The Decorating Dork

My Thanksgiving Holiday With Price Chopper #HolidayAdvantEdge

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

Here we are, it's already November.  You know what that means... Holiday Entertaining is right around the corner.  

This year I'm doing Thanksgiving at my house.  Normally we go to my sister's in New York, but it's been a tough year for my husband and his mother with losing both my father-in-law and brother-in-law in February.   I decided we need to just stay put and keep it somewhat low key.  My mother will come up to be with us, so that'll be helpful to me (both mentally and physically.)  

I've cooked a whole Thanksgiving dinner before just never on the actual holiday.  So to say I feel a little pressure, would be an understatement!     
I know it's going to be stressful but I'm going to do the best I can and try to enjoy the day in my own home for a change.

I've already been searching Pinterest for table settings, centerpieces and recipes. I'm probably more about the decorating then the food.  I want to try to make this holiday a little more fun.  My grandson Tyler is going to be here so he'll be welcome distraction from any sadness.   

Heading out to Price Chopper is what I need to do first.   I know I'll find great ideas and sales with my AdvantEdge savings card.   Plus there is the always the Fuel AdvantEdge points that add up every time I shop.  (that never hurts, especially this time of year)

First thing I always do when walking in the door, is scan my AdvantEdge card at the kiosk.   You never know what kind of great coupons will print out.
   
 

Price Chopper has everything you need for Thanksgiving dinner.  We stick to the traditional holiday foods, turkey, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole,  Pillsbury crescent rolls (to scoop up any gravy left on the plate), of course some fall beer and lots of pies for dessert.   

The floral department always catches my eye.  I'm a sucker for pretty fall flowers and all the displays of plants and arrangements.     I love the orange "Rose Of The Month" for November, those would look gorgeous in a centerpiece on my table.  



Onto the rest of my groceries.... I'm picking up crescent rolls (reduced fat, because I'm trying to be somewhat good on my diet these days.)  I have a few different things I want to  make with them. Besides having them in a basket on the table with dinner, I had an idea for edible place cards and for turkey "leftovers" the next day. 


I know you must be thinking she's crazy with all those weird ingredients but just wait... it's going to a be cute, yummy and different way to serve turkey leftovers.   

But first I'm going to make edible place cards for the table settings.    Using the crescent rolls and holiday cookie cutters.   It's fun and super easy, I could even have Tyler help me.  


I just rolled the crescent out onto wax paper and pinched together the seams.    Each can comes with 8 rolls so combining 2 makes 4 squares of dough.  This way it's easy to get two shapes out off each square.  Which works perfect for me since there will be 8 of us for dinner.

Cut out each shape and place on a foil lined baking sheet.   Next I used a toothpick to sort of carve each family member's initial into the dough, then baked at 375 degrees for about 10 mins.   *Remember you're not making rolled up crescent shapes like the package, so these cook much quicker then the instructions.  I suggest you stay close to the stove and check on them every so often.




Then when they came out of the oven I used an edible pen to fill in each letter so they would show up better against the napkin.



I have old drapery rod rings with clips that I reused into napkin rings.  I had hot glued some acorns to make them more festive for the season.   Just carefully clipped the crescent place card onto each one and there ya have it.   Easy, Edible and Cute!      
   


Now I have a bonus recipe I would like to share.   I make a chicken salad that my family goes nuts over.  I normally make it with a rotisserie chicken you buy at Price Chopper but I figured it'll be even better with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  

Now here's the fun part,  I saw somewhere on Pinterest a mini cornucopia using crescent rolls.  I thought to myself "how perfect and cute for leftover turkey salad sandwiches." 

Using sugar cones as the form for the cornucopia...  cover them in foil.  
Then roll out the Pillsbury crescent dough (you could buy the kind that rolls out into one sheet but it's just as easy to pinch together the seams on the regular kind.) 

Then using a pizza cutter, I made six strips of the dough.   

