Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Cooking: Best of Soups

I so look forward to the change in seasons and new seasonal ingredients to cook with.
When there's a chill in the air, the first thing I want to make is soup.

An afternoon with nothing to do but sip wine and make a big pot of soup is so relaxing to me.
And the end result is always so gratifying.

Looking back in my blog, I've shared a few soup recipes that I love. But my #1 has got to be 
Butternut Squash Soup. It's so creamy and delicious and tastes SO good with 
crusty bread dipped in it.

I shared a step by step recipe for how to make this soup back in 2011 and 
I don't think I've ever missed a year making it. You should definitely try this one.

And here is the rest of my list of soups that I add to my rotation every fall/winter:

I hope you'll try some of these and add them to your fall dinner line-up!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Refinishing the Floors + bObi Classic Review

The other big project we tackling before moving into our new house, besides painting everything,  was ripping out all the carpet upstairs and refinishing the original wood floors.

Here's what we started with:

Old and stained carpet in all three of the bedrooms upstairs.

Peace out carpet, see ya never!

And then here's the state of the floors we had to work with underneath the carpet.

Our master bedroom floor was in pretty rough shape but the final product 
was so beautiful and full of character.

The biggest part of the job was just sanding all the floors down so we could start
from scratch. We rented a commercial floor sander from our local hardware store.

Here's a close up difference of sanded vs. unsanded.

And we had to deal with old glue/adhesive lines in Grady's room.
Thank goodness it was just this room!

Stripped off all the old glue and scraped off all the tape by hand.

Then he had to hand-sand edges and super rough spots.

Knee pads required.

The original floors restored and ready for poly.

We decided to go with a clear poly so that the floors would look as close to original as possible and flow down the stairs and with the rest of the house. 

And the finish product was so beautiful and so worth all the hard work!

And as a mom of little boys I am so thankful not to be dealing with carpet anywhere in the house and especially not in these high-traffic areas. Super big shout out to my hard-working hubby who pulled an all nighter doing this so that we only had to rent the sander for 1 day! 

So, with a completely carpet-less house we were so excited to add our first ever bObi Classic robot vacuum to the family!

I feel like she's become the 5th member of the Goodman household.
Setting it up was so simple and user-friendly with it's step-by-step guide included.

Once we let her free in the house, we were so pleased by the work she did
(and honestly a little grossed out by all she swept up since I had just recently vacuumed)

She fit so easily and found her way around in tight spaces.
Shimmying around these tight corners were no problem for her.

She had no problem going from hardwood to rugs.

She got in the places I have a hard time getting to.
This breakfast nook is one of my favorite features of the house but it
is constantly plagued by crumbs. And this mama doesn't like to sweep after every meal.

And I totally love the schedule feature. I can schedule her to run at 2 p.m. everyday and she jumps off the dock and gets to work while the kids nap and I get other stuff done.
It's probably the closest I'll ever get to having a maid.
And after reading this robot vacuum horror story I decided I can't let her run while I'm sleeping.
And I don't even have a dog.

She does a great job. I don't have any pets but I do have two newer wool rugs that still shed a bit and she makes sure those sheds get swept up!

I also love that I can move her upstairs and just let her go to town. She goes under beds and gets dust bunnies and she knows not to fall down the stairs!

My only complaint with her is that she has a hard time finding the dock when I tell her to go juice, it's like she gets distracted on the way to finding it. But we'll give her grace on that cause we're kind of a messy family, hah!

Overall, we are so happy with the way bObi has jumped into our family and totally started pulling her own weight. She took my vacuum duties off my plate and I couldn't be more grateful. (I still pull out the old fashioned vacuum and get corners really well every so often. Okay, only when company's coming, don't judge me.)

To get more information and reviews on the bObi Classic, visit

Disclaimer: I received the bObi Classic for review purposes but all opinions are my own.
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Uniform + Jewelry with a Cause

That's it. I'm set. Got my fall uniform. This outfit on repeat.
Maaaaaybe I'll change my t-shirt to long sleeves when it gets colder. Maybe.

