FryDAY – J

Jenna:

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.

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WEARING:

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.

TRAVELING:

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!

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

READING:

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.

LOVING:

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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Seedling

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!

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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

@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

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@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

@smallfryblog

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

@rashelleljohansson

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.

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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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Nick Jr.

By Emily.

 I was compensated for attending this event sponsored by Nick Jr. and Mom.me. The thoughts and opinions below are my own. 

A few weekends ago I took my boys to Nick Jr.’s Mega Playdate with Blaze and Shimmer and Shine! My boys LOVE Blaze and the Monster Machines and as much as they claim not to like “girl shows” guess what show never gets turned off when it’s on? Shimmer and Shine, ha!screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-10-10-39-am

Both my boys are obsessed with cars. They alternate between monster trucks, matchbox cars, RC cars, and they make tracks and jumps everyday it seems.  So what I love about Blaze is that they explain the HOW and WHY cars do what they do. I always smile when I hear the show describing things like force, trajectory, friction, etc. I also love that the female characters are in on the action, too. Shows marketed for girls seem to take on such a different subject matter and I don’t understand why! STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects are hot topics as of late, and this show seems so easy to grasp for my kids while still being exciting!img_8453

For those who asked here are some of the toys we got to test out at the event. It seems each year we get the most questions on what to get boys for the Holidays so here’s a few great ideas to log away! I am all about supporting the merch for shows that I know are good for my kids, too! blaze2

The Flip and Race speedway has levers, flips, jumps, and more. Super fun and great for 3-5 year olds I’d say! //This Mega Bloks set brings together two of my boys’ faves: blocks + jumps! It comes with lots of pieces to create all kinds of set-ups. Pickle! My boys love him and he’s a great standard monster truck that fits in all their other tracks, too. // Always on the hunt for fun bath toys! // This is the remote control car you saw on our Facebook page, its controlled by a watch and my boys are obsessed with it! // Another fun race set that gets a buddy in on the action.

ALDI

By Emily.

Any ALDI shoppers out there? I had never heard of them before but the more I hear the more I am obsessed. ALDIFirst, of all all their products are around 50% cheaper* than their brand name counterparts. Second, they have a double guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied with the product they’ll refund you AND replace your product. ALDIAll their money saving practices (from advertising all the way down to their cart retrieval) in store ensure they can continue to keep prices low. You already heard last week that we got the green light to start solids with Raleigh and he has loved everything we’ve tried. (He’s an 18 pound glutton, but still!) Excited to have these in my pantry as he gets older!ALDI  You can find a store near you with this locator but we got to test out all their baby products. Even if I wasn’t paying 50% less I would have no problem telling you all their products are absolutely comparable to my regular brand name favorites. But, since they’re way cheaper, it seems silly to even try and compare. Less money for the same quality equals better. Easiest math equation ever. 😉 Did I mention they sell diapers?!ALDIAnother thing I like is that they have new products they only carry for a limited time, so you can keep things interesting and try new foods often, but keeping them in a rotation is another practice that keeps their prices low. ALDIALDIFind ALDI on their BLOG, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, AND PINTEREST for recipes that include their product line!

*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

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Head to Toe: Kidz Bop

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Head to Toe post! Life long Small Fry readers might remember the series! We abandoned it because the boys were over modeling and we can’t say we blame them. So, when Kidz Bop’s new line with Crazy 8 came in the mail we figured we’d do a nice flat lay and call it a day. But, when the boys saw the pieces they flipped! The actually wanted to wear them and show them off for you all. That pretty much is all you need to know about the line. Cool enough for kids AND parents to be excited about! Since it’s from Kidz Bop it has little music motifs throughout which we love, too! It’s created for the future music stars, and we certainly have our share of song-and-dance-rs! In fact, we took these yesterday and guess who’s wearing their new duds to school today? Yep, all of ’em. You can check out the whole line (girls too!) right here, but here’s their favorites:

Kids Bop for Crazy 8

Kids Bop for Crazy 8

Kids Bop for Crazy 8 Kids Bop for Crazy 8 4 Kids Bop for Crazy 8 Kids Bop for Crazy 8

Kids Bop for Crazy 8You can tell they love it, right? Makes our job so easy, thanks for the fun pieces Kidz Bop!! Check out the girls line here, so cute!