Then wrapped each piece around the cone to form the cornucopia shape.
Baked at 375 for about 13-15 minutes.   They came out golden brown and the cone just slips right out from the crescent dough.  (You could either save the cones wrapped in foil for another project or I guess you could just put them in a ziplock back and save the pantry for ice cream!)





For the turkey salad you'll need 
*shredded or cut up turkey 
*half an apple, diced. (I leave the skin on for color)
*chopped walnuts
*diced Lindsay olives 
*2-3 tablespoons of mayo 
I just go by eye and taste, depending on how much meat I'm using



For more holiday decorating, entertaining ideas, recipes and savings check out PriceChopper.com , Facebook, Twitter  Pinterest and Instagram

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  "Gobble til ya Wobble" 



The Struggle IS Real #WeightWatchers


Today marks 9 weeks since I started Weight Watchers (for the 100th time) and at tonight's weigh-in I FINALLY hit my first 10 lb goal.     Actually I lost 1.6 lbs for a total of 11.2 lbs.  At last week's weigh-in I was .4 shy of that 10 pounds and I can't tell you how unbelievably frustrating it was.

That was the hardest 11.2 pounds I've ever lost!

I'm not saying that I'm not proud or happy to have that weight off, but in my past attempts at WW it's never taken that long to lose 10 lbs.   I used to be able to lose that much weight in just a month's time, maybe even quicker.  

I'll admit that I'm not perfect with my portion controls, food choices or tracking.  But this time around I have tried harder to be better at all those things and have even adding walking regularly to my routine.    That is what has been the most frustrating!

I am aware that this time around I have more stress, health challenges, sleep issues and of course AGE working against me.

I'm not giving up.  I am going to keep pushing along.

I've decided to set goals/challenges for myself.   I'm just trying to make sure they are realistic and to somehow make them fun.   Maybe make a creative, cute board to hang over my desk?  Something like that. Something I will see every day to remind me to not give up.
I've seen on Instagram where someone had made themselves a challenge chart to run 100 miles by a certain date.   She has a board with 1-100 and she crosses off each mile she runs.   I love the idea of doing something like that.

Do you have any creative ways to help you reach a goal?   I'd love to get some ideas.    

Til next Wed..........













1st Day of Fall 2014


Happy Fall                                   Happy Autumn   



Whatever you call it, it's one of my favorite seasons.  

This year I didn't spend the day decorating my house for fall.  Instead, I took my grandson Tyler to a local farm for some traditional fall fun.
First we found our way through a mini corn maze, played on playground, saw some goats, picked out 3 of biggest pumpkins we could find and of course topped it all off with some fresh apple cider and donuts.    Is there any better way to spend a beautiful fall day?  I don't think so.



2nd day of Fall.... Decorating!    


  

Jumping Back On The Weight Watchers Wagon



Two weeks ago I joined Weight Watchers...... AGAIN.

It's probably my 6th or 7th attempt at trying the program.  But believe me when I say it's NOT Weight Watchers' fault that I've joined, dropped out, joined, dropped out, etc..etc.   I know it's 100% me and my issues with food that have prevented success in the past.  I tend to get to a point of losing 20-25lbs and then think, "I'm good, I've got this."  Yeah, no, I don't.  

Weight Watchers is one of the only diet plans I would spend money to follow.  It's more then a diet, it really does teach you to make better choices and if sometimes you don't, that's ok too. I like it because you eat normal, everyday foods.  I don't do good with strict diets where you only eat certain foods at certain times.   For me it's also about accountability, not that there's any judgement when you get weighed in at a meeting but deep down inside I want the ladies at the scale to be like "wow, good job you're down this week."   (I know I sound like a commercial or something but I swear I'm not getting paid to write this.) 