You guys know I'm a hardcore thrifter. I'm the atypical girl in that it actually pains me
to buy new clothes and I get a high on saving money.
So online clothes thrifting with ThredUp is my jam.
I love that I can go in and search for my favorite brands and get them shipped to my 
door for a great price.

Old Navy Rockstar skinnies are my favorite jeans. I know what size I am and they fit me perfectly every time. So to be able to go on ThredUp and get them for less than $10 and shipped to my door is a small miracle to me.

Or to type in: "floral long sleeve dress" and get this little number for $12!

I'm telling you that you won't be disappointed with the selection and the prices!
Go see what fall goodies they've got for you!
And if you've never tried before and want money added to your account to shop,
follow my referral link!


The other part of my fall uniform is this necklace stack from The Shine Project.
I am all about everyday, dainty gold necklaces and I loved these triangle ones because they remind me of mountains which I am missing dearly. 
But it gets better. The Shine Project employs inner city youth in America to help them pay their way through college. To help them break the cycle and be first generation college students in their families. I love that. And I love supporting causes that are working to change the world one person at a time. 

Take a minute and watch this video to hear more of what The Shine Project is all about!
I promise you'll be inspired by Ashley's story.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Must-Make: Apple Dumplings + Apple Recipe Round-Up

I can't believe I'm doing this but I'm giving up my most prized apple recipe.
Because really, good food is meant to be shared.
This recipe is so nostalgic for me because it's my mom's and she makes
it even better than I do.
So without further ado, I give you:
Apple Dumplings

I love this recipe because there's not much in it but it's so super delicious.
- Jiffy pie crust mix
- cooking apples (whatever you prefer)
- brown sugar
- cinnamon

I think the other reason I love it is because there's no measurements for the filling part.
I'm an eyeball it kinda girl. And that's why I usually prefer cooking for the eyeball-it, intuition, non-precise, forgiving nature of it. 

Step 1: Peel and cut apples into small pieces.
I usually do about 4-5 apples depending on the size. Again, eye-balling it.

Step 2: Place apples in a bowl and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Step. 3: In a separate bowl, mix Jiffy pie crust according to box.
You could make your own piece crust or use store bought but I honestly think
this Jiffy crust is what makes it so delicious.

Step 4: Roll pie crust out into a rectangle on a floured surface.

Step 5: Cover pie crust with apples and sprinkle with small pieces of cold butter.

Step 6: Roll into a tight log

Step 7: Cut log into pieces
Sometimes I do 6, sometimes I do 8. Depends on how I'm feeling.

Step 8: Grease an 8x8 pan and place pieces in apple side up

Step 9: Make your sauce.
Boil together:
-2/3 C sugar
- 1 1/2 C water
- 2 TB butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Let boil 3 minutes.

Pour your sauce over your slices.

Step 10: Bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned

Let cool slightly and enjoy!
Best served a la mode. Duh.

And here it is all in one place:
- Jiffy pie crust mix
- cooking apples (whatever you prefer)
- brown sugar
- cinnamon
Sauce ingredients:
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1 1/2 C water
-2TB butter
-1/4 tsp cinnamon

- Mix Jiffy pie crust dough as directed on box.
-Roll out onto a floured surface into a rectangle
- Use cooking apples; peel and cut into small pieces
- Place apples onto pie dough covering the whole thing. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and small pieces of butter.
- Roll into a tight log.
-Grease an 8x8 pan and cut log into pieces.  Place in pan apple side up.
-Combine sauce ingredients in a pan, stir & bring to a boil. Boil 3 minutes, then pour over top of pieces.
-Bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cool slightly and enjoy!


I've also teamed up with some of my favorite mama bloggers to bring you 7 more amazing recipes
to try with your apples this fall! Be sure to click through and add these to your 
must-make list this fall!

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