Vegetarian Pasta Salad

So now that we’ve piqued your interest about ALDI, we’re putting our money where our mouth is! We’ve got an awesome vegetarian pasta salad recipe made with ALDI’s brand name ingredients that will costs you a slim $1.40 per person. You could always add grilled chicken, or salmon or even steak bites to make it a more hearty entree, but this one is yummy as is and tastes so fresh and filling!Vegetarian Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS all found at ALDI!

½ pound Priano Fusilli or short cut pasta

1 tablespoon + ¼ teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt, divided

1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized florets

2 tablespoons Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 cups chopped yellow onion

¼ teaspoon Stonemill EssentialsCrushed Red Pepper, plus additional to taste

15.5 ounces Dakota’s PrideGarbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)

½ cup Priano Ricotta Cheese

½ cup Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus additional to taste

Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the fusilli according to package instructions, adding 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling water. During the last two minutes of cook time, add the broccoli. Before draining, remove 1 cup of cooking water; reserve. Drain fusilli and broccoli.Vegetarian Pasta Salad
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chick peas and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta and parmesan cheese with 3 tablespoons of reserved cooking water. Add more water by the tablespoon, as necessary, to create a creamy sauce.Vegetarian Pasta Salad
  4. Return the skillet with chick peas to the stove over medium heat. Add the fusilli and broccoli. Fold in the cheese mixture, stirring gently. Add more reserved water to loosen the mixture, as needed.
  5. Serve with additional parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and black pepper, to taste.Vegetarian Pasta SaladTIP: If more broccoli is desired, chop ½ of the broccoli stalks into bite-sized pieces, cook along with the florets. The starchy pasta cooking water is the secret to creating the silky sauce, so don’t forget to set aside before draining.

Find an ALDI nearest you with this locator!Thanksgiving Recipes

Burgundy top // High Waisted Denim


It’s that time of year again, time to think about Christmas Cards. We LOVE sending Christmas cards out every year in fact you can see past years here 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012.

One of our favorite ways to send cards has got to be Postable. This site is GENIUS. We use them for everything from birthday cards to thank you cards, but their Holiday ones are a favorite.

Postable is an incredibly unique service that sends out your cards for youuuuuuu. The Holidays just got a whole lot easier for you right?! postable-com-2

Here are some fan favorites for you to check out!

Winter Floral Joy / Laurel / Merry Christmas Script / Holiday Stripes / Simple & Merry / Bright Spirits / Happiest Holiday Wreath


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Holiday Gift Guide: Boys

Happy Thanksgiving week…we are so excited it’s here! We definitely aren’t skipping over Turkey Day because it’s such a favorite to enjoy with family in gratitude. But if you’re anything like us it’s time to get holiday shopping, too and we love to make it easy for you! First up in our Holiday Gift Guide is, gifts for boys!boys

Compass Crate // We are ABSOLUTELY obsessed with these fun adventure boxes and know your boys will be too. Whether it’s learning about gems, plants or the seasons, there is something for everyone to enjoy (your girls too!)

Hot Wheels Play Tape Track // Race your Hot Wheels cars everywhere with innovative, new Hot Wheels Play Tape Track! Instantly create an imaginative racetrack anytime, anywhere. And BONUS only $3.99!

Discovery Space Center // This was on our gift guide last year and it’s on it again this year! We love this beautiful wooden space center that will provide hours of play and yet still be beautiful in your kid’s room.

Micro Mini Scooter // You might think it’s crazy to pay this much for  scooter but trust us when we say these things are indestructible. Some of our kids even enjoy their scooters over bikes and they’ve lasted for YEARS! Easy to ride, these are the BEST scooter on the market.

Lego White House // Politics are kindaaaa messy right now, so let’s get positive about it and build the White House! We love this innovative cool Lego set that also gives us a teaching opportunity!

Cozmo Robot // Your boys will freak for this interactive robot they can literally talk to! A built in play mate, we think that’s wroth it’s weight in gold!

