Simply Candice Blog

Home Decor

How to Decorate for Fall on a Budget

Discover the best time to begin decorating for Fall. Plus check out these 3 simple and cost saving tips to decorate for Fall on a Budget!

cozy white washed brick fireplace with ivory, gold and green faux pumpkins. Two ivory sitting chairs with a cream colored throw blanket and an orange seasonal pillow.

What Month do you Start Decorating for Fall?

I love summer and I am not going to lie, I try to extend the summer season as long as I can! However, once September hits, that is my cue to begin breaking out the fall decor. Technically the 1st day of fall for the calendar year is September 21st, so starting to stage your home with simple and timeless fall decor in September is the perfect time! Plus you get a full month of fall decor in before October starts, which is when Halloween decor may filter into your home.

This post contains amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Decorate Outside for Fall

Decorating outside for fall does not need to be expensive. In fact, it is the best season of all to use free natural decor from outside. Dried corn stalks are fairly inexpensive and sometimes even free, if you live near a cornfield or a local farm. Corn stalks can be used for fall decor, starting in September and lead right into November with Thanksgiving decor.


Use plants in season as well. I love mums of all colors and I would recommend that you pick one or two mum colors and stick to that color palate. This year, I choose pretty burgundy colored mums and placed them around my front door. Mums also last the whole fall season if you plant them in a planter and continue to water them. These plants transition beautifully for your November, Thanksgiving decor.



Add a fresh wreath and a seasonal door mat. Both of these items you can use year after year, if you initially invest in good quality. I save all of my wreaths and change them out different years and for different seasons. Same goes with my seasonal door mats. I keep one burlap style mat on the bottom (for my 1st layer) and then I just change out the top door mat depending on the season.


Tip: Use two wreaths (layered together) to add an affordable custom wreath vibe!

One of the easiest ways to decorate outside for fall is to use lots of pumpkins! I love all kinds of pumpkins! Real pumpkins are so beautiful and can last all season on your front porch. However, one cost saving secret I use, is to invest in faux pumpkins. I love white, gold, cream or even green faux pumpkins for a neutral fall decor theme. The best part of using faux pumpkins is that you only need to buy them once and then you can use them year after year. I love stacking faux pumpkins and piling them together in small areas throughout my house or outside on my front porch.

front porch with a blue vintage tractor and white pumpkins

3 Simple and Cheap Fall Decor Ideas

Decorating for Fall can truly be done on any budget! Here are 3 simple and cheap fall decor ideas that can transform your home for very little money!

  1. Use what is in your Backyard. Best part about natural decor is it is free! I love using dried flowers from my garden, or as I mentioned above, dried corn stalks. Natural elements add warmth to your decor style and did I mention, it’s free?! So go scavenging in your backyard today!
  2. Shop Seasonal Sales, right after the season is over and the stores are preparing for the next season. You can find affordable fall decor almost everywhere, especially off season. One of my favorite stores to shop for any seasonal decor is Michaels. Michaels fall decor section is beautiful but can be pretty pricey. One trick is to make sure you use a coupon at Michael’s and/or shop for fall seasonal decor right at the end of the season. For more tips on decorating on a budget, check out How to Create a Farmhouse Look on a Budget
  3. My last simple and cheap fall decor idea is to use faux decor pieces. Faux pumpkins never expire and you can choose to paint them, decorate them or simply leave them as is. When you purchase faux decor pieces, you save money each year, because you can use the decorative pieces year after year.

Shop image: Decorate for fall on a budget with decor pieces from Amazon

Amazon Fall Decor

Another great way to decorate for fall on a budget is to shop sales on Amazon. I love Amazon because you can compare prices and have the items delivered fast. If you are prime member like me, you probably rely on next day delivery! Here are some great Amazon Fall Decor pieces that are affordable and would be the perfect addition to any space! Happy Shopping Ya’ll!



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Mindfulness Activities

How to Make a VISION BOARD

Learn how to Make a Vision Board in 4 Easy and Fun Steps!

Vision boards are one of my most favorite activities to do with adults and kids. This activity inspires hope, imagination and positive goal setting. You can also incorporate mindfulness into this activity by simply being in the here and now. Begin by teaching your children to focus directly on the activity instead of worrying about another task. In other words, when we teach ourselves and then in turn our children how to take a moment to breathe and be present, then we naturally learn how to de-stress.

Vision Board: Back to School Inspired!

A great activity to help your kids get excited for back to school and to help them set positive inspiring goals, is making a “back to school” vision board. Get your kids and you excited for their school goals this year with this great activity! Not only will they set goals for themselves, but you will learn so much about your children through this activity!

