2017 - Rachel Teodoro

Top Blog Posts of 2017






It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone. It's always fun for me to look back and see what my top posts were for the year. Many of the most popular posts were actually posts from previous years. All you readers that haven't been around since 2010 are finding some of that golden content that only my mom read. So while not all of these posts will be from this past year, they are the ones that you all visited the most this past year. I hope you have as much fun looking back as I did putting this together.


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My Love Hate Relationship with Social Media as a Mom of Teens

I started blogging in 2005 as a way to share our growing family with our out-of-state family and friends. I didn't think twice about pictures that I shared {as long as I didn't look bad in them they were fair game} and over time social media started to evolve. I could more easily share images on more platforms. The older my kids get though, the more eye rolls I receive when I whip out my camera, which now so conveniently fits in my back pocket and is always with me because it does double duty as my brain. They have started to care what I share about them on social media which means less and less of my kids showing up in my feed. My love/hate relationship with social media started long before the grumbles though. Those eyes that roll now were watching and taking mental notes about how I used my time on social media.  I kind of felt like as parents we were stepping into the Wild West. There were no rules. There was no research on how social media affected kids and so we winged it as best as we could as parents. 

We wrote up a cell phone contract before we gave our 14 year old son his first cell phone. There was nothing like it out there in 2012 and now more than five years later, the internet has site after site with information on teens and technology. Experts are popping up every where on the topic {thank you baby Jesus} and as parents we need this. This did not exist years ago when we were trying to figure out how to navigate as parents


However, I feel like a pioneer on the topic. I have used my children as guinea pigs in an experiment observing how they have found their way into social media. All three of my kids have internet enabled devices and I feel like we are more prepared as parents to navigate the murky waters of social media. It doesn't mean I love the idea of it and here's why.

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My Private Tour Recap of the 2018 HGTV Dream Home

Thanks to Delta Faucet for inviting me to have a private tour of the 2018 HGTV Dream Home. All opinions are 100% my own.

When I was on vacation in Hawaii celebrating my high school graduation with my family, I got to chatting in the pool with some other resort guests. We exchanged pleasantries and then the next question we exchanged was "where are you from." I remember at that moment in time being embarrassed to say that I was from Indiana. I didn't feel like it had anything special to offer. It was just blah. My friends from the Midwest may even remember a small amusement park had the slogan "there's more than corn in Indiana...", however none of us were too sure of what more there was. It wasn't until years later and decades after I moved away that I grew to appreciate the roots in my home state. That said, I'm not sure HGTV is building a dream home there anytime soon, but they did stake their claim to a beautiful home not far from where I am currently planting roots with my family in Gig Harbor, Washington. 
I recently had the opportunity to tour the 2018 HGTV Dream Home with one of the major sponsors, Delta Faucet. Delta is based in my hometown in Indiana. Fun fact, I worked at the headquarters during my summers in college answering the phones. So if this didn't all come full circle, I don't know what would. 

I'm excited to share with you a recap and a tour of some of my favorite spaces in the 2018 HGTV Dream Home and explain a little bit more about the trends I spotted inside the home while being a tad bit snarky about my lack of possession of any design knowledge.



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DIY Coordinating Christmas Ornaments and Wrapping Paper the Easy way!



This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love the look of a coordinating decorations at Christmas time don't you? Unfortunately, this look can get expensive and require you to replace what you have. I found a way to work with what I had and create coordinating Christmas tree ornaments and wrapping paper and you can too! I'm sharing how you can do this with the purchase of just a few items and a few minutes of your time.
 
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Mixed Metal Mirror Duck Tape Wreath



This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Remember how gold anything made us gag like 10 years ago? Now I can't get enough. Especially around the holidays. My absolute favorite part about Christmas {besides the cards} are the twinkly shiny everything. Twinkling lights on the tree, shiny ornaments and now, my new favorite Christmas decoration is this mixed metal mirror Duck Tape wreath. What's that you say? This is Duck Tape??? Stop it!!! Yep, it doesn't look like it because it's too busy looking like a million bucks that's why. 