LED High Top // We know, we know, you’d never be caught DEAD putting your kids in light up shoes…but gone are the days of the old school ones. These new LED ones are all the range, affordable and will be a hit! We’ve been seeing them all over Disneyland on whole families at night and think it’s such a cute idea!

Tegu Magnets // We’ve been huge fans of Tegu for a long time because well they last a LONG time. These durable, high quality, wood magnets are a grade above anything else on the market. They provide hours of fun, creative and quiet play. This set was also on our gift guide last year and graces it again this year because they’re just so good.

Have any suggestions for what to give YOUR boys? Leave a comment!


FryDAY – J


Okay so I’ve been on a budget. It’s been AWESOME. I used to think budgets were only for if you financially struggle, but the truth is we ALL financially struggle whether you have any expendable income or not. Our family needed serious reform and discipline as we save for big things in our future and we were spending way too much on frivolous things. We’ve cut our spending in HALF the last two months and it doesn’t even feel too hard. Just being aware of it has been truly life changing. What would you say are your biggest budget tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments because we are still trying to improve!

One thing I’ve started doing is going through all my clothes and selling them on a cool app called PoshMark. I made $800 on things I haven’t worn in months and it feels so good to purge! I still have way more to do but you can follow me there @jennaskitchen if you’d like!

With that money I decided to take half and buy a couple new pieces for winter.



I’ve been obsessing over all of these ripple stitch sweaters and dresses ASOS put out. They’re so comfortable, cozy and flattering.

I posted a little sneak peak of the dress I’ll be wearing for Holiday pictures and I’ve got to share the love cause it’s perfect for your Holiday parties and when I woke up this morning found out IT’S ON SALE. Do size up though. It’s probably best I get these pumps to complete the look right?!

I’ve also been telling people all over the Internet to buy this sweater. Every color is divine but the red is specifically incredible for the upcoming Holiday season!

I’m putting these sneakers and on my Holiday wish list.


We just got back from 5 days in Costa Rica! I won the trip for the work I do with The Daily Essential Co and it was SUCH a treat. I am seriously obsessed with CR, I have never been to Central America so it was a unique experience. Andrew and I celebrated 11 years married too so it was a fun time to get away and adventure. Traveling is our all time favorite thing to do together. We zip lined, horse back rode in the jungle, dipped in natural hot springs and jet skied in the ocean. I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful rejuvenating time!


Here are some looks I wore for the trip, all of it I’ve owned and loved for a while:


On Emily’s recommendation I read “What Alice Forgot.” More like I listened to it, I love Audible. Super easy listen and a good lesson book.


I am obsessing over the new Aura picture frame. This thing is seriously legit and my dream come true. For so long I feel like all my pics were floating around in outer space and now I get to have them in one unique space – I seriously love it. This would be the perfect Christmas gift and the frame is stunning.

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Kicking off our gift ideas this Holiday we knew we had to start with Seedling. You’ve heard our philosophies about giving experiences over things, although sometimes those can be hard to unwrap come Christmas morning! Seedling is the best example of doing this well because it’s a perfect little package that packs fun for your whole family, so we’re so excited to partner with them today!Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things It taps the creative side, fine motor skills, imagination and story-telling and so much more. They recently launched their new line with Disney which of course makes it all the more fun recreating elements of their favorite movies! Here’s a few we tried out!

Seedling - Gift Experiences Not ThingsDesign Your Own Bear Mask and Paws! Comes with everything you need to look just like Baloo, felt, glue, pre-cut shapes and more! Seedling - Gift Experiences Not ThingsDesign Your Own Dragon,  how cute is Sunny’s Elliott? This easy to make DIY kit comes with wooden dragon, paint, faux fur, and more to paint and create a dragon all your own.Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Design Your Own Fintastical Mermaid Tail from the Little Mermaid! This comes with with tulle, glitter glue, shells, stars, and more, this easy to make DIY kit has everything you need to design your own magical mermaid tail just like Ariel!

Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Mermaid Tail - SeedlingOf course Seedling packs everything you need to finish the kit which we LOVE! No melt-downs when you start the project to realize you don’t have any white glue. But, come one, how cute is their glue?! Every detail is so darling and well thought out!Seedling - Gift Experiences Not Things

Of course Seedling has loads of other themed kits besides this new Disney series, you can find them all right here!

Target Holiday

Don’t we all love snagging a few new pieces to add to our Christmas Decor collection each year? I know I do, and I have loved watching my collection grow over the years. So much of my decor is from Target, so this year I wanted to pull together all of my Target Faves! Sharing early this year since things sell out fast lately and right now they’re offering 20% off decor! Hurry over!


Buffalo Check Stocking // Grey Faux Fur Throw // Tree Blanket // Tree Garland // Boxwood Wreath // Copper Wire Ornaments // Tree Skirt // Stocking with Poms // Brown Wrapping with Trees //  Monogram Gift Toppers // Scallop Gift Boxes // Honeycomb Side Table //

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Laundry Schedule

This post is brought to you by Maytag, all opinions expressed are our own.

By Emily.

I think it’s safe to say for the majority of you readers (and us) laundry is a nemesis. The least favorite household task, the never-ending, nagging, particular and finicky job of keeping our family’s clothing clean. What if your washer or dryer could fit infinitely more laundry than it does now. How about 22 towels in one load? I just got butterflies.

Exhibit A: 22 Towels:Maytag Top Loader - Fits 22 Towels!Maytag’s new top loading Washer and Dryer is the largest capacity washer with agitator in the market. It has an agitator and a deep fill option to really soak your clothes and get even the crustiest situations out. I personally love the detergent tray that slides out, I always hated looking at that in my old washer, with the build up it just never looked clean, but this stows away and keeps it looking brand new!Maytag Top Loader - Fits 22 Towels!Their dryer has moisture sensors to ensure that large loads are evenly dried. Especially helpful if it needs to sit in the dryer for awhile after (guilty!)Maytag Top Loader - Fits 22 Towels!My favorite feature next to the size is that it has a steam dry setting. I have long preferred steaming my clothes to ironing and instead of putting it the bathroom with me while I shower, or plugging in my large steamer, I toss it in on a steam setting and it refreshes like a charm!Maytag Top Loader - Fits 22 Towels!

Mixing a washer and dryer like Maytag’s with good old fashioned organization we feel more excited than ever to figure out this task. So first, I wanted to get to the bottom of what laundry looks like for those of you who feel on top of it, or at least aren’t re-washing the same load three times because you forgot and it started to smell bad.Laundry Adventure

After polling our readers and friends I got the answer, over and over: a load a day. I can hear the groaning from here! We also got a resounding solution if you’re a working parent  and that is doing all of it one day a week, but that it will take you all day and there’s no getting around it.

Now, here is where we part ways. Those I polled all seemed to say that they pre-sort into darks and lights and then pull from a giant pile of everyone’s belongings and wash them all together.

I don’t do this. I do it by the person. And that is mostly for the reason that I know exactly where to find X,Y,Z belonging. If Hayes needs his jersey I don’t need to sort through huge piles at varying stages of being sorted, washed, dried, folded, I just go to either his dirty pile or his clean pile or his closet. Knowing where everyone’s XYZ item is gives me a lot of peace of mind and a better sense of control over the situation.

I wash all my air drying at once so I know just to pull it all out of the washer and hang it up instead of trying to sort as I transfer to the dryer. I’ve shrunk far too many sweaters to pull that rookie move again!

I do all my sheets, towels, pillowcases together because that load is easy and actually fun to fold and put away. I do this load on the day I dread laundry the most because to boosts my confidence. 😉 Look at me I’m doing laundry!