Back to school Vision board

How to Create a Vision Board: 4 Easy Steps

  • Step 1: Discuss with your kids what they want to do/accomplish this school year (similar to a summertime bucket list).
  • Step 2: Have your kids cut out images and words out of magazines (or print pictures from your computer) of activities that they love and are inspired by. Images that help them make school goals for themselves. For example if you talked about joining a club or sport find an image of an object they would use in the club or sport.
  • Step 3: Design your vision board. Choose where to put all of the images. Be creative and have fun!
  • Step 4: Have your child present their vision board to you and your family. Ask questions and talk about their goals, inspirations and plans.

Bonus: Click here for MORE Mindfulness Activities for you and your kids!


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LATEST Posts


Lunch/Dinner Recipes

How to Make the Best Homemade Salsa Recipe

Learn how to make delicious, garden fresh salsa in less than 5 simple steps! If you love easy recipes as well as recipes that use homegrown ingredients, you will LOVE this homemade salsa recipe!

I do not regularly stick to a weekly meal plan, but one night that is a fan favorite and a must in our home is Taco Tuesday! Check out the story below to see step by step pictures for how to make the BEST Homemade Salsa Recipe! This Salsa is the perfect addition to any Taco Tuesday or really any night! Simply serve with a side of Tortilla chips or add on top of your tacos for a burst of flavor!

Step 1: Chop Ingredients

Prep your ingredients (chop peppers and fresh herbs)

Step 2: Blend Tomatoes

Add 30-40 cherry size tomatoes to a blender. Pulse until chopped and slightly pureed.

Step 3: Combine Ingredients

From the blender, pour your tomato base into a bowl and add the chopped peppers and fresh herbs

Step 4: Salsa Recipe Final Step

Squeeze the juice of 1 whole lime into the salsa. Gently mix all ingredients. Enjoy!


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BEST Homemade Salsa Recipe!

salsa

How to Make the BEST Homemade Salsa Recipe

Homemade Salsa Recipe with Cherry and Sun Gold Tomatoes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 30-50 Cherry Size Tomatoes
  • 2 Banana Peppers chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper chopped
  • 1 sprig Fresh Parsley chopped
  • 1 sprig Fresh Mint chopped
  • 1 Whole Lime Juiced

Instructions
 

  • Add the tomatoes to a blender and pulse until chopped and slightly pureed
  • From the blender, pour your tomato base into a bowl and add the chopped peppers and fresh herbs
  • Squeeze the juice of 1 whole lime into the salsa. Combine and mix all ingredients.
  • Enjoy! Add on top of tacos or simply enjoy with tortilla chips
Keyword Easy, Quick, salsa

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Lunch/Dinner Recipes

How to Make Homemade Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

From start to finish, this delicious, homemade stuffed zucchini recipe is complete in 6 EASY Steps!

Homemade stuffed zucchini recipe image

One of my favorite parts of summer is all of the fresh vegetables in season, straight from the garden. This delicious stuffed zucchini recipe uses summer fresh ingredients but really can be made anytime of year.

Step 1: Slice the Zucchini Lengthwise

whole zucchini sliced in half lengthwise

Step 2: Scoop Out the Center

Scoop out the center of the zucchini and save all of this homegrown goodness in a bowl. You will use this later in the stuffing mixture.

image of a zucchini, halved and the center scooped out

Step 3: Make the Stuffing Mixture

Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped fresh herbs and chopped garlic. Add in the zucchini center you scooped out earlier. Mix together and stuff the mixture evenly into the sliced zucchini halves.

Breadcrumb mixture for the homemade stuffed zucchini
mixture to stuff into the zucchini halves, includes chopped tomatoes, herbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic and zucchini
Stuffed Zucchini halves - unbaked

Step 4: Place Stuffed Zucchini on a lightly greased baking sheet

Stuffed Zucchini halves just baked out of the oven.

Step 5: Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes

The Stuffed Zucchini is ready when you can put a fork though the zucchini shell.

Step 6: Enjoy your Delicious Homemade Stuffed Zucchini Recipe!

