What I Get At Aldi

I am just now jumping onto the Aldi train, but let me tell you I sure am glad I did!

I had been seeing my friends’ posts about it and I was always a little skeptical. To be honest, it seemed like one of the “cheap” grocery stores and I wasn’t sure it would have good, quality stuff.

Boy, was I wrong.

Since the girls have started school, I make one day a week my grocery shopping day. I plan out all of our meals on Sunday and usually do my grocery shopping on Wednesday.

My Aldi obsession all started with this lady. I found this meal plan and made almost everything on it.

I started with the Italian Beef. Then, the Snap Crackle Pop Chicken and then the leftover Italian Beef & Black Bean quesadillas.

Italian Beef

Since then, I have moved the majority of my shopping over there and here’s some of my favorite things I have discovered there:

Bread

  • Seedtastic is my everyday bread, I have one in the fridge and one in the freezer at all times.

  • Baguette
  • Plain Bagels
  • Brownies (I used to make the Raspberry Brownie Bites for Valentine’s Day)

Produce

  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Oranges (Cuties)
  • Kiwi
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Strawberries (Which were LOCAL, btw! Plant City strawberries! What?)
  • Caesar salad mix
  • Tomatoes

Dairy

  • Organic reduced fat milk
  • Yogurt
    • Plain Greek (substitute for sour cream)
    • Greek Vanilla
    • Organic whole milk Vanilla

  •  Cheeses
    • Fresh Mozzarella
    • Cube cheese
    • Provolone cheese
    • Cream cheese

Pantry

  • Seasonings
    • Taco
    • Chili
    • Veggie soup mix (I use this to make Spinach Dip)
  • Tomato basil soup

Caesar salad kit, added grilled chicken, bacon bits, hardboiled egg & avocado
  • Coconut Chia Granola
  • Superfruit spread

(this is the Organic whole milk Vanilla yogurt, 1/2 banana, super fruit spread & coconut Chia Granola)
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Organic chicken broth and Beef broth
  • ABC noodles

  • Organic ketchup
  • Organic coffee (whole bean)

Freezer

  • Black Bean Burgers (*note: these are SPICY. I tried to feed them to my girls and it did NOT wok out well)

  • BANANA POPS!!!!

Meat

  • Imitation Crab meat (I use this for Sushi Bowls)
  • Hard salami bite-sized pieces
  • Chicken thighs
  • Chuck roast (for Italian beef)

Specialty Items 

  • Heart-shaped pasta
  • Heart Marshmallows

(for Valentine’s Day)

 

 

On my list for this week (which I haven’t bought before) are: peanut butter and salsa!

I hope this was helpful and if you are hesitant on taking the plunge to Aldi, I strongly encourage you to!

A couple of notes:

  1. Bring reusable bags
  2. Bring a quarter- this is how you will get your cart (don’t worry you get it back!)

Happy Shopping!

 

Valentine’s Day in the Silverstein House

The day of love has come and gone…

Here’s what ours looked like!

Crafts:

This year, we made Froot Loop hearts for the birds

“I Love You to Pieces” tissue paper hearts

AND I added in some school stuff too:

Homeschool:

Trace and color Hearts, ABCs with conversation hearts, name puzzles, and color matching with conversation hearts.

 

Food (Heart-shaped EVERYTHING!):

DONUTS!

Raspberry Brownie Bites– I made these as a treat for the Moms at a Valentine’s Day tea party I went to

Valentine’s Day Chocolate chip cookie hearts 

I also did the wafer cookies and originally tried to find the pink ones (aka strawberry flavored) but couldn’t find them ANYWHERE. Last week, shopping at Aldi….guess what I saw?!

Heart Quesadillas

Nutella French Toast with strawberries

Pancake skewers & Egg in a basket

Aldi pasta

Babybel cheese & Hot dog- lunch

Teddy Grahams with conversation hearts– I packed these in my girls lunches.

 

P.S. Can ya’ll tell my Love Language is FOOD?! LOL

 

We also did some really cute pictures and hair stuff with the girls this year!

 

 

 

 

Birthday Party theme: Foxes

I still have yet to mail out Thank You cards from the party, but here’s my blog on it LOL

Our littlest one has been obsessed with foxes since Zootopia came out last year.

She even has a Nick Wilde sweater. She wore it to Animal Kingdom and scared Mickey Mouse pretending to be a fox.

So, a Fox party was definitely in the cards for her. Finding fox party decor, on the other hand, not so easy.

She started preschool at the beginning of the month, so every Wednesday and Thursday leading up to her party were used for shopping, ordering, crafting, etc.

I started by getting these at Walmart:

They ended up becoming a banner for the party, hot glued to twine.