I'm sharing the tutorial with you so that you can add some beautiful sparkle in your home. Plus, this stuff will have your mind running a million miles an hour thinking off all the amazing things you can cover with Duck Mirror® 



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DIY At-Home Pedicure

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AmopĂ©. The opinions and text are all mine.

When we found out we were having a daughter I was excited about getting to do all those girly things with her. I dreamed of putting bows in her hair {she ripped them out as soon as I put them in!}, dressing her in cute outfits {turns out she was SUPER particular and wanted to pick out all of her own clothes thankyouverymuch!}, and have spa days. I actually lucked out on that one! While I love going to the spa, it's not necessarily in my budget {times two!}, so at-home spa sessions have always been something my daughter and I have enjoyed since she was quite little.

It started with her sitting next to me as a toddler soaking her feet in warm water and has evolved over time. Sometimes we get a little crazy with egg white face masks, other times, we do each others nails and have an at home pedicure. Just because you do it yourself at home, doesn't mean you need to skimp on getting the same great end result. Especially when it comes to soft feet at home. I'm going to show you our favorite new at-home pedicure must have and share how you can have a DIY at-home pedicure just like the pros, but without the price! Plus, you can get a free printable gift card to give as well. 

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6 Things You Didn't Know You Should Look for in a Home

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report. All opinions are my own.


I was 22 when we bought our first home. My husband and I looked for months trying to find the perfect house for our growing family. We spent many weekends scouring every neighborhood within a thirty-mile radius, looking with our agent. I'm not sure we knew exactly what we were looking for; we just knew what we weren't looking for. We were a real estate agent’s dream! I'm surprised she still talks to us. 

We actually lucked out with that first house. We ended up falling into a home that not only met our needs as we grew into a family of five {and then literally bursted at the seams!}, but learned that some of the homes features are ones that we wanted to replicate when we sought out our second home nearly a decade later. These aren't things a typical first-time homebuyer would have in mind, so stay tuned and let me know what you think. If you’re an experienced homebuyer, I'd love to know what you would add to this list.



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Fashion for Moms of Teen Daughters-We Might Need a Support Group

I just want to take a hot minute to talk about fashion for moms. Is that a thing? Can I even say those three words together? I know I spent the first decade of motherhood in comfy pants wearing shirts that could be hiked up easily for breastfeeding. When I really wanted to get fancy, I was looking at Rachel from Friends for all my fashion needs. So obviously, I'm about as fashion forward as I can get. Now that I have a teen daughter with a very vocal opinion things are getting interesting up in here.
If you've been reading along for a bit you will know that the majority of my clothes are from garage sales and thrift shops. It's pretty darn common that I will spend more on my cup of coffee from Starbucks than I will on the outfit that I'm wearing. So not that you have that visual on my wardrobe lets move on.
Right now I'm struggling with the fashion that's out there. Downright struggling. I took my 15 year old daughter out to the mall and I was regretting every Goodwill clothing donation I had made the past two decades. Every single thing that I wore in high school is back and I'm not quite sure that's a good thing. My daughter specifically asked me to buy her mom jeans. And because of that, I'm going to stop right now and have a silent moment because I can't even.
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How to Hang a Picture on Board and Batten

I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with architectural millwork. I don't know if it's because I grew up in an old home chock full of it, or if I've just always been drawn to it, but either way, I'm obsessed. I love excessive trim, beams, and board and batten. I'm not detail oriented but I love the detail that it gives to a space. After a trial run with our first attempt at board and batten last year, I finally convinced my husband to get a start on it downstairs. Truth be told, this has been something I've been asking for for more than a decade, so it's been a slow process. 
I've already given you a full tutorial on how we installed true board and batten, so I'm not going to rehash that. I am however, going to show you how we hung a picture on the board and batten. You see, my husband isn't really a fan of change. I hung a picture up in our front hallway of our family about five years ago and now that picture can never move. Change is hard. 
If my husband were to install board and batten in the downstairs hallway where would the picture go? This was a legitimate concern of his that I did my best to address. So we sat down and came up with a plan and I'm sharing it with you, just in case you have a picture that you want to hang on a wall on top of your board and batten. 

