Mini Babybel.®cheese wheels are a staple in our house. We use them for lunches, snacks, and just plain fun since I love them as much as my kids do. And as mom, knowing I am feeding my kids real cheese that is a great source or protein and calcium, makes me feel like I am doing something right every now and then. So when I had the opportunity to team up with them to share with you all how we enjoy them during our most favorite season ever I jumped. I ran to my closest Target and picked up every variety. They have six.

Now the packages they have right now are fun in itself. They are wrapped in a adorable Halloween wrappers. But the fun doesn’t have to stop there. I rounded up my troops to make these fun and exciting snacks (and a full fledge meal) for you and your family to enjoy.

Ninja Cheese

Frankencheese

Spider Cheese

Mummy Cheese- A Fun Take on Mozzarella Sticks

  • Mini Babybel.®
  • Tomato Sauce for Dipping
  • Dough (i used pre-made)
  • Edible Eyes

Wrap thin string of dough around the whole cheese. Bake at 375 for 9 mins. Some cheese might melt out, but still takes amazing

Eye Balls

 

Next time you are at Target, probably tomorrow,  pick up some Mini Babybel.® There are amazing deals on Mini Babybel throughout the month of October so stock up.

I have been traveling south to 30A in Florida for decades. I’m originally from Memphis and that’s where everyone went to vacation for Spring Break and summer. If we would have had a Fall Break back in the day we would have gone then too.

We don’t one favorite city to stay in, as long as it’s beachside and close enough to restaurants and shopping we are all in. This past October we headed South to Santa Rosa beach and stayed for a week. I have never traveled down there that late in the season and it’s my new favorite time of year. The beaches were sparse, the weather wasn’t unbearable, and we didn’t have a wait at a single restaurant. And if you have ever traveled with kids to the beach and tried to go out to dinner after spending all day at the beach you know kids can go from having a good time to crazy gremlins at the drop of a hat. So this in itself was a deciding factor to travel every year from now on at this time.

On our last night in town we stumbled into Grayton Beach for dinner at a newer restaurant Chiringo. Full disclosure I wish we would have gone earlier in the week because we would have come back nightly if we did.

By definition, Chiringo means 1: a small enterprise usually a bar, selling mainly drinks and tapas, sometimes meals in a more or less provisional building, often on a beach or loose surface where a more permanent structure may be unviable. And this name couldn’t be more perfect. From the rooftop, you can watch the sunset and the drinks are to die for.

It was a lively building with a Captain Hook statue outside and beautiful bright colors that instantly won over the girls. We were sat by the nicest hostess in a open aired dining room with views of the Gulf of Mexico and quickly greeted by our server, Aaron, and offered to get drinks. He rattled off a couple of their specialties like SAND WEDGE and CLOUD NINE but when he said Frose I was sold. It is the end of Frose season in Nashville but it appears Frose season is much longer down south. Another reason to retire here one day.

Girls had colors, we had drinks, so everyone was happy. We quickly placed an order for some appetizers like SNAPPER DIP, ALBONDIGAS, and RED BEET HUMMUS. I cant pick one as my favorite but if I had to it would be Snapper Dip. It was amazing and had a nice spice to it. 

Apps were quickly delivered and we all started placing our orders. They had some great daily specials and if fish tacos are anywhere on the menu it’s automatically what I gravitate towards.  We convinced hubs he had to have THE CATEGORY 5. I want you all to pay attention to the description I am about to tell you.

THE CATEGORY 5

  • Two 6oz square grass fed burger patties w/pepper jack & white cheddar, divided by a fried Havarti mac & cheese patty, and topped w/creamy peanut butter, mango jam, crispy bacon, arugula, tomato and white onion WARNING: this item is not low in calories and is extremely high in flavor. Proceed with Caution.

Yes, you read that correctly and we convinced him to get it so we could taste it. And we didn’t leave disappointed.  So if you make it down to Grayton or you are in a 200-mile radius, this is a must for you.

After dinner was over we actually opted out of dessert (big mistake I should have gotten a Lil’ Chubby because ice cream sandwiches are my jam) and instead decided just to do another round of drinks. I traded in my FROSE for a CLOUD NINE and we followed the kids downstairs to the play yard they have on the side. Now, this is where the real fun begins as a mom.  Kids are fed and happy and there is entertainment.

I’m almost 95% positive most restauranteers are men and out of touch with what moms really want when trying to establish a family-friendly dining experience. I want to go to a restaurant and have a nice meal and good drinks and then I want to be able to have entertainment there for myself and kids so that once dinner is over we can stay until bedtime vs racing home to sit and wait for bedtime. Is that too much to ask?  Well after visiting Chiringo I realize it’s not because they nailed it.

They have ample seating, yard games, projection TV screen, live musical occasionally, astroturf for kids to run around on and its close to the bar.  Basically, this is what I imagine heaven to be like. We stayed out here until way past dark making friends with the locals and visitors and wishing our trip wasn’t coming to an end.

Chiringo, you outdid yourself and I can’t wait until our next vacation to be able to come back and visit. Better yet, your next restaurant needs to be in Nashville. Let’s make that happen.

 

This whole idea began with Brooklyn wanting to be a witch and Charleigh wanting to be Aurora. Truth be told, I didn’t actually know who Aurora was, but I asked Brooklyn what she thought about being Maleficent and she was instantly sold. And the coolest thing is at age 5 I was also Maleficent. I’ll add a picture of that gem once I find it. So I started researching other characters we could all be and was pleasantly surprised to find out Aurora is actually Sleeping Beauty and in the movie Maleficent. This couldn’t have been more perfect. 

Brooklyn was very adamant about being the mean version of Maleficent so that left me as the younger fairy version, Derek was King Stefan and Corla was Diaval (as the bat).

