The Homemade Air Fryer Donut. A delectable treat and engaging activity for you and your little. Or just for yourself! And here’s a friendly reminder to:

    0
  • Keep Giving: An Open Letter to the Mamas

    Smile. Smile Finley. Finley can you SMILE? I must’ve said it a hundred times.

    He stared at me plainly, then ran away in a defiant move that screamed “I won’t be cooperating for pictures today.” This happens often, and it’s okay. I want him to exercise autonomy and if he’s not feeling a photo sesh, I’m certainly not going to force it. I scrolled through my camera roll and found the one photo of him with a half-smile that portrayed him enjoying himself. I favorited it for later. 

    The rest of the day at the pumpkin patch was no different. He just. wasn’t. feeling it.

    Skipping nap probably had something to do with it. Isn’t it funny that the days we anticipate and build up for them the most are often a fail? I circled back to the photo from earlier and went to post it. I looked at it a little differently. The picture was in no way representative of how the day unfolded. The truth was, I coaxed him into every activity. He melted down over the slightest mishap. At one point, he was so angry he intentionally face planted in the middle of the hay barn (that was almost comical). I felt compelled to tell the whole story. So I’m doing that today. 

    Sometimes the days we plan and plot to be the most fun fall short. Sometimes our littles can’t appreciate the hard work we’ve put in to engage them. Sometimes our efforts to fulfill them feel fruitless and futile. It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. And its all part of this momlife gig. We give and give and give to our kids and at times it’s as if the investment is yielding no return. 

    But it is. Every attempt we make to spend quality time with our children reinforces our love for them.

    Even when the immediate result is a million tantrums the lifelong affect is far greater than we can recognize in the moment. It hit me that, it was never about posting the perfect social media photo. It was about creating memories. Building self esteem. Encouraging wonderment. And mamas, every time we allow our kids the opportunity to experience something new, we are doing all of these invaluable things. I try to remind myself of that notion when plans don’t pan out the way I’d want them to. 

    It is with these words that I hope to inspire you to keep giving.

    Keep planning. Keep the magic alive. Worry less about the photo and more about the memories and positive takeaways. Our children will be boundlessly better for it. 

    0
  • Weekly Menu Board – An Easy DIY Project

    Since the school year began, our family has put some extensive structure into our days – something we never had to do before. And to make sure our new routine runs smoothly during the week, I have been working on ways to organize our time and schedule accordingly. One of the newest projects I have implemented is this weekly menu board, which I am sharing below.

    It has only been a few weeks since using this and it has been really helpful. We’ve saved a fair amount of money by planning our dinners in advance and we are never asking ourselves, “What should we have for dinner?” when 5 o’clock rolls around. As a result, creating our grocery list each week has been a breeze.

    I modeled my weekly menu board from this project by The Thinking Closet, but with significant changes. It was super easy to make and one that I am excited to use each week. I hope you enjoy this project and see if it helps you!

    As a result, creating our grocery list has been a breeze and we are never asking ourselves, “What should we have for dinner?”

    Here is what you will need:

    Step 1.

    Gather your supplies.

    Step 2.

    Create a list of all your favorite family meals using this template. I made sure to include “take out”, “leftovers” and “eating out” as options for the times we aren’t cooking at home.

    If you happened to look at the weekly menu board that I referenced, they actually color coordinated the meals by category ( i.e. chicken, seafood, beef, vegetarian, etc). I didn’t feel this was necessary, but it’s a great idea if you want to get more detailed.

    Print this list on regular 8.5 x 11 card stock and cut into strips.

    Step 3.

    Self-laminate the meal strips, cut and punch holes in the top left-hand corner. When finished, hang on binder rings for later.

    Use this template to create bigger meal cut outs and you can print the recipes on the back!

    Step 4.

    Create a file in Silhouette or Cricut with the weekdays, “recipes/meals”, “The ___ Family Menu” and anything else you want to add. From here you will just create, cut, transfer and place on the chalkboard where you see fit (here is a helpful tutorial), but if you are just using a chalk paint pen – this is the step you would write these on the board.

    BONUS: Use this template to create bigger meal cut outs and you can print the recipes on the back! I regret not doing this myself and have since contemplated remaking my cards.

    Step 5.

    Hot glue gun the clothespins to below the days of the week and tape the command hooks to the right, as shown in picture.

    Step 6.

    Now, just put your meals for the week under the weekday and the rest will hang on the binder rings!

    And there it is! Altogether, the project took me about 30 minutes. I hung the weekly menu board on an empty wall in the kitchen that I plan to turn into a command center when all is said and done.

    Each Sunday, we look through our favorite meals from the board, decide what we want throughout the week and write out our grocery list. It makes our lives so much easier!

    Do you create a weekly meal plan? How do you like to keep it organized?

    Cheers mama,

    PS. If you are interested in more home organizational projects, be sure to visit here!

    0