Then, I headed to good ol’ Joann’s. I got felt for felt masks, fake flowers for headbands, orange and black card stock. You know, my supplies!

I made a banner out of the card stock on my Cricut. It said WILD & THREE and was the cutest thing ever. That just came to me one day and I was like, “YES! That is SO Addie!”

I cut the fake flowers off their stems and hot glued them to a headband along with felt fox ears.

For the masks, I used a template to cut out the felt, then hot glued them together with some elastic to held them on.

I had hubby get some scrap wood out of the garage to make a “Welcome Forest Friends” sign, which I hand painted.

I printed out some of these scavenger hunts for the kids, and got some cute wooden pencils from Amazon to go with them.

I got a dehydrator for Hanukkah this year, so I dried out a bunch of banana chips and called them “Chipmunk Chips”

I painted Nuggets nail to have a fox on them, but they only lasted for like a day! Thank goodness I got a picture of it! LOL

Food:

S’mores Mix: Golden Grahams, mini marshmallows & chocolate chips.

S’mores Pops: two pretzel sticks in a marshmallow, dipped in melted chocolate, then graham cracker crumbs.

Haystacks: Rice Krispie Treats

Twigs: Pretzel sticks

Do Not Feed the Bears: Teddy Grahams

Squirrel Food: Cheerios

Favors: 

Trail Mix

 

 

Cake and cookies: Petite Madalyn’s Bakery 

Fox dress (birthday girl’s outfit): Etsy shop PartyLandBliss

Fox Iron-On (for Big Sis): Etsy shop ScrapendipityDesigns

Wooden plates: Amazon

Wooden cutlery: Amazon

Fox leggings: LulaRoe

Birch straws: Amazon

Balloons: Party Planet 

 

 

 

Holy Moly!

It’s been almost two months since my last blog!

In case you can’t tell, we’ve been super busy!

Miss Addison turned 3 in January and we celebrated with a Fox birthday party in the park. And at Disney (of course!).

And we just finished all of our Valentine’s Day fun!

We are also participating in a hiking spree at the local parks. We have to finish 8 hikes by the end of march, so we’re doing about one a weekend!!

Eric and I also just registered for our first half marathon! We’ll be running the Disney half next January!

So I’ve been busy training for that as well. Here’s what my weeks have been looking like lately:

Monday– Hikes with homeschool group/ Busch Gardens/ Karate
Tuesday– homeschool testing/ Dance class/ Chick-fil-a/ tea party
Wednesday– school from 8:40-Noon/ all my grocery shopping done/ Karate
Thursday– school from 8:40-Noon/ run while the girls are in school
Friday– Friend’s houses/ play dates at parks
Saturday– Farmer’s market/ Home improvement store/ gardening/ family time/ date night
Sunday– hiking/ gardening/ Disney

What Mom’s week doesn’t look like that?!

Anyways, I’ll do some more posts soon, I promise! Maybe one for Addie’s birthday party and one for Valentine’s.

Until then, I’m looking forward to Dr. Seuss Day and St. Patrick’s Day and I’ll do posts for those also!

I should also probably do some recipes! We’ve been making some good ones lately!! Sushi bowls and last night we had zucchini & bean quesadillas!

I’ve also been doing lots of my shopping at Aldi now! I’ll share some of my favorite things to get there also!

Guess I better get busy!

What kinda of posts would YOU guys like to see?!

How We Celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas

So he’s family is Jewish and mine is not!

We decided to raise the littles Jewish, so now what do we do?

Well, we do a lot of both and none of some…

So, here’s how we celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas:

We light Menorahs AND put up a Christmas tree (aka Hanukkah bush.)

Our tree has a Star of David topper and we decorate it in blue and silver.

We have blue stockings (which, by the way, are really hard to find!) and our stocking holders say PEACE.

We read Hanukkah AND Christmas books before bed.

We open presents for 8 nights.

And on Christmas morning.

But we don’t “do” Santa.

The girls have never met Santa and we explained to Emma this year that Santa doesn’t visit our house because we celebrate Hanukkah.

We do Hanukkah AND Christmas crafts.

We decorate for both holidays

 

We decorate Christmas cookies.

We eat latkes.

So, Merry Christmas AND Happy Hanukkah, my friends!

 

 

 

I wish my life was as perfect as my Christmas card

But it’s not.

Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I curse.

Sometimes I’m mad at my husband. Sometimes he’s mad at me.

Sometimes he has a bad day at work. Sometimes I have bad days.

Those cruise pictures we took? We spent most of that cruise telling at our kids because they wouldn’t go to camp.

Those camping pictures? Emma refused to nap and I drove her around in the truck, then slammed on the brakes and yelled at her.

Our kids don’t always hold hands and hug.

They fight. They pull hair.

They scratch. They bite.

They’re not perfect. And neither am I.