A slice of homemade stuffed zucchini with tomatoes, herbs and Parmesan cheese

Homemade Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Learn how to make homemade stuffed zucchini in 6 easy steps!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole Zucchini Sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • 3 whole Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 sprig Fresh Basil and Parsley
  • 3 cloves Garlic chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice the Zucchini in half lengthwise
  • Scoop out the center of the zucchini and put in a bowl to save for the stuffing
  • In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, chopped tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh herbs and chopped garlic
    Cut up the center of the zucchini you saved into small chunks and add to the other ingredients.
    Mix all together and stuff the mixture into the zucchini halves
  • Spray non-stick oil on a baking sheet and place stuffed zucchini halves onto the baking sheet
  • Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Zucchini is done when you can stick a fork in it
Keyword easymeals, homemade, stuffed zucchini

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RV Living

20 RV Must Have’s That You Can’t Live Without

Whether you are just starting out or if you have been camping for years, you will love these 20 RV Must Have’s for camping!

When we purchased our RV I had no idea what I needed or where to begin. As I started to collect and try out items, I have discovered 20 RV Must Have’s that you are not going to want to live without! These items will seriously make your camping experience so much more enjoyable!


RV Must Have’s for Outdoor Use

#1: Portable Outdoor Garbage Holder

What I love so much about this portable outdoor garbage bag holder, other than the fact that it is portable, is that it does not take up much room! It collapses to a small flat square, but yet when fully opened, it holds a full size garbage bag. We love this for outdoor cooking and we keep it solely outdoors when we go RV camping.

Wakeman Portable Trash Bag Holder- Collapsible Trashcan for Garbage and Indoor/Outdoor Use Outdoors -Ideal for Camping Recycling and More (Blue) (75-TB1006)

#2: Outdoor Tablecloth

Next up is my favorite outdoor tablecloth! As you know when you go camping, most sites include a picnic table. This is the perfect outdoor table cloth for those tables and it requires nothing to keep it in place!

Vinyl Fitted Tablecloth for 6 ft Rectangle Table, Gray Moroccan Design, Waterproof Elastic Table Cover with Flannel Backed Lining, Fits 30″x72″ Folding Table, for Outdoor Picnics/Travel/Holiday/Party

Or for larger tables:

LUSHVIDA Moroccan Rectangle Table Cloth – Washable Water Resistance Microfiber Moroccan Tablecloth Decorative Table Cover for Picnic Banquet Party Kitchen Dining Room, 150 GSM (60 x 84 Inch, Navy

And since the larger table cloths are not fitted, make sure you order the tablecloth bungee cord clamps to keep your tablecloth from blowing away.


#3: Outdoor Rugs

These are a must have! When you are RV camping, the majority of times you are parked next to a dirt or grass lot. The rugs help you keep your site clean and you also have the ability to add some style to your site as well! Here are my favorite must have outdoor rugs for your RV site (and I highly recommend you order 2).

9×12 Outdoor Rug


RV Must Have: Outdoor Chairs

#4: Zero Gravity Chairs

When we first started camping, we would see everyone with these zero gravity chairs. We had serious chair envy! Once we tried them for ourselves, we quickly saw why everyone has them! They are so comfortable and let’s face it, you want a comfy chair when sitting around the campfire. Plus these fold up really easily and do not take up much space.

Homall Zero Gravity Chair Patio Folding Lawn Lounge Chairs Outdoor Lounge Gravity Chair Camp Reclining Lounge Chair with Cup Holder Pillows for Poolside Backyard and Beach Set of 2 (Blue)

RV 1st Aide Must Have

#5: Emergency/First Aid Kit

First Aid Only 299 Pieces All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit (FAO-442)

RV Must Have: Outdoor Grill

#6: Outdoor Portable Grill

Pricey, but so worth it! Especially if you do not want your fire alarm to go off every time you cook inside the RV! hahaha (true story!)

Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station – 2-burner – Propane Fueled – Restaurant Grade – Professional Quality

RV Campfire Must Have!

#7: Reusable s’more sticks

You will love these! No more wood s’more sticks that you will always forget to pack! These can stay in your camper and be used over and over again! Also, you can use them for more than just toasting marshmallows! Use them for roasting up hotdog’s and other treats over the campfire!

Ajmyonsp Marshmallow Roasting Sticks with Wooden Handle Extendable Forks Set of 5Pcs Telescoping Smores Skewers for Campfire Firepit and Sausage BBQ, 32 Inch

RV Must Have: For your Wet Towels and Clothes

#8: Drying rack

Honey-Can-Do Heavy Duty Gullwing Drying Rack, White Metal

Bathroom RV Must Have’s

#9: Slim Laundry Hamper

This is perfect to fit in the small RV bathrooms. It fits right in between our toilet and shower.