Before we get started though, I just want to show you what a difference it makes to have this installed in the hallway downstairs with this side by side comparison.

before and after side by side image
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These Fixer Upper Fans Got Married at The Silos in Waco

Unlike you crazy super fans, I became an accidental Fixer Upper fan. Several years ago, I had a few people tell me that I looked and dressed a little like Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper. I don't have cable so I'd never seen the show. So...I did what any normal human would do and googled it. Image after beautiful image came up and I loved what I saw. About that same time, my oldest son started looking for colleges and found his home at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Yet another thread was woven into the tapestry that has created my fandom. 

Personally, the more I get to know about Chip and Joanna Gaines through seven degrees of separation, the more I like them. I hear story after story from real life friends of theirs that tell me how genuine and humble they are. This is a story from a blog reader who reached out to me and it puts a little cherry on the top of what most of you probably already knew. 


Chip and Joanna Gaines really are just as sweet and kind as we think that they are. Read on to hear about the very generous wedding surprise they gave these fans that got married at The Silos in Waco.

chip and joanna gaines fans
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Third Time is a Charm: My 100% Honest Stitch Fix Review

See that tag line up there? It says, real people, real projects and real life. Earlier this week I had a real discussion on one of my social accounts. I'm not quite sure what it is, but some people get behind a computer screen and forget that there is a person there. The response I got when I told them to be kind was "I'm surprised you responded." Of course I did. I don't for a second take for granted that there is a face behind the number. I read every comment I get and do my best to respond to every single word that you write to me. I'm real. 

Which is why when I review a product or tell you I would totally buy or donate to something, I mean it. I wouldn't tell you about something that I didn't love. This time last year, I gave Stitch Fix a try. I wrote a 100% honest review. Heck, it was more than a review, it was a novella. I just went back and read it and was impressed at how thorough I was. Seriously, it's got everything in there from tips from my Stitch Fix obsessed friend to how the whole Stitch Fix process works. I'm not going to rehash it, so go read it. 


Last month I got an e-mail that was offering a chance to try Stitch Fix without paying the $20 styling fee. {Don't think I'm special, you can get the same deal with no styling fee too.} I really had nothing to lose so I thought I would give it a try. 

You see, after that first time I thought maybe I'd try it again. My feedback was certain to help guide my stylist in the proper direction right? Nope. I struck out again and decided I was done giving Stitch Fix a try. BUT, I love a good deal, and I could try Stitch Fix one last time without any strings attached, so I did. And I was pleasantly surprised. I even had some of you help me vote to decide what to keep. Why not see what I got and see what I decided to keep in what I'm calling my "third times a charm" Stitch Fix.

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Gifts That Give Back PLUS A Giveaway

There is nothing better than a gift that does double-duty. You can gift something to your loved one and know that there is a gift that will be given to someone in need as well. Pretty sure you can't go wrong! A little hope goes a long way and generosity multiplies so why not give a gift that gives this holiday season. 
noonday, world vision, one world play project with soccer balls for giving in India, Africa and around the globe
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Comparing Two Holiday Gift Catalogs

Ask most little girls what is on their Christmas wish list and they won't hesitate to tell you an American Girl doll. My daughter was the same way for years. Every Christmas she would flip through the American Girl catalog and earmark the new dolls and accessories she was pining after. As a kid, I loved dolls. As a mom, I love a company that addresses the fact that while our girls are getting older younger, they are striving to save girlhood.

For some reason, I'm still on the catalog's mailing list even though my daughter is old enough to legally drive a vehicle. Every year around this time, I get two catalogs in my mailbox - an American Girl holiday gift guide and the World Vision Gift Catalog - and every year my mind starts churning. 



You see, I've been to some pretty hard places and seen some pretty hard things. I've met girls who wished they could have a childhood but instead they were busy struggling to survive. I met a girl in Zambia who thought she was going blind, but it turns out she was allergic to the dogs that she shared her water source with - so much so that it blurred her vision and made her eyes swell shut. 

