Autumn means we’re moving into warm and cozy comfort food. We have to build up some body fat to keep us warm through the winter, right?! So that means we need to eat lots of pot pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, stroganoff, and hot soup. I’m a little obsessed with soup due to the fact that it’s usually super easy to put together, and it’s almost always inexpensive, too! And if you have a crock pot, you just throw everything inside and and you’re all done!
Most of the ingredients in these soups are things you’ll find in your house already (no crazy exotic spices that will cost you $5 and an extra frantic trip to Whole Foods). And they’re all fairly inexpensive as well.
My first favorite is actually the first soup I ever made on my own. In my tender middle-school years I found this recipe online, tried it out, and loved it! If a 14 year old with zero cooking experience can do it, I assure you that you can do it, too!
Here is the recipe for Cuban Black Bean Potato Soup. While any thing with potatoes in it screams comfort food, it’s actually pretty healthy for you. There is so much protein from the beans, and the flavor is fantastic.
The second soup I just have to share with you is a Butternut Squash Soup. Since we’re already talking about my middle-school self, I have to mention that I used to hate Butternut Squash Soup. My taste buds changed over the years for sure, but I’d honestly have to say that I probably wasn’t exposed to the best Butternut Squash soup, and if I had tasted this one, I’m sure that I never would’ve thought I disliked it. So even if you’re not so sure you love butternut squash, give this recipe a try. It’s so creamy and delicious!
So that’s it! Two delicious and inexpensive soup recipes perfect for September (and October and November and forever) that you’re sure to love!
While “Fall-Cleaning” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Spring-Cleaning” does, I actually prefer it for a number of reasons! For one, during the colder months you’re often stuck inside the house more, meaning you have to actually live in your cluttered house. Don’t do that. Don’t live inside a cluttered house! De-clutter that house right now!
Reason number two is this: because of the holidays, you’re likely to have more guests coming into your home in the next few months than you do during every other month combined! Don’t worry about aunt Josie seeing your messy closet when she goes to hang up her coat, clean it out now! Also, I also like to get organized as we head into the holidays so that I can make sure I know where our decorations are located, and it feels nice to get rid of all the junk I’ve accumulated during the year so far (mostly to make room for all the additional junk we’ll accumulate during the next few months of holidays).
When there’s suddenly a chill in the air, there’s less of a need for water balloons and beat up flip-flops, so those types of seasonal items get stored away for next Summer (or thrown away if they’re too beat up, like the above-mentioned flip-flops). We also often have items laying around that are still in good use, but no longer our style or useful to us, so those items get donated. That’s just about it when it comes to how I “fall clean.”
- I make it my goal to tackle one area or room a day.
- I take 3 bins with me. One for storage, another for donating or selling, and one for trash.
- I go through all of the drawers, closets and shelves and toss anything that doesn’t belong or suit my fancy anymore into one of those bins.
It’s ultimately very simple, but this technique helps me immensely during my deep cleaning. Trust me, if you put the time and effort into this right now, you’ll feel so much better during the hectic holiday season that is fast approaching.
Homework is often dreaded just as much by the parents as it is by the kids. School is back in full-swing, and it’s likely that your kiddo is bringing home math and English assignments everyday. Some kids are great about sitting down once they get home and completing their work before heading out to play, while others really need an extra push to make sure they get what they need to done.
You don’t need to have an office dedicated to school-work, or know all of the U.S. Presidents in order to be helpful to your kids. You simply need to make sure that you stick with a consistent homework schedule and help them with what you can. Homework is a time for kids to learn how to be more autonomous and take ownership of their own work. It can be great to help them learn how to manage their time, and practice concepts that they learned during school. As long as they have a distraction-free environment and the resources they need to succeed, they’ll do great!
Here are a few tips for how to make “homework time” more effective.
Have A Healthy Snack Ready
My mom would make it a point to have a snack made as soon as we got home, even if it was just something simple like apples with peanut butter on top. It really helped to keep us from grabbing a bag of chips as soon as we got home, and kept us full until dinner time so we could get through our work faster. After a long day of school kids are often pretty hungry, and it’s almost impossible to focus on fractions when your stomach is grumbling.
Start A Routine
If you require homework to be done before they can go outside and play or watch a TV show make sure you stick with that consistently. Getting homework done right as they get home is great because the material should still be fresh in their mind, and then once they’re finished they can relax and spend the rest of their night having fun.
Set Up A Distraction-Free Area
A quiet room free from distractions is best, meaning no cell-phones, no iPad, and no surfing the web if they’re using a computer. If they’re self-motivated enough, a desk in their bedroom would work great. But if they often get distracted by the toys in their room, maybe setting up a space in an office or even the kitchen table would work best. Make sure that the space you choose is well-lit, and stocked with any school supplies they need.
Help Them As Best You Can
Don’t be ashamed if you look at your 3rd Graders’ math book and feel completely perplexed. Trying to remember math that you haven’t used for years is not an easy task! Do your best to help them walk through the problems they don’t understand, and if you’re sure that you don’t know how to help them, encourage them to ask the teacher for help. Also, never rule out getting a tutor if you feel that your child is slipping too far behind.
French Toast is one of the reasons why breakfast is the best meal of the day. It’s not even really up for any debate; it’s simply one of the best foods out there. Now, if you’re a waffle or pancake person, I absolutely respect your opinion. But I can’t help by throw a few of these incredible French Toast recipes in your face just to tempt you to join the (better) team. 😉
Coconut Cream Pie French Toast
Now I understand that not everyone is a coconut person, and while I am just as firmly Team Coconut as I am Team French Toast, I get it. It’s an interesting fruit with an interesting texture and flavor that some people just aren’t a fan of. This French Toast is dreamy though, and I believe that even those wary of coconut may love it. Try the coconut milk in the recipe, but skip the toasted coconut garnish on top. That way it’s not terribly coconut-ty (not quite sure that’s a word, but we’ll go with it). If you are a coconut fan, then pile on the coconut at the end, and maybe even try this coconut syrup! I’ve heard it’s delicious.
Strawberries and Cream French Toast
Could you think of a better brunch entrée? I think not! This is more of a traditional recipe for French Toast, but boy is it good. I love that it’s made with Brioche bread and that the berries are simmered over the stove to bring out their natural sweetness. If you’re looking to keep with the more original, but still insanely tasty, version of French Toast, I highly recommend this recipe.
Pumpkin French Toast
Some may say that with it being the beginning of September it is too early for Pumpkin. I would have to disagree. I think that Pumpkin should be welcomed at any time of the year, but with school having started and the Halloween Decorations already popping up in some stores, I think that it’s perfectly acceptable to whip up this yummy Pumpkin French Toast this weekend.
Those are just a few of my personal favorite recipes if you’re craving French Toast. Go ahead and give them a try and let us know in the comments how they were!