Frugal Foodie Mama

Monday, September 18, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Soup

Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall...
Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall.

As you all may recall from the recipe I shared for my Italian Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Vegetable Tapenade last month, I am on a mission this outdoor farmers market season to show you all how you can create a delicious recipe purchasing only locally grown & raised produce and meats at your local farmers market this summer. Each month I will be sharing a recipe here to the blog inspired by and featuring some of my own personal favorite fresh & local finds from my local market. 

For the month of September, I am sharing the recipe for this comforting & nourishing Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Soup with you all. This soup is the perfect dinner idea for making the transition from late summer to early fall with. It fully takes advantage of the late summer veggies that are still in season like sweet corn, okra, & fresh basil. But this soup is so cozy and satisfying that it will have you wishing for crisp fall days.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hawaiian Pizza Pineapple Bites

These grilled Hawaiian Pizza Pineapple Bites have all the deliciousness of a traditional Hawaiian pizza minus the guilt...
These grilled Hawaiian Pizza Pineapple Bites have all the deliciousness of a traditional Hawaiian pizza minus the guilt.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Save-A-Lot. The opinions and text are all mine.

Can we talk tailgating/football party food for just a sec? I think the food is the best part of game day. Yes, I get into the game (most of the time), but it doesn't matter to me if the home team is winning or losing just as long as there is good food being served. The only issue I take with most traditional game day snacks is how unhealthy they can be. Not that I am a huge health nut, but it is definitely nice when there are a few healthier options on the menu for the big game.

I know what you all are thinking right now- healthier food has to be more expensive & that just doesn't jive when you have to feed a crowd for the game. But healthier game day eating doesn't have to empty your wallet. Not when you can shop at your local Save-A-Lot for all your football party needs. ;) That's right- your local Save-A-Lot has all the fresh (& healthy!) produce, meats, & even the essential paper products you need to make your game day get-together delicious & healthier without breaking the bank!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Franklin Park Conservatory: Blooms, Butterflies, & Chihuly

Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio...
Beautiful blooms, fluttering butterflies, & colorful glass sculptures await you at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.
This post was created in partnership with Experience Columbus
As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Located just outside of downtown Columbus, Ohio, Franklin Park Conservatory is a botanical oasis housing one of the most extensive collections of Chihuly glass artwork in the Midwest. The conservatory started in 1895 with just one Victorian-style glass greenhouse (aka, the Palm House that is pictured below), but has expanded since then to also include a conservatory, botanical gardens, as well as multiple art collection displays. 

Having lived in the Columbus area for over 8 years, the Conservatory has long been a favorite of mine in the city. I can easily spend a full day strolling through the various gardens in the conservatory & admiring the vibrant colors of Chihuly's glass sculptures. I was fortunate to be able to bring both my husband & my daughter to their first visit to the conservatory earlier this summer.

If you ever find yourself in the heart of Ohio, be sure to make a visit to Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens a part of your Columbus itinerary. Need a little more convincing that the conservatory is a Columbus must-do? Check out some of my favorite exhibits below...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Exploring Fort Wayne in 3 Days: A Family Friendly Itinerary

From kayaking with views of the city to a budget friendly baseball game to a hands-on science museum, here is a family friendly itinerary for exploring Fort Wayne, Indiana is just 3 days...
From kayaking with views of the city to a budget friendly baseball game to a hands-on science museum, here is a family friendly itinerary for exploring Fort Wayne, Indiana is just 3 days.
This post was created in partnership with Visit Fort Wayne. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

I will be the first to admit it that Fort Wayne, Indiana is not typically the first destination that comes to mind when planning a vacation packed with family friendly fun. But my family & I's three day visit to Fort Wayne earlier this summer totally changed my preconceived notions of this Midwestern city. 

