Simple Weekend Dinner Ideas This Fall

As we welcome the fall season we are now starting to feel the change of the weather, we crave a different food than what we had during the summer months. It is like having to start fresh again with our daily activity and what we crave. We will miss the summer picnic dishes and some outdoor barbecues that we look forward to on weekends. We are now excited for some warm, hearty, and more comforting foods every chilly night. Here’s our list of dinner ideas to make it easy for you to prepare a simple but very delicious meal this weekend.

Instant Pot Risotto

This is a classic Italian dish with very minimal effort to prepare, it is very comforting and will sure to warm you up after dinner.

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Winter Squash And Lentil Stew

Invest in the best quality instant pot so you have a cozy and hearty stew when the weather is cold. This dish is perfect for vegetarians.

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Short Ribs With Creamy Polenta

Another delicious reason why instant pot is important, an effortless tender and delicious beef to enjoy this weekend dinner.

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Patty Melts

We did enjoy having burgers and other grilled meat last summer this one is a sure hit this fall. Unlike burger, patty melt is crispy that have all the flavors in one bite.

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Moroccan Meatballs

We all love spaghetti especially the kids, why don’t we give this dish a try. It is flavorful comfort food on another level because of its warm spices.

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Roasted Cauliflower Pizza

This dish is very healthy and very easy to prepare with only five ingredients, a sure hit for vegetarians and those who wanted a healthy diet.

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Autumn Squash Salad

If you want a light and fresh meal but packed with flavors this dish is for you.

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Peppercorn Pork Chops

When you want to go to a fancy restaurant but you are on a budget then you should try this dish. It is creamy and packed with flavors your family will enjoy.

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Simple Home Decorations Tips This Fall

It is the time when we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall, the lovely transition of the season. It is also the time when we shift our home decorations to the fall season. Fall decoration ideas may be applicable also to another season of the year but there are some elements that match the crisp weather of this season. You may incorporate your own style with our ideas to make it more personalized and authentic. So, here’s our list of decorating tips this fall.

Add Fall Accents

Fall is not only about pumpkins around the house, you may incorporate colors like gray, brown, and orange. You may also add a touch of cozy candles and other cozy accessories that you love.

Fall Accents In Bathroom

You may start with your hand towels and hand soap, choose harvest colors for your towels, and fall-inspired scent to your soap.

Bouqet Of Fall Flowers

This will make any tabletop or shelf the look and feel of the season. From the bright colors of flowers in summer to the colors of fall.

Fall Inspired Fireplace

It is an easy thing to do but has a lot of impact on what the season is all about. The fireplace is one of the coziest places in your home.

Rustic DIY Wreath

You may want to channel the fall ambiance when you or any visitor enter your home. It is another way to remind you of the season.

Fall-Themed Kitchen

Set up your kitchen into something totally cozy, you may add some wooden accent and some pumpkin-inspired decor for a very cozy morning coffee routine.

Update Your Vases

Fill your vases and canister at home with mini pumpkins, acorns, and the like to inject the fall season inside your home.

Mason Jars

Decorate your mason jars to make them look ready this season, you may have a stunning fall centerpiece in your dining table together with your mantel.

Family Activities To Look Forward This Fall

It is the time when we say goodbye to outdoor activities like going to the beach, swimming at the pool, and some outdoor barbecues. This is the season when we welcome cooler weather, the changing of color of the leaves, pumpkin patches, and we start wearing sweaters and scarves. Fall may be a busy season for parents especially when kids are back to school but don’t get overwhelmed and don’t forget to have fun. Here is our list of Fall activities to enjoy with family.

Pumpkin Patch

Visiting a pumpkin patch with your family this Fall is like going to a park during Summer. This is the time when the kids enjoy picking some pumpkin and decorating it for Halloween.

Apple Picking

This activity is for kids and adults, there is so much fun spending time on an apple farm enjoying nature while picking apples off the trees. This is the perfect time for both parents and kids to relax and enjoy while on the farm.

Bake Some Pies

This is the perfect time to enjoy warm and delicious foods like pies, there are a variety of delicious vegetables and fruits that you can bake this season.

Making Soup

One of the best things to do this Fall is to enjoy making your favorite soup, the weather is cold and the soup is there to warm your body.