Another young girl named Nerott walks more than 9 miles each way just to go to school, a walk that takes her nearly three hours. She tries to walk with a friend because she lives in an area that is at high risk for child sacrifice and kidnappings, but because of poor water conditions her friend is often sick, leaving her to make the long walk alone and vulnerable. 

So what do these two girls have to do with the American Girl catalog? I'm glad you asked.


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Cyber Monday Deals for Everyone on Your List

The biggest Cyber Monday fans I know are those that will avoid the stores at all costs this holiday season in an attempt to effortlessly shop from the comfort of their own home. Usually completing their whole shopping list while in pajamas. Correct me if I am wrong. I'm here to help you easily get everything you need with the click of a few buttons. Are you ready?
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DIY Handmade Gifts that Don't Suck

I love a good handmade gift, but it seems like sometimes I'm the only one. I hear people grumble as soon as you say something about gifting homemade gifts, but the amount of time and effort that goes into those gifts seem far better to me than just plucking up the first thing you see on an end cap at Target or clicking "buy this" on Amazon. I've gathered up some pretty great DIY handmade gifts from some of my favorite bloggers. Seriously, I don't think you could go wrong gifting any of these gifts. Some are more labor intensive, and others can be made in no time at all. Why not gather up some friends and have a Christmas craft day together? Or spend a weekend crafting before the holidays. I know just seeing these handmade gifts will have you inspired to create.


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Antique Fireplace Mantle Update Using Chalk Paint

I do love a good fireplace don't you? I don't know if it's because I grew up in a historic home where every room had a fireplace, but that may have something to do with it. I've watched my share of House Hunters. I get that a fireplace is on a lot of people's wish list, but not every home has one. I want to show you how easy it is to create a faux fireplace mantle that you can decorate and enjoy for every season. 

Christmas mantle decorated


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8 Winter Energy-Saving Tips to Save You Money

This post is brought to you by Sears Home Services. All opinions are 100% my own.

Winter is just around the corner and I'm sure by now that you have felt the chill in the air. I'm not quite sure when our furnace fired up for the first time, but I'm so glad that it did because there is nothing I like more than a warm cozy home. It's never a convenient time to have something like your HVAC on the fritz, so making sure it's in good working order is important, especially during the holiday season when all you really want to do is snuggle up inside with friends and family. Not only do you want your HVAC to be working, you also want it to be working well. Using these 8 energy-saving tips will make sure it does just that and as an added bonus, it can save you money!

Sears home services for HVAC

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How to Style a HolidayTool Box

I do love a good challenge, so when Wayfair contacted me about participating in a tool box challenge, I was excited to jump on board. I had an idea in mind before I even selected the toolbox I was going to use in this challenge. I like to purchase pieces that can be used in a variety of ways and I can see being able to use this tool box during all the seasons. I styled it for the upcoming Christmas season and I want to show you how and included some other ideas so that you can start getting your creative juices flowing!



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Salted Caramel Popcorn Gift with Free Printable Gift Tags

This post is written by me in partnership with G.H. Cretors. All opinions are 100% my own. 
Every year I have to remind myself to get a jump start on the holiday season. Not this year! I had my Christmas cards ordered by October and I have most of my Christmas shopping done. I'd really like to do my best to not feel so rushed and busy and overwhelmed during the holidays, but instead enjoy that time with family and friends. Planning ahead is how I'm going to try to do that. That even means not waiting until the first neighbor rings my doorbell holding a gift. 
In years past I sheepishly took the gift from their hands knowing I hadn't even thought about the kid upstairs, not to mention the guy next door. I'm doing you all a solid and giving you a leg up on this holiday season and offering up a fun and easy gift idea with a printable that will not only be a welcomed holiday gift, but will have your neighbors asking for seconds and looking forward to this becoming a new tradition. 
a great inexpensive gift to give to your family and friends
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Featuring Whistler Canada Ski Vacation for the Whole Family

I grew up in small town Indiana where the snow would fall and we would head to the highest hill in town to sled. Rolling hills were the backdrop of much of my youth and it wasn’t until I was much {much} older when I moved out west, that I even considered giving skiing a try. I learned how to ski on the slopes of Whistler Mountain on a family vacation. 