I'm one of those people that eats when I'm happy, sad, angry, stressed, bored or in social situations. So you get my drift, I eat all the time, whether I'm hungry or not.  Honestly, as I sit here writing this post all I can think about it the box of cake mix and chocolate frosting in my pantry.  "Do I make a batch of cupcakes?"   It's a real convo that goes on in my head every single day.  
So, I decided to share all about it here. I'd also love to connect with anyone who too struggles with weight loss as well.  Support and knowing you're not the only one with crazy food thoughts is just as important in this whole journey.

Since I started Sept. 3rd I've lost a total of 5.2 lbs.   I wish it was more, I know it could be more.   This week I'm going to focus on tracking my food more consistently.  It's always been something I don't do well with, which might have a lot to do with why I haven't been as successful as I could be.  

 



Sunday Style - Loving The "Beachy, Shabby Chic, Rustic Cottage" Style


I can't believe summer is coming to an end.  I didn't get nearly as much done as I had hoped.  While we did get two vacations in, it went by way too fast.  As far as I'm concerned there's never enough time for hanging out by the pool, sitting on the beach or just doing fun stuff with family and friends.  

While on our beach vacation at the Connecticut Shore my mother, sister and I stopped into a cute little shop called Grace in Niantic.  Ahh, it was so gorgeous in there. I spent over an hour just walking around looking at everything. I can't explain why, but it's just very soothing to me.  I'm bummed my phone battery had died or I would have taken a bunch of pictures to share with you. They have everything from clothing, accessories, gifts, home decor...you name it, you could find in there.   I could have done some real damage if I had a bottomless wallet.  (No, this is a sponsored post of any kind.  I just really loved the store) It wasn't just the items themselves, it was the whole "feeling" you got from just being in there.  It was that mix of new pretty things with weathered wood furniture and random antique objects.   It really got me thinking about that beachy, shabby chic, rustic cottage kinda style of decorating.  I absolutely love it when I see it in magazines, online, on tv and in person like at Grace but I'm not confident enough that I could pull it off in my own home.  Maybe one when I live by the water and there's no dirty boys or men around.  A girl can dream, right?    

Until then I thought I share some of my favorite rooms inspired by that "beachy, shabby chic, rustic cottage" kinda style. If there is such a thing?  


This living room is done by Joanna and Chip Gaines from the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  
Photo HGTV.com





Wordless Wednesday - Back to School 2014 - The Year of Milestones


It's a good thing it's "Wordless Wednesday" because I can not express into words my emotions this week.    

Saturday I moved  Nicholas into his new dorm to start his senior year of college.  So proud of this kid!


Then today was Thomas' 1st day of high school.  He had a great day, but can't believe my little man is turning into a young man.   


And as if those weren't big enough milestones for me to handle, my grandson Tyler started kindergarten today as well. Tyler started his little life as a 4lbs 5oz premie and has come a long way.  Although he still has some struggles to overcome, he's a happy little dude!  





Back To School Breakfast Bar Recipe #PriceChopperB2S #CollectiveBias

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc.and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.




It's the most wonderful time of the year!  No, not Christmas time.... Back To School time!  Most moms, especially ones with younger kids are rejoicing.  It's time to get them back to school and out of the house because they drove you crazy all summer long.  Even though my son's are 21 and 13 I feel the same way! (I love them and all, just being honest here)  Nicholas left for college this weekend so now I'm concentrating on Thomas and his first day as a high school freshman on Wednesday.  *gulp*  
To me it feels a bit like New Years, wouldn't you agree?  I mean, everyone's getting a fresh start with new clothes, new schedules, new routines, maybe even a new school.
I have to tell you I'm craving the routine for myself as well.  I need to get back on track with everything... meal planning, cleaning schedules, diet/exercise, couponing and of course a better blogging schedule.