Camping

Camping is also a perfect getaway this season, you may also enjoy the same camping experience during summer, enjoy roasting marshmallows while everyone gathers around the fire, and while watching the stars.

Hiking

There is beauty when you walk through the woods as the leaves change colors. The cool weather is perfect for hiking and it is a fun way to get fit and busy.

Collect Pine Cones

Another outdoor activity to enjoy with family is collecting pine cones. There are a lot of fun things you can do to pine cones such as colorful arts and home decorations.

Make Some Autumn Crafts

Fall can be associated with yellow, orange, and red, you may gather everyone and create some DIY arts and crafts to make the season felt at home.

After School Healthy Snack Ideas

Kids are hungry after school and they want to eat something when they get home. It might be difficult to find a healthy but delicious snack that kids will love, but there are some healthy options you need to consider. Because they might result to nibble on some ready-to-eat junk foods from local stores. Give them some love and welcome them home with our delicious and healthy snack. Here’s our list.

Apple Nachos

Arrange the thinly sliced apples on a plate add some almond butter, oil, and maple syrup. Then sprinkle with coconut, pepitas, cacao nibs, and currants.

Get the recipe here

Smoothie Bowls

This delicious banana and raspberry are ready in 5 minutes, this snack is perfect when the weather is warm.

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Apple Energy Balls

This snack is perfect when kids are on the way home or after their sports practice. This delicious snack is perfect with nuts and dates.

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Fruit And Nut Bars

Make this delicious snack ahead and just store them in the fridge. This is a grab-and-go snack that doesn’t need baking.

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Soft Pretzels

It is a very satisfying snack for kids who just got home and can still smell the aroma of the pretzels coming from the oven.

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Carrot Cake Bites

Kids love cakes and this carrot cake bites are flavorful and filling and it does not need baking.

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Snack Mix

Create their own delicious trail mix at home, we have put a recipe here but you can always make some based on their favorite delicious healthy snacks.

Chocolate-Dipped Clementines

It is sweet, a little bit salty, and a perfect snack with all the right ingredients that kids will surely love.

Get the recipe here

Home Preparation Checklist This Fall

You may choose a professional service to handle the little things in your house that can make a big difference this Fall and the coming Winter. If you handle them you save your money as most of the tasks can be done by an ordinary person. You have to prepare your home to withstand the cold of the winter and Fall is the perfect season to check on seasonal maintenance. You may follow our checklist to make your home prepared and well maintained this coming Fall.

Roof Inspection

Prevent any damages from water and ice this fall by inspecting your roof from top to bottom. Check for any wind damages and cracks, you may check also the gutters for any sign that your roof is losing its coating.

Inspect Your Furnace Filters

Furnace filters are important to make your home temperature comfortable. Clogged filters may increase your utility bills and the air you breathe may be contaminated.

Inspect Your Fireplace

Check your fireplace annually for any damages or hazards. Have your entire chimney system checked as well for any creosote buildup. Hire an experienced chimney sweep to clean all the deposits.

Inspect The Gutters

You need to check on your gutters to make sure that the waters are smoothly flowing. Clogged gutters may damage the exterior of your home it may lead to rust and corrosion. Check the mesh cover for debris and install one if your home doesn’t have it.

Check For Gaps And Air Leaks

You may check for any leaks or gaps at home by closing all doors and windows and light a candle, when the flame flickers at any spot of the frame you have an air leak. Check also the weather stripping of your home because it deteriorates over time. This will also reduce your heating bills.

Have Your Heating Furnace Checked By A Professional

Consider it checked early this Fall before using it next season. Make sure that it is in the best performance before the heating season begins.

Freezeproof Outside Faucets

Make sure that outside faucets don’t freeze during winter months, you may buy styrofoam faucet covers at home centers. You may also follow the manufacturer’s instructions for protecting your faucets from freezing damage.

Have Your Home Humidifier Checked

Make sure that it is in tip-top shape to make your home more comfortable during the winter season. Make sure that it is ready, clean, and in good running condition when you use it.

Back-To-School Healthy Pack Lunch Ideas For Kids

It is going to be very busy in the morning for parents when kids are going back to school. It is always a good idea when you have organized and plan ahead packing healthy lunches for your kids. It is a good idea when you have different options to keep them interested in what is new in every schooldays. It should be nutritious, yummy, and a source of comfort for them. We have prepared some easy-to-make and healthy school lunches for your kids to enjoy.