DOKEHOM Slim Laundry Basket with Leather Handle on Wheels (4 Colors), Foldable Corner Storage Bins, Collapsible Rolling Laundry Hamper (Dark Grey, Slim)

#10: Happy Camper

There are many RV camper products for keeping your toilet tanks smelling fresh, but this is our “must have” favorite one!

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment – 18 treatments

RV Camping Must Have’s

#11: Wireless Backup Camera

Fun Fact: On our 1st RV camping trip, we were driving down the highway and our bike rack broke! That is not the worst part. We lost all of our bikes! Yes, 1st camping trip and no bikes for us or the kids! Don’t worry, no one was hurt on the road (we checked) and the kids had fun anyway, but don’t make the same mistake we made! RV wireless backup camera’s are a MUST HAVE! Not only will you be able to make sure your bikes are still attached, by checking the backup camera, but it is really helpful when backing up your RV camper into a site.

DoHonest V25 Wireless Backup Camera HD 1080P System 5 Inch Monitor Kit for Trucks,Car,Van,Camper Rear View Camera Super Night Vision Waterproof Easy Installation Second RV Camera Available Add on

RV Must Have: For all of your Drink Needs!

#12: Travel Mugs

Whether you are a coffee, tea or hot chocolate lover, you will need travel mugs in your RV. Plus, if you get ones that are good for cold or hot beverages, then you can also use them for all drinks! Win, win!

YETI Rambler 14 oz Mug, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel with MagSlider Lid, White

RV Must Have: To Keep all of the Top Bunk Sleepers Safe

#13: Pool Noodles

Ok, so you are probably wondering why you would need pool noodles for your RV camping trip! And no, they are not to go swimming with! For RV bunk beds, pool noodles act as guard rails. You simply shove 1-2 pool noodles under the top bunk mattress and voila you have a raised bed now! They do not take up as much space as bumpers and they are perfect to keep your kids from falling out of their bunk beds!

Oodles of Noodles Foam Pool Swim Noodles, 52 inch (5 Pack) – multicolored

RV Must Have: Storage Bins

#14: Bins/Baskets

Bins, bins and lots of bins! Whether your RV has lots of storage compartments or not, you will need bins and baskets regardless. This helps for keeping all of your items from sliding around when traveling and it also makes life much easier when unpacking. You can simply pull out a bin and transport your items to and from the RV in less trips. I purchased bins at the dollar general and HomeGoods. Basically wherever I found a sale on bins!


Bonus: RV Camping Checklists!


RV Must Have: For Indoor and Outdoor Use

#15: Indoor Rug

This is a must have because camping can be dirty! With that being said, the less dirt you track into your RV, the less cleaning you have to do all the time! Any simple door mat or rug will do, but I really love the all weather door mats. We use one at the bottom of our outdoor steps on top of our outdoor rug and then another one right when you walk into our RV. This really helps with keeping all the dirt, sand and mud out of your RV.

HOMWE Front Door Mats, 2 Pc Set, 29.5 x 17, All Weather Entry and Back Yard Door Mat, Indoor and Outdoor Safe, Slip Resistant Rubber Backing, Absorbent and Waterproof, Dirt Trapping Rugs for Entryway

RV Must Have: Cozy Blankets

#16: Blankets

My family loves to snuggle up in our RV with lots of soft, cozy blankets. Especially during fall camping! There is nothing better during fall camping than sitting by the campfire with your warm cozy blanket! Plus if you are fall camping, some of the nights can get really chilly. Extra blankets are a must have!


Fun RV Must Have’s for the Kids and Adults!

#17: Walkie Talkies

Walkie talkies are a must have with kids! (Or even for adults, lol). When someone goes for a bike ride, they can take one and still keep in touch (without needing to use a cell phone). So many times, our kids will hop on their bikes and take a ride. Most camp grounds are pretty large, so this makes keeping in touch a breeze!

Seodon Walkie Talkies for Adults Long Range with One Extra Battery for Each Radio Rechargeable 4 Pack Up to 5 Miles Range in The Open Filed Two Way Radios with Earpiece/Headsets

#18: Ice-Maker

So confession.…we actually do not have an ice-maker, but it is our next purchase for sure! The reason this made it onto my top 20 RV must have’s is because it makes camping so much easier! Our good friends, who we camp with have one and we are constantly stealing their ice. We never realized how much ice you use when camping, especially to fill up those cold drinks when camping in the summer heat! So take my advise and purchase an ice-maker! You will not regret this decision!

