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Friday Faves // Instagram Edition



Happy Friday everyone!! Today I wanted to share some of my favorite Instagram accounts; I can always count on these lovely women for my daily dose of style, motherhood and food inspiration.


1. @lynzyandco
Source: instagram.com/lynzyandco
I love keeping up with Lynzy on Instagram and through her blog posts! She is hilarious and has amazing sense of style - I am obsessed with her 'Dressing Room Diaries' posts, and I love how honest and genuine she is about motherhood and life in general. I love interacting with her through her Instagram stories; it's clear that she truly cares about her followers and has built an amazing community around her.



2. @arrowsandbow
Source: instagram.com/arrowsandbow
One look at Ashley Petrone's Instagram feed can make ANYONE stop what they're doing, get up and go find an old RV to renovate. Four months ago she and her husband decided to forego traditional apartment living, and renovated an old trailer to live in while waiting to build a more permanent home for themselves and their three boys. She detailed the renovation process on her blog, and her Instagram posts give a more intimate look into the decor and every-day-life of trailer living. I just love everything about her home decor style, and I look up to her as an aspiring homeschool mom!



3. @patticakewagner
Source: instagram.com/patticakewagner
One of the many things I absolutely LOVE about Patti Wagner's feed is her #myhousecrushmonday posts like the one above - I guess even home decor wizards have 'dream homes'! She makes motherhood and home design seem completely effortless, in the best way. Her home and family are so sweet and charming - I could literally spend hours just scrolling through her feed.



4. @withkendra
Source: instagram.com/withkendra
I started following Kendra Atkins when I was pregnant with Ezra. I watched her vlog about the birth of their twin girls on YouTube and thought that she and her husband were so down to earth and "normal" (which isn't always something you see on YouTube - let's be real) After that, I started following Kendra's journey as a mom of twins, and started taking notes on her favorites, likes and dislikes when it came to all things baby. Kendra also frequently posts videos about her current beauty routine, favorite products, and style and makeup tips.



5. @zestmylemon
Source: instagram.com/zestmylemon
Look at that photo - do I really need to explain what I love about this 'gram? So. Much. Good. Food. If you're a foodie and also just love photos of food in general, you need to get this account on your feed, ASAP. What's even better, is that the creator Marlena details many of the recipes on her blog, so you can replicate some of the delicious-looking (and healthy!) meals for yourself! 


6. @wallflower_inspiration
Source: instagram.com/wallflower_inspiration
As a (secretly) aspiring florist, I love following along with Esther, a mom with a seriously keen eye for floral design. She also posts frequently about her cute family as well - total bonus! Who doesn't love pretty flowers all over their feed?

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What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow? Let me know in the comments, and I'll check them out! I love finding new sources of inspiration (motherhood, home, fashion, food, you name it!)

XOXO Kate

How To Save The Most Money On Groceries



It feels so domesticated of me to I say I love grocery shopping. But it's the truth! I don't know what it is, but ever since I've been married, I've always looked forward to grocery shopping each week - it gives me some relaxing "me-time" out of the house, and as the compulsive list-maker that I am, it gives me the satisfaction of crossing things off of my list for the week. Also, I see it as a great reminder to re-evaluate our cupboards and fridge and throw out any uneaten leftovers or snacks that haven't been touched within the last few weeks. Nothing like a nice, organized fridge and cupboards! *swoon*


Before I share these tips I wanted to give a few details about our grocery/family/life situation:

1. I budget around $80 on groceries per week - this covers 5-6 dinners for my husband and I, breakfast, lunch, snacks, and household/personal items (sometimes I spend a little closer to $100 if I'm purchasing extra items we don't go through quickly, i.e. cleaning supplies, cat food, garbage bags, etc.)

2. I do not use any coupons. I know this may be blasphemy to some of you, but stay with me. It is truly RARE for me to come across a coupon for something that I actually legitimately use on a daily basis. I've never understood the trend - I guess I've never felt the need to purchase enough shampoo to last the rest of my life and beyond. If you use coupons, more power to you - but you won't see them suggested on this particular list. :)


Let's get on, shall we?



   Making a meal plan is a CRUCIAL first step for someone who wants to save money on groceries (and it's actually easier than you think!). If you're someone who has a hard time planning ahead, you can start by making a general list of meals you know you (or your family) enjoys. For example, we LOVE chicken here, so every week I usually include one or two chicken-centered dishes that I know we like. Your kid will only eat mac and cheese and hotdogs for every meal? Plan for those too! Even if you don't follow your plan down to the day, setting your meals in stone is a great way to make sure your actual list doesn't have a bunch of items on it that you're not going to use. (Maybe I'll share my tips for meal planning in another post?)