Pasta Salad

Customize their pasta with some cheese, eggs, ham, prawns, or some chicken for a protein pack lunch. You can also add some sliced carrots and other vegetables that they love.

Salad Wraps

This is the same with pasta salad, you can customize all the ingredients inside the wraps. You may add some cheese, egg, chicken, and some of their favorite vegetables.

Meatballs

Kids love to eat meatballs add some minced veggies to make it more healthy. You can also mix it with pasta.

BLT Sandwich

This is very easy to prepare, very tasty, and perfect pack lunch for kids. It’s a complete meal from carbohydrates, protein, and veggies.

Sweet Potato Crisps

This is a perfect veggie snack for kids, a perfect pair for any meal inside their lunch box.

Spring Rolls

Lettuce leaves or rice paper wrappers can make a good rolled-up meal. Fill them with the foods that your kids love to eat, you may also add some pork, chicken, and their favorite vegetables.

Meat Roll-Ups

Roll a thinly sliced beef, turkey, or ham with their favorite veggies, and some cheese.

Quinoa Salad

Mix it with either pork, beef, or chicken, then add their favorite veggies and cheese. Add a delicious dressing like basic vinaigrette.

Back-To-School Safety Tips

Safety for kids and parents affects the whole community, children approaching and exiting the bus is the biggest risk when they are back to school. Motorists share the road with school buses and kids may not remember to follow safety practices, as parents and concerned citizens we have to be responsible for all the safety practices to avoid accidents. Make sure that we drive carefully when going to work in the morning some children are at the bus stop or on their way to school. Here’s our list of back-to-school tips.

Updated Contact Information

Make sure that your contact information and other emergency contacts are updated in school records. It is also important that you have the contact information of the school.

Get To Know Other Parents

In the event that you are not around you are sure that someone is looking out for the kids. It is also a good idea that you know the parents of kids who ride on the same bus as well as the driver.

Always Check The Weather And The News

School may be suspended or closed earlier due to weather, sometimes they are evacuated due to emergencies. If you are always updated you can plan ahead and you have an idea when school closure is possible.

Get To The Bus Stop At Least Five Minutes Early

When your kids are early at the bus stop they don’t need to rush to the other side to catch the bus. When they are crossing make sure that they look both ways to make sure that there are no vehicles approaching.

Observe Safety Practices When At The Bus Stop

Kids should wait for the bus driver to tell them when to get on or off the bus. Kids should alert the bus driver for help when they want to retrieve something they drop near the bus.

Kids Should Not Entertain Strangers

Kids should not speak to any strangers and remind them about stranger danger. They are not allowed to accept rides from any person they don’t know and should call parents immediately of the situation. Set up a “family secret password” in case someone claims that you have sent them.

Obey Traffic Laws

When kids are biking to school, make sure that they obey traffic laws. They should wear helmets and other safety gear and obey rules on the road. They should avoid using any electronic devices and always pay attention to the road and traffic.

About Bullying

Tell them to stand up for themselves look the bully in the eye and tell them to stop and what they are doing is wrong. Tell your kids to walk away from the situation with confidence, awareness, and calmness then report it to their teacher, school staff, or employee or to an administrator.

Tips To Make Your Small Backyard Look Bigger

Not everyone has a huge property and wished that they had a bigger backyard or at least it looks and feels bigger than it really is. There is no need for you to buy or rent a bigger property to have a bigger yard. You can transform any existing backyard into a bigger and better-looking yard with gardening techniques that may trick your perception. Here are a few tricks to make it look bigger.

Container Gardening

This is a great option to keep all your plants contained in a small space so you have plenty of spaces for other stuff that you want in your backyard.

Utilize Your Side Yard

Side yards are not the center of attention and it lacks foot traffic, you may utilize this space to create a quiet space with comfy chairs and your favorite plants for your relaxation.

Landscaping Zones

Create a separate space for dining and gardening with this idea it will trick guests into thinking that they are entering into a different backyard when going into the dining and gardening space.

Create Landscape Elevation

Changing elevation will make your backyard look bigger, it gives depth to your small area yard. You may raise your plant boxes or garden bed or you may try sunken or elevated patio when you have the time and money to do it.