Back together again for the folding. Have your kids put their items away. Have them match all the socks. Get the piles out of your hair and off your mind!


15 Scout Elves at Play

Brought to you by Elf on the Shelf! Check out their new Idea Book and Accessories Pack “Scout Elves at Play” here!

Did you know that we have a few extra “sons” we’ve never formally introduced you all to? Meet Chip and Cringey!Small Fry | @ericapatten@ericapatten

We adopted them a few Christmases ago and are kids are always extra excited when they make the trek down from the North Pole to spend the Holiday season with us! Of course we love having them around because they keep an extra eye on our wild bunch and remind them Santa is always watching. Small Fry | @ericapatten


This season Santa himself sent us an extra special kit “Scout Elves At Play” along with our Elf sons to help make their stay extra exciting. We had to share it with a few of our other friends with their own adopted Elves and today we get to share all the fun they’ve been having ever since!Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf


@rashellejohannson | Small Fry@rashellejohansson

If you don’t know the story of the Elf on the Shelf, Santa allows a handful of his best elves to stay with boys and girls across the world to keep an eye on them and help create extra fun and excitement around the Holidays. Once they’re adopted and named they are magic! And no human hand can touch them or they lose their charm. Small Fry | 15 Elf on the Shelf Ideas


So of course this accessory kit makes their excitement extra easy to accomplish, which they appreciate (and so do us moms.) Each night our Elf kids find magic and fun while we sleep and we get to discover what they’ve been up to each night. Catch some more from our fellow mamas who live for this tradition like we do!@rashellejohannson | Small Fry


The tags that come in the kit help remind kids to do good deeds and be extra nice. @dearlizzy’s elf is reminding her kids to brush those teeth!Elf on the Shelf Elf on the Shelf

More Scout Elf fun after the jump! Read more

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Fall Kicks!

Looking for some easy shoes to bring your kids wardrobes into Fall? Here’s some of our favorites from Zappos as of late!Fall Kicks at Zappos

Classic maryjanes perfect for Sunday best, family photos and holiday parties! // Vans are a favorite around here and what little girl wouldn’t flip for this hologram pair? // A great more formal option that slips on and off! // // A great moto boot in a versatile brown! // DC’s new line with Adventure Time! Our kids are obsessed! Find the whole collection here // Velcro is a must for those pre-tying years. // Adidas Samba, such a classic! //


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Nicole FRYday

This has been one long week. With the time change, its dark by 5:30 pm here in Utah. I have a love hate relationship with it. My kids have been ready for bed by 7pm each night, thats the love part of the relationship. But in return, they wake up at 6am. 6 am is EARLY for us. However I’m finding that as I get used to waking up a bit earlier, I am accomplishing so much more in one day. I think this Love/Hate will soon just be lots of LOVE.


Now that its Fryday, I get (have) to sit down and re-cap all my months favorite purchases and share them with you. I love doing this, and I hope its beneficial to all of you. I posted a snap chat last night of my living room and got a lot of questions about Eames Replica Lounge Chair. Here it is for you all. You’ll love it as much as I do, and it is a comfortable as it looks. I also bought the white one for our sitting room upstairs.

Also, some of you asked about this Floor Lamp. Its from Target and is on sale online until Saturday! Its such a pretty one.

When fall hits, I love to pull out all the throw blankets that I stored over the warm months. I love adding them into the decor of the home to warm things up, and to warm our bodies up at well. This is one I love the most. Is is also on sale.

These Globe Pendant lights are also on sale, and I bought 2 of them for above the bar in my kitchen.

Okay, I’m sorry, I’m almost done with Target, I just did a LOT of damage there this month. This Dark Wood and Metal desk lamp is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Target purchases. It too is on sale. Snag them before they are gone.

Lastly, we have been doing a lot of hiking this fall, and this is our go to backpack for all the snacks and water.

Enjoy Everyone! And happy Fryday!

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