I figured a good place to start was to head over to Price Chopper Supermarket  and get some supplies for a quick, on-the-go breakfast for those early weekday mornings.  This will also get me get in the routine of sitting down, going through the flyer, making a list and matching up my coupons to get the most savings as possible.
Price Chopper is one of my go-to supermarkets for their products, prices and rewards.  If you don't know they offer Fuel Rewards, there's a Tools For Schools Program, iSave Coupons, Sweepstakes, and of course everyday saving using the Price Chopper AdvantEdge Card.  Right now you could win one of 10 iPad Minis when you share a "First Day of School" photo between Aug.17th - Sept. 20th.   Then beginning Sept.21, Price Chopper will pick 5 photos at random and the 5 photos with the most votes will also win.  Head over to the Facebook page or PriceChopper.com to enter. 

I found a recipe on Pinterest  for a breakfast bar using Honey Nut Cheerios, peanut butter and marshmallows.  That's 3 of Thomas' favorite things!  I figured it was easy, tasty and packed with plenty of sugar and protein to get him ready to catch that 6:30am bus.  He's not necessarily a morning person AT ALL!  Thomas probably wakes up 30 mins before he has to leave the house.  Just enough time to wash his face, brush his teeth and get dressed. So this is perfect for him to grab quickly and even eat on the bus if he runs out of time.

I have to get a few groceries to get us through the weekend, so I figured I'd grab all the ingredients I need and give the recipe a try before Wednesday.  I'll test it out on my grandson Tyler who is starting kindergarten on Wednesday as well.
I've got my list, flyer and coupons all set.  I'm off to Price Chopper and the "Back to School Solutions Center."
 Lots of great deals on other quick and easy breakfast ideas.   Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches were Nick's go-to breakfast this summer while he was doing an internship in Massachusetts.
I decided since the Yoplait Greek Yogurts were such a great price that maybe I could incorporate it with the Honey Nut Cheerios cereal bars somehow.  I grabbed strawberry banana, fearing nobody would like the plain vanilla.  Can I tell you I've tried greek yogurt in the past and wasn't really a fan but this Yoplait brand is yummy.   Doesn't taste any different to me then regular yogurt.

This recipe for  Honey Nut Cheerios Back to School Breakfast Bars (that's a mouthful, huh?) is..simple, simple, simple.
You don't have to add the mini chocolate chips.  You can add almonds or any other kind of nut.   I think a dried fruit would go good in these too.

Ingredients
  • 7 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
  • 40 Full Size Marshmallows (I bought a 10oz bag and I counted out 41 marshmallows in the bag) 
  • 3 (heaping) Tablespoons Peanut Butter 
  • 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Butter a 9 x 13 pan
  2. In a large stock pot, melt the butter
  3. Add the marshmallows and stir continuously until melted.
  4. Add the peanut butter.
  5. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the cheerios to the marshmallows.
  7. Stir until the cheerios are completely coated.
  8. Transfer the Cheerios to the buttered pan and press down, so that the mixture fills the entire pan.
  9. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top and gently press down.
  10. Let set and then cut into bars size rectangle and serve (or you can do what I did and drizzle some Yoplait Greek yogurt over the top or on the side as a dip)  
There are a couple of things I have to tell you about using the yogurt. 

1- Strawberry Banana doesn't really go good peanut butter and chocolate chips, But it's fine to eat separately. 
2- If you are going to drizzle or dip the cereal bars in yogurt make sure you store them in the fridge if they aren't eaten right away.  

Ok, so my grandson Tyler doesn't look too thrilled in this picture but that's more because it's just plain annoying to a 5 year old to have your grandmother (or "Amma" as he calls me) force you to stop playing your video game, sit at the table, eat and get your photo taken all at the same time.    I swear he ate the whole cereal bar and dipped his banana sticks in the greek yogurt.    Fun times....   




For more on Price Chopper's "Back to School" solutions check them out on
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Do you have a "Back to School" breakfast idea that's quick and easy.  I'd love for you to share with me, I'm always looking for something new and different to try.    

Also, if you try this recipe let me know what, if anything, you added to your cereal bars.

Happy Back to School Everyone!!




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