‘Tis the season for all things Christmas, and that time has begun! Well, if we’re going to be honest, that time of year begins a little early in my household. And here I’ll share with you what’s been on repeat in my home. There’s something so special about Christmas movies, the music, the cheer, that cozy feeling you get inside that get’s you so excited for what’s ahead. We watch them on Netflix and on Amazon Prime, and if you haven’t jumped on theRoku Streaming Sticktrain, you must – worth the investment!
We started this Fourth of July by planning some hearty meals – had homemade tacos for lunch and will be having hot dogs and chips for dinner. Because if all my little ones eat all their food – it’s a win in my book!
A couple fun facts for you to enjoy:
Americans spent over $1 billion on fireworks in 2017
and in 2017 Americans consumed about 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July!
I appreciate this photograph because of the Marines pictured. Thank you to all those serving and veterans, those past and present that have kept my family and I safe.
We are truly the land of the free because of the brave.
I like my home to be as close to clutter-free as possible. So, in the kitchen I like to have things that serve dual purposes for instance, a toaster oven that can toast and bake. There are many kitchen appliances that can help large families to accommodate cooking in larger quantities which is what you’ll find below, my top eight kitchen essentials I own and that you should too. Although these will make cooking in large quantities easy, this will also help any size family.
This KitchenAid Mixer and Beater Blade attachment can help you make anything from banana bread to cake. A few years ago we began to make the children’s birthday cakes using this mixer.
This Hearth and Hand with Magnolia large footed tray can be used from displaying cheese to a cake stand.
The Rachel Ray 12 1/2 inch non-stick pan makes cooking and frying in large quantities such a breeze.
This is our Presto Griddle, it’s a multi-use griddle, it’s non-stick and heats up quickly. I can make anywhere from 6 to 8 pancakes at one time.
This KitchenAid Convection Countertop Oven helps toast up to 8 slices bread to waffles. The convection feature just means it heats up quicker than a conventional oven.
So for time sake, I use this Black + Decker to cook rice.
This is our KitchenAid Blender. We make anything from the babies puree to milk shakes.
And lastly this one is not a gadget but still a kitchen must have. This is an over the door hanger, storage and bag holder. Tip: Get one to match the color of your kitchen cabinets.
If there’s one thing you should know about me, is that, I. Love. Thrifting. I am frugal, not to be confused with being cheap. So, I consequently have developed a good eye for finding good quality things. Which by the way you can also thrift online, heard of Thred Up? And I don’t go just because my tribe has grown to where it’s at. I go because I love the hunt and the thrill of a good find. So, here are a few things to keep in mind on your next trip to the thrift store and if you have never gone – you must!
⇒ Charge your phone and eat.
⇒ Be sure you have cleared out space in your car, for large items.
⇒ Wear comfortable shoes and take a hands free bag/purse, this will make browsing easier.
⇒ Know your people’s sizes! I have the sizes saved in my phone, especially the kids, they are constantly outgrowing their clothes.
⇒ If you’re in search of a table or desk don’t be hesitant to go to a thrift store before going to a department store. And if you are in the hunt for a furniture piece measure the space at home and take the measuring tape to the store with you.
⇒ Start in the furniture section. If you like something, let the store associate know right away. They’ll bring it to the back of the register area and reserve it for you.
**DO NOT buy anything such as throw pillows or mattress’, can you say bedbugs?!
⇒ Carry or load everything in your shopping cart, even “maybe items” and don’t put it back unless you’re absolutely sure you don’t want it.
⇒ There’s no need to touch every single clothing item on the racks, just keep an eye out for good fabrics, such as denim/chambray, cotton, silk, linen, etc.
⇒ Inspect/check items thoroughly.
⇒ Know good quality brands as well, here are a few of my personal favorites.
If you’re pregnant, Liz Lange Maternity from Target, A Pea In The Pod, Gap Maternity or Old Navy Maternity.
For women, Old Navy, Gap, Joe Fresh from Nordstrom, BP. from Nordstrom, Lush from Nordstrom, A New Day from Target or Merona from Target.
For men, True Religion, Gap, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, Banana Republic, Dockers or Kenneth Cole Reaction.
And for kids, Gap, Baby Gap, Hanna Andersson, Old Navy or Cat and Jack from Target.
⇒ Search off season too, say start looking at Winter sweaters for the family in the Summer. Just remember to size up.
⇒ Thrift stores like Goodwill have a color system, this specific color is assigned each week and will have a percentage off. So, what may have cost you $3, if it’s within the color assigned for the week, may only cost you say $1.50!
⇒ I come from a smoke-free environment and appreciate smoke-free environment items. So, if it has a cigarette smell, don’t buy it!
⇒ If you like accessories, take a look at their jewelry case, you may be pleasantly surprise of what you may find.
⇒ Every thrift store is different, yes they technically carry the same things however I’ve found that the area will influence the donations the store receives. I have three stores I generally tend to visit the most and have found that “A” will be best to shop for my husband, “B” for the kids and “C” for furniture.
⇒ Lastly when I arrive home, I like to remove all tags and put in to wash ASAP.