Our Mini Family

Easy DIY Foodie Gym Shirt

Foodies unite...at the gym! Make this easy, DIY food pun shirt to wear to your next workout! This craft tutorial doubles as a shirt to wear to the gym--this tutorial is sponsored by Dannon.

Recently, I attended a spin class and left feeling quite upset. 

Spin class is normally really fun, but when I overheard a woman shaming her friend for eating pizza and drinking beer the night before I could not help but feel sad and annoyed. How could that woman do that to her friend? Saying she would "have to attend 3 more classes to undo" her "mistake?" I bit my tongue, kept walking past them, and then it continued to eat away at me all day. As women, we should not have to choose between exercise and food. Why can't we enjoy both and have both in our lives? 

Life should be about balance--you can enjoy pizza and also enjoy going to spin classes, and no one should ever feel like they get to dictate whether or not you have had too much or too little of the other. Over the last year and a half, I have made a significant effort to eat healthier and exercise more and I have succeeded in doing so (while having managed to lose 70 pounds and keep it off). While learning to maintain a balance in my life and learning better portion control, I have found a way to still enjoy some of my favorite foods while pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Sure, some of my favorite foods like donuts, happy hour drinks and tacos, and even pizza have had to take a backseat and stay reserved for less frequent occasions. But I do not plan to stop enjoying the food that I enjoy, and no one can ever try to shame me into not eating them like the woman was doing to her friend at spin class. 

This week, after my incident at spin class, I wanted to find a way to turn my anger I felt towards a complete stranger into something productive. So I pulled out some of my arts and crafts supplies, and I made this foodie-inspired, somewhat-passive-aggressive food pun gym shirt that reads "donut taco bout carbs or you'll get a pizza me!"

To create my DIY t-shirt I used a plain white t-shirt, iron-on flocked letters, and also an iron. This tutorial is so simple and requires so few supplies, it is a great budget craft idea and really easy to make! I recommend creating this t-shirt for quick weeknight craft, or it would be great as a craft night with girlfriends while you enjoy wine and get your arts & crafts on!

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 137

Good morning!

I know it's technically still August and summer is in full swing, but I cannot stop thinking about the fall no matter how hard I try! 

Despite my best efforts, I finally caved in and began fully decorating the apartment with all things fall and even a little bit of Halloween decorations (please don't judge me--I'm weak when it comes to this time of year!) I even brought my DIY fall party cupcake platter out of storage and whipped up a batch of brownies this week! Needless to say, I am ready for summer to come to an end and ready to kick off all of our favorite fall festivities!

One Pan Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

Enjoy this one pan bruschetta chicken pasta recipe--perfect for a weeknight dinner! Thanks to our friends at Foster Farms for partnering with us and for sponsoring this recipe post.

As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, I find myself running out of time at the end of the day to make dinner and maintain a clean kitchen at the same time. It would seem that I can only have one or the other--a clean kitchen, or a home cooked meal. That is unless of course, I make a one pan dinner recipe!

As summer comes to a close and the kiddos start going back to school, we find ourselves scrambling at the end of the day to have dinner ready and strive to multitask as much as we can. I for one cannot handle the large pile of dirty dishes gathered in my sink at the end of the day and still have the sanity to prepare an elaborate home cooked meal (especially knowing I'll have even more dishes I need to do before I go to bed).

This one pan bruschetta chicken pasta is flavorful, easy to prepare, and perfect for a weeknight dinner! So grab your Post-Its and jot down the ingredients you'll need for this recipe so you can go grocery shopping (trust me, you're going to want to try this one!) And while you're at it, you'll want to check out these Foster Farms Sauté Ready chicken strips--they have made my life so much easier!

5 Bento Box Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PackWithLove #CollectiveBias

Back in the day when I was teaching sophomore English literature, I would set my alarm clock the night before and allow myself enough time to prepare a homemade lunch to bring with me to school every day. 