Our costumes were actually very easy and affordable. I am typically a huge fan of DIY Halloween costumes but this year I couldn’t swing it. So to the internet, I went. Now none of this would have been possible without our amazing Photographer, Bluegenes Photography.  She was able to perfectly capture each of us perfectly in costume. If you are in Nashville you must check her out. She also travels alot too if you arent close by.

Now lets talk about that makeup. You know I could have never done that myself. I am so thankful for Leanna Kaiser at Ascension Salon and Spa in Spring Hill, Tennessee. I sent her a couple pictures and she was able to make both Brooklyn and Me into a Maleficent even Angelina Jolie is jealous of. Hah. They are a new salon and spa, so if you are in the area you need to go check them out.

 

Aurora

Coronation Headpiece|Blonde Wig|Wand|Pink Dress up Shoes|Aurora Dress

Charleigh usually wears a 3 or 4 and size 4-6 fit perfectly

Charleighs favorite dress was the gold one from Coronation. So that’s the one we went with but there are several versions available.

 

Maleficent

Maleficent Costume and Horns | Bird |Staff |

This costume brings out Brooklyn’s alter ego like I have never seen. It is truly amazing watching her take on this character.

Fairy Maleficent

Ears | Horns | Wings | Brown Dress ( this was in my closet but here is a similar one)

King Stefan

Outfit | Crown |

Fits true to size. This was a little on the pricey side, but legit quality.

 

I am so happy with how this turned out and I have a feeling this is going to start a grand tradition. Just dont tell hubs.

Makeup: Leanna Kaiser at Ascension Salon and Spa

Photography : Bluegenes Photography

Since paying retail is probably one of my worst pet peeves, I figured I would start sharing a weekend sale alert post so you all know whats going on this weekend. So here goes our first one. Links below.

Missguided 

Loft

Macys

Asos

Calvin Klein

Neiman Marcus Last Call 

Luisaviaroma

Ulta

Wayfair

Serena & Lily

Minted

Lulu&Georgia

If your girlfriends stopped by unannounced for a girls night, would you feel comfortable letting them in? Honestly?

 

Ive partnered with Lemi Shine to bring you this guide. As always, thoughts are my own. Head to bottom for a coupon!

I come from a long lineage of clean freaks and at one point in my life I would say I would have fallen into this category. But I was childless and never home because I worked too much. To my mothers dismay I am mid-30s and still revolting against her “way of life” when it comes to the proper way to keep a home. But I have a saying, mainly I just say it to myself, because no one else listens. But it is “pick your battles” and I say it hourly. It makes me feel better and reminds me that in this season of life there are more important things to life than playing maid all day and not getting paid for it.

I recently shared an article on FB in regards to a “crappy dinner party” and it was basically my idea of a perfect evening. And since we are beginning of the most wonderful time of year, I figured I would  share how we make sure we are always ready for a Crappy Dinner Party.

Literally my soul comes alive with the anticipation of fall weather, fall fashion, decorating, party planning, and memory making. The last thing I want to do is ruin this euphoria with the undo stress of making sure I have the perfect house and the perfect party for my friends that love me regardless, or at least pretend to.

Let me be clear here, there is a difference between messy and dirty and we shouldn’t get those confused. My house and life isn’t dirty. But it is messy. While I am working slowly on the messy, the dirty is something I do daily to make sure it stays manageable. My friend could literally knock on the door in 3 minutes and the only thing I would need to do was put on a bra. Just kidding, no one is that special.

So in order to keep my home, ready for the next impromptu party I have enlisted my little ones to help. Now before you start judging, I use Lemi Shine because they are so powerful but more importantly safe and powered by 100% natural citric extracts. There are no questionable chemicals so even though I personally am not a clean freak. I know my house is! And nothing is better than walking into a house cleaned with natural citric extracts. Want to know something even more amazing? Their products actually resist new messes with Gunkguard. Gunkguard is a natural polymer that creates an invisible, protective layer on surfaces. It creates that long-lasting clean you want and makes them easier to clean again.

Cleaning Schedule to Make Sure We Are Always Party Ready

Daily

  • Wipe down hard surfaces with Lemi Shine Everyday Spray Cleaner. This includes appliances, granite countertops,  and tabletops.
  • Put dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down sink.
  • Take out trash
  • Spot treat floor and use duster mop. I have a wool rug and it sheds awful.
  • Take up basket of all things that don’t belong downstairs at end of day.

Weekly

  • Clean windows with Lemi Shine Glass + Surface Cleaner. My whole backside of house is windows and nothing like dog noses and fingers to block out my maximum sun. And once again thanks to Gunkguard I can nearly make it a week between cleanings.
  • Vacuum and mop floors
  • Clean Disposal with Lemi Shine Disposal Cleaner and get the stink out of your sink. Since everyone always hangs in the kitchen nothing would be worse than friends hovering over sink and smelling last weeks dinner.
  • Dust off furniture
  • Clean Bathroom. Lemi Shine Glass + Surface Cleaner does amazing things for my glass shower. It keeps water stains repelled and streak free. Literal game changer.

Day of Get Together

  • Clean serving dishes and utensils with Lemi Shine Concentrated Dish Soap this stuff is powerful and fast acting and requires very little elbow grease.
  • Pour wine.
  • Get out the paper plates.
  • Enjoy not being stressed and everyone having fun.

Having a clean house doesn’t mean you have to spend all day cleaning. With a couple intentional acts each day and products like Lemi Shine that work harder than you do your house will stay clean longer.  Next time you are at Target or any of these fine retailers grab a bottle. You won’t be disappointed. And because you all are my faves. Here is a coupon to use.

#CleanFreakClean