Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

Am I the only one who stands in the middle of the grocery aisle Googling for DIY and/or substitution recipes once I find out whatever I need is out of stock? Hopefully not, because it’s proven to be super helpful 99% of the time – like today. I ran to the store for pumpkin pie spice and it was the only empty slot in the entire spices section. Lovely. So I Googled “DIY pumpkin pie spice” and one of the first results was a great little recipe from Annie’s Eats. The best part… I already had all the ingredients at home!

If you find yourself in need of pumpkin pie spice this season, check your pantry for these common spices before shelling out a few bucks for something you can mix yourself!

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice
From Annie’s Eats

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1½ tsp. ground allspice
1½ tsp. ground cloves
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix them all together and store in an airtight container!

Do you have a favorite money-saving DIY pantry tip?

Keeping Your Closet In Check

“I have nothing to wear!” is a phrase frequently used by yours truly. It has inspired many an eye roll from hubby and as much as I’ve huffed and puffed about it, his eye rolls are justified.  My closet is a scary thing. It seems full, but it’s an illusion! I swear there are clothes in there from 1998 that haven’t fit me since 1999. I’m such a hoarder when it comes to clothing. I always tell myself, “Someday you’ll want to make those jeans into an awesome purse!” or “Someday you’ll want to cut the sleeves off that sweater and use them as legwarmers!” Unfortunately, these projects pile up and are then forgotten, much like the clothing in my horror of a closet.

You know it’s time to take action when: you’ve got 4 pairs of pants on 1 hanger, making room for something new would require the use of a crowbar, you can’t remember the last time you saw empty rack space, and 90% of your stuff hasn’t been worn in 5 years. I’m here to tell you that there is hope! The closet CAN be tamed! I decided to set some new standards that will help keep my closet organized and current without breaking the bank.

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A Quick Tip for Snack-a-holics Like Me!

I wanted to share this super simple (super obvious) snack tip that saves money and helps prevent over-snacking! When you buy bagged snack foods like chips, pretzels, crackers, nuts, etc., portion out individual servings into reusable baggies or containers before you toss them in the pantry. I’ve found that when I snack, I can eat 4-5 servings without even realizing it. When I have individual serving baggies, I grab one and I’m good to go!

Some companies are onto me. They know I want a snack with a healthy serving size and a low calorie count, so they started making “100 Calorie Packs”. I decided to do a comparison to see if buying the packs instead of making them myself was actually worth it. I did my comparison with the Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds in dark chocolate, my current snack obsession.

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