SOUKOO Ice Maker Machine for Countertop, Self-Cleaning Function, 26.5Lbs/24H Portable Ice Maker, 9 Cubes Ready in 6 Mins, Compact Ice Cube Maker with Ice Scoop & Basket for Home Kitchen Office Bar

RV Must Have: Extra tables

#19: Folding Table

Even though most camp sites come with a picnic table, having extra folding tables are a must have! You can use them as a “counter” when cooking outside or for holding food for buffet style eating. I promise you that you will find a use for an extra folding table or two!

COLIBYOU 6′ Folding Table Portable Plastic Indoor Outdoor Picnic Party Dining Camp Tables (White) (1, White) (1, White) (6 Inches)

RV Must Have that You Won’t Want to Live Without!

#20: RV Mattress Topper

Last but not least, my favorite RV Must Have, is our Mattress Topper! If you have ever camped in an RV you know that the mattresses are horrible! Unless of course you buy your own. But if you are like me and aren’t ready to splurge for a new RV mattress, then you must have an RV mattress topper. Here is the one we use:

LINENSPA 3 Inch Gel Infused RV Queen Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Blue

Once you have the 1st RV Mattress topper on, then I add this pad pillow on top of our mattress topper above. This makes for the most comfortable bed! You will forget you are sleeping on your RV mattress!

EASELAND RV Short Queen Mattress Pad Pillow Top Mattress Cover Quilted Fitted Mattress Protector Cotton Top 8-21″ Deep Pocket Cooling Mattress Topper (60×75 Inches, White)

RV Essentials: Technical/Mechanical Must Have’s

For all of your RV essential needs, you will of course need more than my top 20 RV Must Haves! For all of the technical RV Essentials, check out this great article! This article includes links to surge protectors, water hoses and much more!


Bonus: 3 Day Weekend Camping Meal Plan + FREE Printable!


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Home Decor

How to Create a Farmhouse Look on a Budget

Farmhouse decorating ideas on a budget can easily be accomplished with these cash saving tips!

I have always felt that you do not need to break the bank to create a farmhouse look! Farmhouse style, whether vintage, modern or traditional can absolutely be achieved on a budget. In fact, most of the decor pieces in my home do not cost more than $10-20 per decor item. Here are a few farmhouse decorating ideas on a budget! Try any of these tips when creating a farmhouse style look on a set budget.

This post contains amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

TIP 1: Use Pinterest and Instagram for Inspiration


I always feel so inspired after looking through home decor inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram! The secret to creating a farmhouse look on a budget is to get all of your decor inspiration from searching design styles online. There are so many farmhouse decorating ideas on a budget, all you need to do is narrow down your likes and favorite looks. Then take mental notes of what you like and start shopping around to find similar decor pieces on sale. You can easily replicate design style that you were inspired by online in your own home by shopping around for similar, affordable pieces.

I hear so often that the hardest part of designing your space is knowing how to decorate. That is the beauty of designing in the 21st century! All of your inspiration for a farmhouse look is online and in magazines! Just google farmhouse style on Instagram and/or Pinterest and you can start seeing what you like. Then save pins, screen shot images and start shopping around for items that you saw in your saved pictures.

If you are looking for a great community full of farmhouse inspiration, join #farmhousefridaytour. My friends and I post beautiful Modern, Vintage and Traditional farmhouse decor style every Friday. Check out my friends and I on Instagram @farmhouse_harvest @linensandwildflowers and @simplycandiceblog.

TIP 2: Shop Around and Look for Sales

Great Farmhouse Decor Finds from my local Dollar General

Design inspiration is EVERYWHERE! In part we can thank farmhouse design stylists like Joanna Gaines, but nowadays you can truly find farmhouse inspiration at almost every store! Do not settle for over priced pieces. Look around at all of your local stores and compare prices. I promise you that you will be so surprised at all of the affordable farmhouse decor out there!

One of my favorite stores for creating a farmhouse look on a budget is the dollar store! Believe it or not, you can find great farmhouse decor pieces at the dollar store and/or the dollar general. Always check out their seasonal section. This section often has farmhouse decor items for less than $10! Check out a great blog post by Kyrie from Healthfully Rooted Home on “8 Dollar Store Organization Finds that Don’t Look Cheap.”

Beautiful decor pieces I found at HomeGoods

TIP 3: Shop at Yard Sales and Flea Markets

One of the best parts of farmhouse design is turning old into new! Some of my most favorite farmhouse finds have come from yard sales! Check out this beautiful antique desk below that my husband scored at a yard sale for only $100!