So, don’t be fooled by our Christmas card.

I wish my life was as perfect as my Christmas card.

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Recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

I don’t know about you, but with all the breads, rolls, candy, gingerbread houses, cookies, etc. this time of year I NEED a good salad.

I had seen shaved Brussels sprouts salads around, but had never eaten one. I always thought, “Do they really just shave a Brussels sprout?” Turns out, yes.

Here’s my super easy recipe for a healthy salad this holiday season to keep you feeling on track and not so icky and bloated from all those holiday treats!

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts
dried cranberries (aka Craisins)
pecans
cheese (I don’t like blue cheese or feta but either of those would do)
chicken (my hubby grilled some for the week that we store in a Tupperware in the fridge)
hard boiled egg
avocado

I took a cheese grater and literally shaved my Brussels sprouts into a bowl. For like two of them. Then, I just started slicing and dicing them into small enough pieces for a salad.

Then, I arranged all my toppings and finished it off with a white balsamic shallot dressing:

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‘Tis the Season for Family Pictures

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‘Tis the season!

For holiday cards with family pictures!

This is the one time of year (I think) that most people get their family pictures taken.

We get ours taken usually a few times per year: birthdays, etc.

We usually take some for Emma’s birthday (at the end of October) and those usually end up being our pictures for our cards.

Here are some of my tips:

Set Expectations: Don’t tell your kids about the pictures RIGHT before you are about to leave for them. Give them some heads up. “We are going to take some pictures tomorrow.” Also, I always go in with the expectation of getting ONE good picture. ONE. If I get more, great. Don’t go in expecting the world and be disappointed.

Pick Outfits: Make sure you pick something your kid is going to actually wear. Comfortable. Nothing itchy. For example, my youngest refuses to wear anything but a dress at the moment. So, when I was picking out outfits, I knew not to dare try to put her in anything else.

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Bribery! We used to have our pictures taken in the mall. And we would tell the kids, “when we’re all done we can go ride the carousel!” Or have Chick-fil-A or go out to dinner after. Whatever works. I even brought lipstick to our last photo session to keep them happy! Whatever you have to do!

Outdoor vs. Indoor. This is all about personal preference. We usually take our photos inside at a studio (keep them contained!)

Take yourself vs. Professional This one would be tough to do by yourself with the exception of a timer on your camera, but if you have a friend or a family member it could work.

Here’s my last and probably most important tip: Take lots of pictures of your kids!

People always tell me, your kids are so photogenic! It’s because I take their pictures 20 times per day! LOL They know if they just look at me and smile once, I’ll leave them alone!

Seriously, we all have cameras on our phones now. It’s so easy to snap a picture of them! Plus, it gets them used to the idea of looking at the camera and saying CHEESE, which is all we really want!

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It’s Soup Season!

Happy December!

We are *STILL* waiting for cold weather here in Florida, but something about fall/ winter makes me ant to eat. all. the. soups.

I have made three different soups in the last two months (which doesn’t seem like a lot, but still)

First, in October, I made a Crock Pot French Onion Soup. We took this one to Disney with us and made it in coffee mugs there. It was a little strong on the thyme for me, so next time I will dial it down to 1 teaspoon.

Anywho, here’s that recipe:

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Crock Pot French Onion Soup

1 HUGE onion
1 tsp thyme
EVOO
1 container Beef Broth
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 loaf French Baguette
Thick sliced cheddar cheese

Cook onion with EVOO and thyme until tender. Add to Crock Pot. Add beef broth and spices. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Place soup in coffee mug, place French baguette and cheese on top and broil for 5 mins or until cheese is nice and melty and brown.

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New Traditions: Friendsgiving

For the last couple of years, my husband and I have talked about having a Friendsgiving, but it wasn’t until this year that I made it happen.

Since it’s Thanksgiving break, lots of our friends are out of school and work, so we settled on a day during the week to have all the mommies and kids over for snacks and crafts.

We made paper plate turkeys by:

1) coloring the paper plates brown
2) cutting out feathers
3) gluing the feathers to the back of the paper plate
4) hot gluing googly eyes
5) hot gluing a stick (if needed/ wanted)

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Then, the kids played outside on the playground/ with Legos, etc.

We had lunch of Chick-fil-a nuggets (because all kids eat those, right?!), broccoli cheese casserole, candied yams, pumpkin pie, veggie straws, Tee Pees, Corn Pops and more. It was potluck and all the moms brought a dish to share.

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Then, I had my hubby put a table outside for painting. We used square Legos as stamps to make Indian corn.

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All-in-all, I’d say it was a successful day and I hope to make it an annual tradition for our friends (and maybe include the dads next year)

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Have you ever hosted a Friendsgiving? What did you do for it?

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