My three kids have all improved their skills on the side of Whistler Mountain and we have shared lots of memories with our family there. I’m over at Room5 today sharing some great resorts to stay at and things to do in Whistler Canada. Even if you don’t know how to ski, you can still enjoy the beauty of this winter wonderland with your whole family. Click on over to read the full story. 




disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!
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How To Stain Stamped Concrete: You Can Do It Yourself!

There are some DIY projects that just seem so overwhelming that you just want to hire it out. Staining a worn-out stamped concrete driveway was one of those projects. My dear friend and old neighbor and I met up one day for a super spontaneous lunch. Over lunch we were catching up and she asked me what I was working on. I told her about a project with my favorite paint sprayer and she told me that the lack of a paint sprayer was what was holding her back from this DIY project she wanted to do. Really, it was almost more of an excuse because this project was going to take some time and seemed like something that should be left for the pros. But for some reason, that afternoon, we put our heads together and decided to try to tackle this concrete project together because what could go wrong? There is something about getting two women together that makes you think that you can conquer the world...or at least a big DIY project. 


The stamped concrete driveway leading up to her beautiful waterfront home had seen better days. At one point it had been stained but now it was looking pale and worn down. The stain seemed to have all come off. The project had been on her to-do list, but it seemed so overwhelming, so it kept getting pushed back.


We decided to tackle it together and I can't believe what a difference it made! What seemed like a job for a professional, was done by two women coming together to tackle a DIY project that really wasn't that difficult. It was kind of one of those, where do I start projects, which is why I'm sharing with you the how to, so that you can stain concrete like a pro!

before and after of unstained stamped concrete and how to stain it yourself
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White Pumpkin Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Forgive the dark and moody photos, but I've been dark and moody lately. I have no idea where October went. I swear we just started school a heartbeat ago but alas, it's time to move on and prepare for the next holiday. It's always kind of a weird transition for me from Halloween to Thanksgiving, but it wasn't that difficult this year. I had a fairly neutral decorating palate this year probably because I really dig white pumpkins. I always have. I wanted to help transition from pumpkins for Halloween to pumpkins for Thanksgiving and I think I came up with a way.


I created some pumpkin leaves, some with sayings, some without, and printed and cut them on my Silhouette machine. I'm sharing the cut file with you so that you can create some too. Come check it out!



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Farmhouse Style DIY Projects


It's no secret that you guys are Fixer Upper fans. Anytime I post about the HGTV hit show, you guys gobble it up! This post alone has had more than 2 MILLION page views! The whole Fixer Upper craze has even come with it's own style. Every week as I look at the projects linked up to our Create Link Inspire party, I see at least a few Farmhouse style DIY projects in there. I thought I call some of them out this week and share them with you.


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Help Make HIV History

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here

I've always dreamed of being a midwife in sub-Saharan Africa but since I pass out when my dog gets a vaccination, I realized that maybe that wasn't my God given calling. However, that doesn't change the fact that I am drawn to and love the women and children in this land. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to shadow an overworked nurse in a rural health clinic in Zambia when I was traveling with the NGO World Vision. She had at least 50 patients lined up to see her before she opened at 9 am. Many of the women in line had walked upwards of four hours just to be seen at the health clinic. Many of those women and children in line were HIV positive.

Nurse Bertha was the only nurse on staff and she worked quickly but listened well as patient after patient would walk through her door. I walked out of the exam room briefly to speak to the women and children who were waiting on the bench outside to be seen. When I returned to Bertha, she was speaking with a woman I will never forget. 


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Faux Enamel Mug with Vinyl

It's never to early too start about crafting holiday gifts. Just ask Hobby Lobby. They've had their Christmas crafting supplies up since July! I digress...It's a great time to start thinking about those handmade gifts you want to make for the loved ones on your list. Who doesn't need a good mug? I found this faux enamel mug at TJ Maxx for a few dollars and it was screaming for some vinyl. I will say, it's hard to find plain mugs now days. When you do, it's like finding a unicorn! OK, maybe not that rare, but for all the crafty folks who want to make and create their own design, when you find them, you better stock up!