The best farmhouse decorating ideas on a budget is to stick to neutral key pieces. Find pieces and decor items at yard sales and flea markets that are wood toned, white, light colored or vintage. The best part about flea markets and yard sales are that you can bargain and negotiate the price down. This makes for a great place to find budget friendly farmhouse style pieces.


Start Designing YOUR Farmhouse Look!

You are now on your way to creating a farmhouse look in your own home on a budget! Remember these 3 simple tips and you will not only save money, but you will do it without sacrificing your design style!

SHOP Farmhouse Style


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Lunch/Dinner Recipes

How to Make Homemade Fried Eggplant

Enjoy delicious, homemade fried eggplant in 5 easy steps! One of my most favorite things about summer is all of the fresh garden produce you can get or grow yourself. Eggplant is one of those garden fresh treats that I have come to love so much! Not only is it so versatile, but it is so healthy for you as well. Packed with antioxidants and nutrients, this is the perfect meal to sneak in some nutrition for your kids.

This simple fried eggplant recipe was passed down to me by my Grandmother. My sisters and I would devour it faster than she could make it! She actually had a few more steps, but I have changed it slightly to make it easier to whip up for a quick and delicious meal for the whole family.

This post contains amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Step 1: Peel and Slice the Eggplant

The 1st step is to peel your eggplants and then slice them. You will want to cut the peeled eggplant into thick slices. Trust me, the eggplant will cook down and if they are too thin, they will break apart when frying.

Step 2: Coat Eggplant in Egg Wash and Breadcrumb Mixture

Now it is time to coat your eggplant slices in your egg-wash. If you were to make this the same way my grandmother used to, then you would lay all of your sliced eggplant, in a single layer, onto a baking sheet (lined in papertowels). Then she would put the baking sheet outside to dry in the sun. I honestly do not find this step necessary. So, once I slice the eggplant, I move on to coating each slice into the egg and breadcrumb mixture.

To begin you coat each eggplant slice into the egg-wash mixture. Then once fully coated in the egg-wash, you coat both sides of the eggplant with the breadcrumb mixture. The breadcrumb mixture is simply Italian style breadcrumbs with grated parmesan cheese. Do not be stingy with your breadcrumb mixture. You want the eggplant fully covered, so that the crust fry’s evenly.

Step 3: Check the Temperature of the Oil

The next step is very important! Before you begin to fry your breaded eggplant slices, you want to first test the temperature of the oil. The best way to do this is to simply add some dried breadcrumbs into the oil. If they sizzle, then the oil is ready. If the breadcrumbs do not sizzle in the oil, then it is not hot enough yet. You want the oil hot enough to immediately begin frying the eggplant. If the oil is not hot enough, the eggplant will sit too long in the oil and absorb all of the oil flavor. I attached a video above to show you what sound the breadcrumbs should make when you add it to the oil.

*(I do not own the rights to the song played in the video).

Step 4: Frying Time!

Now that the oil is hot enough to begin frying, you will want to add your breaded eggplant to the heated pan. Do not overcrowd the pan though. As you can see in my image above, I normally only fry about 5-6 pieces at a time (depending on the size of the pan and the size of the eggplant slices). Also note that the eggplant is not fully covered in oil. The oil only goes up to the sides of the eggplant. After you finish a few batches of the fried eggplant, you will need to add more oil to the pan to continue frying.

Step 5: Dry Fried Eggplant on Paper towels

That’s it! You just made your 1st batch of delicious FRIED EGGPLANT! Now it is time to EAT! I love to add homemade tomato sauce onto of the fried eggplant and serve with a side of pasta. Although the fried eggplant is good enough to eat alone! For my homemade tomato sauce recipe with sun gold tomatoes, check out the pin below.


Bonus: Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe




Pin for Later


Shop my Favorite Cookware!

Farmhouse Cast Aluminum Non-Stick Frying Pan

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Home Remedies for Health and Wellness

4 Must Have Essential Oils for Health and Wellness

There are 4 Must Have Essential oils for health and wellness that my family and I simply can’t live without! As a mom of three I have always searched for ways to take care of my children using natural solutions as much as possible. Of course there are times, when a prescription or over the counter medication is needed, but for everyday health and wellness I always turn to essential oils.