Allow More Natural Light

When you have an open space where you have a clear view of the sky above you, your backyard will look and feel bigger. Avoid putting too many accessories it will make your backyard too small and enclosed.

Use Hardscapes

Hardscapes are very easy to maintain than plants or grass in your backyard. Your backyard can have multiple functions by adding tables and chairs for any occasion.

Portable Fixtures

Use portable tables, chairs, or even playsets if you have kids around. Since it’s portable it does not stay permanently in your backyard.

Dual-Purpose Furniture

Dual-purpose furniture is designed for smaller spaces, you may put the furniture that’s for seating and storage in your backyard to make it feel and look bigger.

Summer Staycation Ideas With Your Family

Most of us are looking forward to traveling this summer but because of government-imposed health protocols traveling can be very hard. Staycation is one enjoyable way to get an outdoor experience, it is very economical, very convenient, and very easy to plan with minimal preparations. Staycation generally has a less negative impact on the environment, with very minimal travel time to a location close to your home or it can be done at home. Here’s our list of staycation ideas you and your family will enjoy.

Picnic In The Park

It’s a classic summertime family activity, a perfect staycation activity when you don’t want to spend more time and money. This is the best time to relax, enjoy the food while enjoying a little bit of nature.

Biking

Explore many places around your town where you never had a chance to visit, you can also visit some local trails and enjoy the view.

Sight-seeing

Visit your favorite local spots together with your family, check some locations like museums, parks, and some attractions in your area that you want to visit. You can also go around looking and find some cool places that you have never been to.

Outdoor Play Time

Go around the neighborhood and play scavenger hunt with the kids, play hide and seek in your backyard, jumping rope, or any games that your kids love to play.

Gardening

Gardening can be very relaxing, it’s a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors. Gardening can lower stress level, it boosts everyone’s moods, it improves immune systems while it helps you eat better. Those are just some of the benefits of gardening.

Backyard Movie Night

Summer nights are ideal for backyard movie nights, the weather is generally quite pleasant. You can set up a backyard theatre with very little effort as long as you have a portable projector.

Stargazing And Backyard Camping

Set up your tent, sleeping bags, firepit for grilling and smores, and prepare some stories for the kids while doing some stargazing.

Hiking Trip

You may choose the length of time you want to spend hiking with your family, you can bring your pet as well. Pick the best trail for you and your family and then take time to plan your hike.

Popular Herbs You Can Grow In Your Garden

There is something special when you are cooking with fresh ingredients that you grow in your garden. You can grow your own herbs with a little fertilizer or in any reasonably fertile, well-drained soil. It only needs regular potting soil from neutral to alkaline that is slightly moist but not too soggy, and of course sunlight to maintain its good flavor. Make sure that your herbs are having enough hours under the sun during the day. Here’s our list of popular herbs you can grow in your garden.

Basil

It is a favorite around the world and best pared with tomatoes, you can make your own pesto from its leaves, you can also add its leaves into your salads, sandwiches, and sauces. Just make sure that you plant every few weeks to maintain a steady supply of fresh leaves.

Rosemary

This herb is an important ingredient in making tomato and cream sauces. The best when mixed with chicken, pork, lamb, soups, potatoes, and olive oil due to its earthy fragrance.

Thyme

It is the mint family and always a key ingredient to every cuisine in the world because of its varieties and a versatile flavor with a minty, somewhat lemony smell.

Parsley

It adds flavor to soups, salads, and fresh sauces. Parsley is an important ingredient in making pesto, tabbouleh, stuffing chicken, fish, and vegetable dishes.

Bay Laurel

Its leaves are essential for making soups and stews, just pick individual leaves and dry them, the oldest leaves have the strongest flavor. Make sure you plant this in a space with good air circulation to prevent diseases.

Mint

Mint leaves are best with tea and mixed drinks, salads, and desserts. It is a very attractive houseplant and it can tolerate temperatures into the 30s, just keep the soil moist and a moderate to strong sunlight.

Oregano

You can add its leaves to tomato sauces, meat, casseroles, soups, and stews. It is a member of the mint family that is always present in Mexican, Central American, Italian, and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Chives

It is from the garlic family that makes good garnishes, it can add flavors to your eggs, soups, and salads. Leave at least 2 inches when you cut its leaves with scissors so that it can resprout again.