   Don't go to the store without a list. I repeat, DO NOT go to the store without a list. Because when you don't have a list, you know what happens? "Oh I'm just grabbing a couple things" turns into -

"Wow geez I haven't had Lucky Charms since I was a kid!"
"Oh also these chips look good..."
"Oh I might as well buy these 18 other things for no reason." 

I know this because this happens to me every single time I have gone to the store without a list. Making a grocery list of every item you need will help you say N-O to extra things you don't need. This goes hand-in-hand with making a meal plan: when you've planned your meals and have ONLY those ingredients on your list, you'd be amazed at how much easier it is to bypass those extra things that are going to sit in your fridge or pantry and go to waste.

   

   You know those weekly sales flyers you throw away with the rest of the 'junk' mail? For someone like me who never has luck with coupons, checking the weekly flyer of your preferred store is a great way to find out about reduced prices and specials, especially if you buy a lot of fresh produce and meats like I do. Also, check the sales flyer for the current week as you're sitting down making your meal plan. If your family loves tacos and you notice ground beef is on sale for that week, add tacos to your plan and pick up the beef at its discounted price. You don't have to purchase ONLY items that are on sale (unless you want to!) but basing your meal plan around what's on sale that week can definitely help you save some dollars! Chances are, multiple stores in your area send out weekly flyers, usually with competitive prices! Weigh your options to ensure you get the best deal available.



     Frequently taking inventory of your fridge and pantry is a great way to stay on top of what items you already have on hand. Knowing what you already have can keep you from buying excess of one specific item, and also help you eliminate things on your list. I don't buy a lot of frozen vegetables (no real reason, I'm just partial to fresh), but one thing I always have on hand is a bag of frozen green beans. I love the Trader Joe's brand, and the Aldi brand is a close second! Frozen vegetables in general are great to have on hand as a healthy side dish. Root vegetables like carrots and potatoes both have a decently long shelf-life and can be incorporated into a number of different dishes and cooked several different ways. If you have one odd ingredient you bought for another recipe - such as a fresh herb or a special type of sauce - try using it in another recipe that week so that it doesn't go to waste. 




   If you're someone who cringes at the thought of leftovers, I know this fifth and final tip might be disappointing, but hear me out! Eating leftovers may not be glamorous, but it's a great way to save money, especially if your grocery budget is a little tight. This deserves a post of it's own, but there are countless meals that make incredible leftovers: roasted chicken, chili, lasagna, quiche - just to name a few. If you plan for leftovers at least once or twice a week, your grocery list will be shorter, and your wallet happier!! If you prefer to cook something new every single night, and/or you work away from home, you can still save money by cutting the lunch foods from your list, and taking leftovers instead! I love whipping up a batch of my favorite chili recipe (which requires cheap, simple ingredients) and enjoying it for lunch and dinner for a couple days afterward. A whole, roasted chicken can be used the next day in a soup or salad. Leftover side dishes such as quinoa, rice, vegetables or potatoes can be enjoyed in a breakfast omelet, or used to put together an easy casserole. The possibilities are endless!

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Were these tips helpful to you? What are some ways you save money at the grocery store?

Xoxo, Kate


Simple Homemade Granola Recipe




      I am 100% a morning person, always have been and always will be. Funny enough, even when I'm waking up three times in the night to feed my son, I still prefer to get up and get started with my day as early as possible. I could never understand or relate to people who claimed that they "functioned better" at night, even when I was in college! In fact, I think during the 4 years I attended college, I only pulled TWO all-nighters, and it was extremely difficult for me to to stay up late working on an assignment (or even doing anything...I know, I was really fun at parties). ALL of that to say, when I lay my head on the pillow at night (at 8pm...) I literally look forward to everything I get to do in the morning, including make a big, elaborate breakfast for myself. I went most of my high-school and college years skipping breakfast, or grabbing something quick and non-nutritional, and suffered with low energy and brain function for the rest of my morning and afternoon. If you've ever skipped breakfast before a 7:40am college biology class, you might understand what I'm talking about...


        Although I'm definitely a fan of savory breakfast options - think bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, etc. - occasionally I'll go for something sweet, as long as it's satisfying and at least a little bit healthy. I came up with this granola recipe after seeing this infographic on Pinterest (which, by the way is REALLY helpful in creating your own recipe!), and it's the perfect thing to satisfy my sweet breakfast craving. The dried cranberries and chocolate chips add a sweet, chewy element, while the sliced almonds and coconut chips add a delicious crunch! Try my recipe below!