This post contains amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tea Tree Oil: Essential Oil for Health and Wellness

Tea Tree Oil , also known as Melaleuca oil, is not only my go to essential oil, but it is 1st on my must have essential oils list! I first learned of its amazing healing ability when I used it for my sons bug bites. My middle son gets horrible reactions from bug bites. The site of the bite will swell up and before I found tea tree oil, it would require antibiotics to treat. Now as soon as I see he has a bug bite, I apply tea tree oil a few times throughout the day and by the next day, it has already gone down in size! It is truly incredible. Since using this essential oil on my sons bug bites, I have avoided the need for antibiotics as my first go to treatment method. Essentially, because tea tree oil has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

To make your own essential oil home remedy to prevent bug bites, try this homemade bug spray, from kindlingwild.com.

Tea tree oil is also good as a natural disinfectant. Here is a great recipe for natural disinfect wipes from natural home apothecary.

Bonus: Learn about the many uses of Tea Tree oil: Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) Uses and Benefits and I bet this essential oil will become your “go to” oil as well!

Lavender Oil: Essential Oil for Health and Wellness

Lavender oil is the perfect must have essential oil to use to soothe the skin. I love to leave it in the kitchen, because if I accidentally burn myself on the stove when cooking, it is the best oil to use! It helps soothe the burn as well as begin healing. Since lavender oil is great to use on burns, it is also one of the best oils to use as a home remedy for sunburn. Make sure to pack lavender oil with you on your next trip to the beach or pool!

Here are some other ways to use lavender oil for health and wellness: Health Benefits of Lavender Oil.

On Guard Oil Blend by doTERRA

I am not at all affiliated with doTERRA, but to be honest, they are the only oils I buy. The reason I love doTERRA oils is because I find them to be very high quality.

My favorite doTERRA essential oil blend is definitely their On Guard oil blend. This oil blend is designed to use to ward off seasonal colds and flu. As a way to head off cold and flu season before it begins, I start rolling this oil on my children’s feet every night before bed beginning typically in August. I continue this routine until May. I am by no means a doctor, but I truly believe in the healing benefits of this oil blend.

On Guard oil blend also comes in a cleaner concentrate bottle that you can use to add to water to make homemade dish soap. Additionally you can use this concentrate to make your own household cleaning spray. Just add 2 tbsp of this cleaner concentrate to 24 oz of water. Then add this mixture into any glass spray bottle to use as a natural household cleaning/counter spray.

I am a bit obsessed with my cleaning spray bottle and I will even use it to spray on furniture to disinfect after someone in my household is sick. Another great bonus is that it smells so good!

If you are interested in making your own oil blends, check out this great post on best carrier oil for essential oil blends by Natural Home Apothecary.

Must Have Essential Oils: Peppermint and Eucalyptus Oils

Peppermint and Eucalyptus oils are incredible must have essential oils for breathing. I am sure you can agree that trying to sleep congested with a cold is uncomfortable to say the least. Not only is it uncomfortable, but trying to get to sleep can be impossible! However, these essential oils are amazing when diffused and help so much with breathing better at night.

You can also take a nice warm bath and add a few drops of these essential oils to your tub water. It smells delicious and will help to clear out your nasal passages when congested.

doTERRA has another great oil blend with these two oils in it, called Breathe. I love this oil blend in the roll-on option and when my children or I have colds, I will roll this right on our upper chests and bottom of feet. It is a game changer! Your children will be asking for it when they have colds or allergies!

Bonus: Learn the Secrets to take care of your family using only Natural Products!


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Mindfulness Activities

4 Ways to Feel Less Stressed


Feeling and becoming less stressed begins with being mindfully organized. Mindfully organized is a term for taking the time to organize your thoughts and life tasks in a simple and mindful way. Many of us miss so much around us because we are too focused on thinking about our problems or everything we need to get accomplished. Our forever growing “to-do” list.

Today I am going to show you how to start enjoying life and becoming more mindfully organized! Being mindfully organized will help you to be less stressed and instead happier and healthier.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Make a To-Do List

Making a to-do list helps you to get the thoughts out of your head. Do you ever find yourself feeling mentally drained? Do you forget your thoughts and what you need to-do? Many of the reasons for that, is we have too much in our minds. We create “mental” to do lists, but if you are like me, you move on to another task and forget what you needed to remember or do.

Writing down your thoughts and tasks is one of the most important steps in staying mindfully organized. Not only will you have a list to refer back to, but you have now given your mind the ability to focus on the here and now. We are unable to enjoy simple parts of our day if we are trying to mentally remember all of our thoughts.

Here, try this. Picture your mind completely full with everything on your “mental” to-do list. Are you able to really focus on your task at hand and be mindful and present? Chances are no and you probably do not even know how much you are really missing.

So begin your day writing down all of your thoughts and to do’s. As you continue your day, check off what you have accomplished and add additional thoughts and tasks as the thoughts arise. I promise you that just the simple task of writing down your thoughts will help you to feel less jumbled and stressed.