Fort Wayne is a vibrant & diverse city that deserves more credit & props than I originally afforded it. From kayaking with views of the city to a budget friendly & fun minor league baseball game to a larger than life, hands-on science museum, Fort Wayne just may be the perfect family friendly getaway that you & your family have been looking for. :)

Since there is so much to do & see in Fort Wayne, I thought I would share our 3 day itinerary with you all to help you narrow down some of the must-see & must-do attractions & activities in and around the city. You will find that most every place we visited in this post is no more than a 10 minute drive from one another. That is one of the things we found most attractive about Fort Wayne as far as a family friendly destination goes- the city was extremely accessible, easy to navigate, & most everything there is to do and see there is fairly close together. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cookies & Cream Banana Birthday Shake


Celebrate that special day minus the guilt with this festive & fun Cookies & Cream Banana Birthday Shake...
Celebrate that special day minus the guilt with this festive & fun Cookies & Cream Banana Birthday Shake.
Sponsored post by Mirum. All opinions are my own.

Soooooo.... today is my birthday, you all. But it just isn't any ole birthday for me. It just so happens to be my 40th birthday. Yep, the BIG 4-0. I have to admit that it is kind of weird to be saying goodbye to my thirties and officially entering a brand new decade of my life. But I am also excited for what the next 10 years will bring. :)

I have spent the last few months of my 39th year of life making some healthier lifestyle changes. I get to the gym at least 3-4 times a week now. I do yoga at home at least twice a week. I try to give myself mental health breaks more often when I start to feel like my work to life balance is getting a little off kilter. And I have been trying to make healthier choices as far as my diet goes. But when you happen to have a mean sweet tooth like I do, then that last part can be a little tricky at times.

My ultimate guilty pleasure happens to be ice cream. Like I could eat ice cream every single day. And now that I have discovered Breyers delights, I actually can enjoy my favorite frozen treat minus the guilt more often... ;)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Basil BLT Panzanella Salad

This hearty Basil BLT Panzanella Salad combines all the goodness of the classic sandwich with the fresh flavors of summertime...
This hearty Basil BLT Panzanella Salad combines all the goodness of the classic sandwich with the fresh flavors of summertime.

So this weekend is it, folks- the last big hoorah of summertime. Labor Day weekend has always been that unofficial marker of when late summer gives way to early fall. We all gear up for our last 3 day weekend of the summer & enjoy those final couple of days to splash around at the local pool, to gather for a family BBQ, & to say goodbye to long summer days.... at least until next year. ;)

Honestly, I am always conflicted at this time of the year. A part of me hates to see summer end, but another part of me is ready for all things fall. In fact, I have a small confession to make to you all- I bought & ate a pumpkin pie blizzard yesterday (Gasp! Please tell me I am not the only one who has already broke down & did that, right? Right?). But I am also still whipping up summer-worthy salads like this tasty Basil BLT Panzanella Salad recipe that I am sharing with you all today...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Chunky Monkey Snack Mix

This Chunky Monkey Snack Mix is a crunchy mix of whole wheat chocolate grahams, organic banana chips, & satisfying walnuts. It is sure to quickly become a lunchbox & after school snack favorite...
This Chunky Monkey Snack Mix is a crunchy mix of whole wheat chocolate grahams, organic banana chips, & satisfying walnuts. It is sure to quickly become a lunchbox & after school snack favorite.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

I think that the start of a new school year gives us all the chance to do a little reset. We switch from our laid back summertime mode into a more structured back to school routine. My family & I also start to focus on getting back to eating healthier. I mean, I have to keep the kiddos (& myself!) ready to go & fueled for each school day. 

To help make this reset back to healthier eating more fun & a whole lot easier, I have enlisted the help of some of our favorite brands from the Natural Foods Department at our local Kroger. On my last shopping trip to Kroger, I picked up a box of Horizon Chocolate Snack Grahams, a package of Simple Truth Organic Banana Chips, & a bag of Simple Truth Walnut Halves & Pieces to whip up this super easy to make & 100% kid approved Chunky Monkey Snack Mix...