So what do you do once you find that elusive blank mug? I've got all the details for how you can create your own design and what kind of vinyl you should be using to make that design last.  Are you ready?



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Easily and Painlessly Remove Silly Putty from Hair

This isn't something I ever thought I would have to write about, but silly putty and slime are big around my house and earlier this week an unnamed child walked through the door after school distraught. "Mom, you've got to help me." he said. I jumped into action. Turns out, this unnamed child had a handful of silly putty and forgot it was in his hands before he reached back to scratch his head. The whole thing sounds fishy to me. This is the same kid who put our whole five pound bag of silly putty around his brand new sneaker thinking he could use it as a mold. He could not. Regardless, this child had a hair full of silly putty and he needed to get it out.

This is probably nothing you will ever encounter, but if you do, tuck this away. I was able to easily and painlessly remove silly putty from his hair in under 10 minutes with this magic ingredient you probably have in your cupboard. If you don't, you need to get it in there STAT!


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Digital Dudz DIY Halloween Costume with Layered HTV

I wasn't lying when I told you last week that I was not even a little bit ready for Halloween. My youngest son was playing a game on the computer when he saw an ad for a costume he just had to have. Well played marketing director at Digital Dudz. Well played. Neither of us had ever heard of this company before so I had to look it up. I'm going to assume you are just like us and have no clue either so let me explain. Digital Dudz are digital t-shirts for those people who may not want to dress up in more than a t-shirt but still look like they put a little effort into it. This is perfect for that middle school boy who might think they are too old for a costume but still wants to dress up. 

Long story short, we looked around and couldn't find any of the t-shirts he wanted in stock. We had just days to get the shirt in the mail, but shipping was estimated for the second week in November. That wasn't going to work. So we decided to put our heads together and we DIY'd our own Digital Dudz t-shirt that is going to work perfectly for Halloween. I actually made my 12 year old do most of the work, and he is wearing that shirt with pride.

Come check out how you can make a DIY version in under an hour. Perfect if you are still looking for that last minute costume idea or maybe you just want something nobody has seen before.



 
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Instant Pot Applesauce

I got my Instant Pot for Christmas and I'm still trying to figure out how to use it. It's a little bit intimidating but so far, I've not really screwed up anything so I guess that should make me feel a little bit better. If you got this far and are wondering what the heck and Instant Pot is, it's basically all anyone on the interwebs is talking about. It's like a crock pot for those days that you forget to start the crock pot. What it is really is an updated version of a pressure cooker except safer. Ask anyone over 60 about cooking with a pressure cooker and you are sure to hear a story of something blowing up or a meal that ended up on the ceiling. 

It's apple season and that means it's the perfect time to try using your Instant Pot for making homemade applesauce. I tried it, and it's a kid approved recipe, so come on over and check out the super easy recipe that will have you eating warm home cooked applesauce in under 20 minutes.


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Sweet as Pie Printable Gift Tag

Did you know that Walmart has these little boxes of mini pies in their bakery for fifty cents? Seriously, this has got to be one of the best buys out there right now. Can you imagine having these as favors at a wedding or a fall party? You could even give them as gifts to your friends. I decided that to make them an even better gift to give, you need a printable gift tag to go with them. I've got one for you, plus, if you want to design your own gift tag, I'm telling you step by step how I did it in PicMonkey  {one of my favorite design softwares} and then cut it on my Silhouette Cameo.



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Last Minute Halloween Treats and Costume Ideas for the Whole Family

Can we all just wait a hot minute here. Is it really almost the end of October? Really? Well, if you are like me, zero of your kids have Halloween costumes and you haven't made a single fall or Halloween themed treat. Not to worry. I've got you covered with all the last minute Halloween treats and costume ideas you will need for your whole family. Not to mention 5 tips on how to save on pumpkins. 