What You Need
Large mixing bowl
Measuring cups/spoons
Silicone spatula or spoon
Parchment paper
Large Baking sheet
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1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp flax seed
splash of vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (add in after baking)



What To Do
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (trust me - do not skip this step! The parchment keeps the granola from sticking to your pan!)

2. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

3. Once combined, spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure your granola is spread evenly across the baking sheet, so that it browns evenly!

4. Bake for 10 minutes or until mixture is evenly browned, stirring once halfway through.

5. Once cool, add chocolate chips. Store in an air-tight container.

6. Eat and Enjoy!!


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Let me know if you try this, and how you like it!! If you have your own recipe for delicious, homemade granola, leave it below in the comments! What are your favorite add-ins? Are you more of a sweet or savory breakfast person?

Xoxo, Kate

5 Simple, Affordable Decor Dupes You Need In Your Home


I have a little bit of an obsession with home decor and interior design. Which is funny because if you walked through our house and saw our unfinished gallery wall, mismatched photo frames and curtain-less windows, you might think otherwise. I think my main problem is that I have expensive taste, and a bank account that doesn't exactly agree with it. Also, because I'm such a perfectionist, I have a hard time enjoying the "in between" stages - I feel I'll only be satisfied once we've got every perfect piece of furniture in place, and a living room, dining room and kitchen worthy of a West Elm catalog.


When Jack and I bought our first house in January, I was SO excited to finally have the freedom to design our home. I LOVE the currently trending mid-century modern look and its contemporary take on timeless design. Of course I took to browsing Pinterest and was practically drooling over all of the perfectly staged homes, dreamy decor, furniture and accessories. But, I quickly came back to reality after seeing the steep price tag on some of the items I loved the most, and realizing that these "dream-homes" were likely furnished with thousands of dollars worth of furniture and accessories. As first-time home buyers (and I was 4 months pregnant at the time) we didn't exactly have the means to invest in top-of-the-line furniture and home decor. So, while I continued to daydream, I tried finding one or two pieces at a time that would compliment the furniture we already had, fit within our budget AND added a little bit of that mid-century modern flair I was looking for.


Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to sell an organ in order to achieve the trendy home decor of your wildest, Pinterest dreams. I've compiled a short list of my favorite, easy, home decor "dupes" - if you will - in order to help you save some money and still add some spice to your current home decor. Whether you're a fan of the "mid-century modern" trend or not, these pieces are unique yet simple, and can be utilized in any home decor scheme (I have two on display in my home currently!!).




1. Standing Planters
West Elm - $149

I haven't gotten my hands on one of these yet, but I feel like they're everywhere these days! These add such a cute and quirky look to any indoor (or outdoor) design scheme. And, you can find them in almost any size!! This dupe from Urban Outfitters is almost exactly like the higher-priced one for sale at West Elm. And equally as cute! 



2. Wall Mirrors
West Elm - $249
Target - $50

This is one of my favorite decor items on display in our home. We have this in our dining room alongside a few other wall hangings and I LOVE it. I'm planning on buying another one to replace the mirror in 
our bedroom. And for nearly $200 less than the high-end option? Yes, PLEASE!


3. Tripod Floor Lamps
West Elm - $429
Target - $75.99

Until recently, the term "floor lamp" used to make me think of those metal, bulbous, florescent ones everyone had in their bedroom in 7th grade...CLEARLY I was mistaken. There are so many different styles these days, but one that catches my eye every time is the tripod. I love the light-colored wood with gold accents; Target pulls through (again!) with a less expensive - and no less trendy - option.



Anthropologie Floral Wallpaper         Urban Outfitters Floral Wallpaper

4. Wallpaper

I can't believe wallpaper is coming back onto the scene, but I'm actually loving it. There are SO many options available and they are all SO. DANG. CUTE. Wallpaper gives the term "accent wall" an entirely new meaning. There are so many prints available (even on Etsy!) and this is one thing you NEED to get on board with. Especially since you can get cute prints such as the one above from UO for only $39!! Quite the bargain compared to some competitors! 


Pottery Barn Fiddle Leaf FigTarget Fiddle Leaf Fig

5. Faux Foliage
Pottery Barn - $299
Target - $124

Let's face it...house plants are not for the faint of heart. Let me re-phrase: every house plant I've ever owned has died a slow, miserable death. As much as I want to, I just can't seem to turn my "black" thumb into a green one. Enter: faux foliage. Faux fiddle-leaf figs to be exact. If you've always wanted to add large house plants to your decor but have been too intimidated, faux is the way to go!



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What are your MUST-HAVE home decor items? Do you enjoy the mid-century modern look, or something a little different? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!


XOXO Kate