When I was teaching in the city, I did not own a car. Every day, I would get up extra early so I could catch the bus in time. I never really had any difficulty waking up and preparing for my school day in the mornings, but what often made it more grueling was that I set my alarm an extra 30 minutes earlier so I could allow myself time to pack a lunch! In time, I learned to love my daily routine and  I learned I found peace while I stood in my kitchen preparing my bento lunch box before everyone else was awake. The benefits of bringing a lunch to school every day far exceeded any reasons why I would want to hit the snooze button a few times--I had saved quite a bit of money by bringing my own lunch every day, and I developed healthier habits than some of my teacher counterparts who often complained about feeling sluggish from eating the cafeteria food. 

Even though I am not getting up every morning to catch the bus to go to school to teach, I still find myself reveling in my morning routines. I have always found joy in preparing lunches, and today, I am sharing five bento box essentials that got me through my long days at school and helped me establish a morning routine!

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 136

Happy Saturday!

I'll admit it--Adam and I finally caved and started decorating for fall and Halloween!

Well, I should say that I started it and that he supported me, but that is beside the point! The point is that our apartment is now well-decorated and ready for the fall holidays even though it is still summer and the kids are just now starting to go back to school. What can I say, this wretched desert heat has me wishing for cooler weather! 

I found so many beautiful Halloween decorations that compliment our living room decor, like this c chic Ouija throw pillow I found at Ross. I was lucky enough to find one that didn't have any marks on it yet (because sometimes home goods get thrown around/abused a bit too much at discount stores like Ross). I also found a beautiful marble flower vase that will be holding my black roses until Halloween comes, as well as some fun tabletop statues and spooky centerpieces. 

A Halloween-Inspired Pizza Night

Get excited for Halloween! See the details from our spooky pizza night below--this post is sponsored by Papa John's but the content/opinions expressed here are my own.

Is it technically still summer? Yes. But does my love for Halloween and the fall season seem more important than what date is on my calendar? Abso-freakin-lutely! 

It's always about this time of year when my palms get itchy and the Halloween decorations in our garage start calling out to me in the middle of the night. "Caaaaathy! Summer is almost over, Cathy. Do you know what that means?" I mean, of course, I know what it means! It's only a matter of time I give in to the voices in my head and start hanging up my autumnal leaves and start putting skeletons and black roses all around my house. I can't help it when I see spooky decorations at the craft store and aisles filled with Halloween candy at the grocery store! This year, I'm ignoring calendar holiday etiquette completely and embracing Halloween before it's socially acceptable! 

This week, Adam and I started putting up our fall and Halloween decorations around the house. For our at-home date night this week, we opted to order in dinner from Papa John's Pizza and we tried their delicious new gluten-free crust made with ancient grains. Today, I'm sharing the details from our Halloween-inspired pizza night we had in hopes that it will inspire you to get excited for the coming season and Adam's favorite holiday!

10 One Pan Recipes to Make this Fall that Will Warm Your Soul

Try all 10 of these warm, comforting one pan recipes that are perfect for the fall season!

Summer is coming to an end, and we are welcoming autumn with open arms! 

I don't know about you, but this summer weather has been nearly unbearable! The humidity here in Phoenix has been consistent and monsoon season has taken over--I miss the days of dry heat and feeling like I'm stepping out onto the sun when I leave the house (rather than feeling like I am walking into a sauna from all of the wetness in the hot air). Our monsoon season is coming to a close soon, so we can stay hopeful for a more tolerable rest of summer and then look forward to the arrival of a cooler fall! 

Nothing says fall like warm comfort food! Today, I'm sharing 10 different one pan recipes for you to try this season when you're looking to enjoy a plate of delicious food that can warm your soul (including this easy, incredible 30 minutes one pan beef penne recipe from Girl Gone Gourmet!) 

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 135

Good morning!

After a week of taking it easy, I am finally starting to feel better. Which is great because I have quite a few things on my to-do list that I need to cover over the next couple of weeks! 

Even after spending the last week on the mend and just kicking it at home trying to recuperate, Adam and I still plan on spending some time this weekend having a little fun and perhaps trying to squeeze in a date night. We're not sure exactly what our plans are, but I am thinking they will probably involve wine and catching up on tv shows! 
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