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Immune boosting smoothie bowl

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Alberstons and Safeway. All opinions are 100% my own. I wouldn't share something with you that I didn't love. Promise.


Without fail my college-aged son returns to school and picks up a cold. My husband said the same thing happened every year to him. It seems like something that happens if you come to school from out of state. This is my very scientific guess at least, but that's the common thread between my husband and our son's experience. Well, that and genetics, but whatever. Let's not bore each other with details. For the better part of 18 years, I was the one distributing cold medicine and whipping up home remedies that my mom taught me that her mom taught her that her mom taught her. Really, the key is fluids. So many fluids. What better way to do that than with an immune-boosting smoothie bowl. 


I can't send that 2500 miles in a care package, but I can send a college cold care package including the recipe for the smoothie bowl. If you have a kiddo who gets sick every fall once school starts, I've got something that may just help. And if it doesn't, at least it will taste good going down!


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The Best Way to Get Stink Out of Workout Clothes

I like to sweat. I'm always cold, so I like to get warmed up and start sweating. Plus a workout doesn't really feel like a workout unless you break a good sweat don't you think? Problem is, I'm a smelly girl. I sweat and I stink. It's especially bad when it comes to my workout clothes. Unfortunately, I've passed my stink on to my kids. Sorry kids. I just found out that some of the fancy schmancy fitness brands have special stink-free clothes, but my budget doesn't always allow for that. And it especially doesn't allow for that when I buy my kid's clothes. I am a big fan of working with what you have, and what I have is smelly. So what is the best way to get the stink out of your workout clothes? I think I found the answer.

Photo credit: Stephen Matera
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Easy Macaroni and Cheese Bake

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 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% my own.

It's barely fall but I'm already craving all the comfort foods. I have made homemade soup exactly four thousand times since summer ended and this macaroni and cheese bake about five million. I need all the warm yummy foods in my belly right this second. As much as I love comfort foods, I also love recipes that are quick and easy and don't take a lot of time. Time is not something this mama has a lot of now that school is back in session. We are pulled in every direction, but family meal time is still a priority for us. If I can get a meal on the table in under a half an hour, even better! I'm sharing this easy mac and cheese bake that you can make in no time. It's a meal the whole family will love!

annie's mac and cheese with Ritz crackers
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Sneak Peek: Hearth & Hand with Magnolia (for Target): What's Catching My Eye.

I think pretty much every single person I know was excited to hear that Chip and Joanna Gaines were partnering with Target to bring their collection Hearth & Hand™ to the masses. I've been fortunate to visit Magnolia Market more than a handful of times and there is something magical about the grounds in Waco that will be hard to replicate in the aisles of Target, but after seeing a preview of the items, I can't wait to do some shopping! The items in the Hearth & Hand collection are more in my reach {if you are curious this is my list of things I buy (and one I won't!) when I shop at Magnolia Market} and while my husband may not like seeing the bill, these are the items from the Gaines new line at Target that are catching my eye.
Fixer Upper farmhouse style home decor
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Homemade Dog Deodorant for your Smelly Pooch

Smelly dog spray, doggie deodorant, call it whatever you want, but I'm calling it our new favorite thing. Our sweet Sophie smells. Part of it is because of her long luxurious locks and the other part is deferred maintenance. If you were reading along last week and saw my random ramblings, you would see that I mentioned how her grooming costs more than a trip for me to the fancy salon. It's not easy to give a bath to an aging overweight dog, so we needed to find something that would help with her smell. I've been trying things for ages, but I finally think I found something that works. Not only that, it's not filled like alcohol the way some of the store-bought sprays are. This is all natural and conditioning, something you both will love. 

smelly dog, homemade cleaner and deodorizer

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Pumpkin Everything Recipes

I must confess, I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin. Or at least, I didn't used to be. I'm getting older and I'm starting to actually like the flavor. Pumpkin and cinnamon are kind of my favorite combination right now. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. For those of you obsessed with pumpkin, you might be looking for some new recipes. Don't you worry, I've got you covered!

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