Next: Take a Mindful Break

If you are anything like me, you can find yourself mentally exhausted and drained by the end of the day. Sometimes you may feel exhausted and drained only a few hours into your day.

One way to feel more refreshed and focused throughout the your day is to take small mindful breaks.

Check out my pin for ways to fit in simple, mindful breaks throughout your day.

This is what I want you to remember…the world keeps on spinning even if you take 5 minutes to yourself to stop spinning. Take a few mindful deep breaths, try out a quick desk yoga exercise, eat your lunch outside or go for a quick walk.

Once you return from your mindful break, you will feel more renewed and refocused. This will also allow you to be more productive and mindfully organized.

Organize the Space Around you

This may seem so simple, but it’s so important. For you to feel mindfully organized, you need to be organized. So take 5 minutes to update your to-do list. Check off any of the tasks you accomplished.

Now take a few more minutes to organize the space around you. If you are at a desk, straighten up loose paper and clean up your work space. If you are at home, take a few minutes to organize the room that you are in. It can be as simple as making your bed if you are in your bedroom or cleaning up the dishes in the kitchen. The small act of straightening up serves two purposes. First, it keeps your space clean and tidy, but more importantly it gives you a mindful, mental break.

Incorporate a Mindful Activity into your day.

Taking care of you is probably the most important thing you can do all day. Let’s face it, if you are unhealthy or sick, you are not much good to anyone around you or yourself. Our health is everything! You can schedule your day down to the minute, but if you get sick, there goes your schedule. So help yourself to stay healthy by being mindful. Schedule in and incorporate time into the day to do something you love.

If you love reading, end your day by reading your favorite book. If you love exercise, go to the gym or workout at home. Try a new yoga routine exercise or simply go outside for a walk. Whatever you love doing, make sure you do it mindfully. Take deep mindful breathes and put all of your attention on the task at hand. Be present and in the moment.

I promise you that by giving your self the opportunity to be mindful, you will in turn be happier, healthier and way less stressed! Cheers to you being mindfully organized!

Home Decor

How to Create an Inviting Entryway

Creating an inviting entryway provides your guests with a glimpse into your home and offers them a warm welcome. When designing your entryway you want to offer guests a place to sit and a hook to hang up their coats your bags. Giving your guests a place to store their belongings, helps them to feel more at home in your space. Here are a few tips to transform your entryway into an inviting and welcoming space.

This post contains amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Step 1: Create a place to sit

To create an inviting entryway you want to provide your guests with a place to sit. Either a decorative chair or bench seating with pillows. Both of these options give guests a place to sit to take off or put on their shoes or even to hold bags and items that they may have brought. I love using pieces that reflect my style! I choose this antique chair that my sister gifted to me as a house warming present. She had it reupholstered in navy velvet to match my home decor accent colors. The navy ties in with my living room furniture and kitchen island. When designing your entryway, make sure that it flows with your design style and the rest of your main floor. As I mentioned earlier, your entryway provides guests with a glimpse into your home. This is your opportunity to show a little of your design style.


Step 2: Creating an Inviting Entryway

I love these feather wall hooks! They are beautiful on the wall with nothing hanging on them or when you do have guests arrive, they are perfect for hanging coats or bags. I found these hooks at Target. Whatever hooks you choose, I recommend that you are not only functional, but stylish, because when they are not hanging coats or bags, they are still part of your decor space.


Step 3: Do not overclutter

Use only a few decor items to add color and warmth

Less is best when creating an inviting design space. Too much decor can feel overwhelming. In this space you will see that I use only 2-3 decor items on each furniture piece or wall shelf. You can also choose to change out your decor for various holidays.

I recommend to stay with your home design theme, to create good flow into your main living space. My home has a modern farmhouse feel; showcasing vintage pieces, with a simple color palette and plants for warmth and decor.

The key to creating an inviting entryway is to provide guests with space to hold their belongings. You do not want so much decor that there is no room for additional coats, bags and items when guests arrive.


Shop: Entryway Decor

Check out my link below to shop entryway decor for your home! These 3 simple steps will start you on the path to transforming your entryway into an inviting and welcoming space in no time! Have fun simply decorating!


Bonus: How to get started!

Check out this great post from homeuntilheavin.com on how to stop procrastinating and get started on your next project! There are 4 simple tips included, starting with having a vision and ending with breaking down your task into achievable goals. I promise you that you will find inspiration to begin your next project!