Frugal Foodie Mama

Monday, August 14, 2017

10 Dorm Room Must-Haves

From organization to comfort to space saving, these are the 10 must-haves for every college dorm room...
From organization to comfort to space saving, these are the 10 must-haves for every college dorm room.

This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website.

Okay, okay... I will admit it. I may be freaking out just a little over the fact that my son, my oldest "baby" is moving into his dorm & getting ready to start his college career this coming weekend. While I know I will most definitely worry about him & the house will for sure feel a little emptier, I am also excited for him. Excited for him to test out the waters of being on his own for the first time. Excited for him to start discovering who he really is as his own person. And excited for the path he is pursuing with the start of his college education in computer science.

We have been pretty busy over the past few weeks gathering together all of the essentials he will need for the dorm room he will be sharing with a roommate. These essentials will not only help his dorm room become his home away from home, but will also provide him with a little of his own space within his less than spacious accommodations for the next year. ;) From organization to comfort to space saving, this is our list of 10 Dorm Room Must-Haves...

Friday, August 11, 2017

3 Simple Steps for Creating Summer "Me Time"

It is easy to create quality time for yourself with these 3 Simple Steps for Creating Summer "Me Time"...
It is easy to create quality time for yourself with these 3 Simple Steps for Creating Summer "Me Time".
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, and Southern Living®. The opinions and text are all mine.


While I definitely look forward to the kiddos' summer break each year, it also means that I have to be more creative with sneaking in little moments of "me time" each week. During the school year, I get at least 6 hours of full blown "me time" at least four days a week. But summers get trickier with my youngest being at home with me 24/7 every day but one day out of the week.

Giving up my "me time" during the summer months is definitely not an option. We all need to create a little time for ourselves each week to get re-centered, focused, & motivated. It's essential to my sanity and to my role as a mother, wife, homemaker, and full time food & travel blogger that also happens to work at home. It can be difficult to "get away" and recharge when you are always "clocked in" mentally. 

So how do I find quality "me time" during the non-stop busyness of the summer months? It doesn't have to be elaborate or time consuming or require hiring a sitter. I keep it easy with these 3 simple steps...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Banana Split Greek Yogurt Pancakes

These tasty & filling Banana Split Greek Yogurt Pancakes are chock full of low fat Greek yogurt & milk...
These tasty & filling Banana Split Greek Yogurt Pancakes are chock full of low fat Greek yogurt & milk.
This dairy packed recipe was created in partnership with the ADA Mideast. As always, all thoughts & opinions expressed below are 100% my own.

I am finding it hard to believe that it is that time of the year again- back to school! Backpacks have been picked out & purchased. The school supply list has been checked off. And we are starting to ease back into that school year routine. Another way I am getting ready for the start of the school year is to start compiling a rotation of healthy breakfast recipes with staying power. The easiest way to do that? Making sure that each of these recipes are packed with protein powered dairy like these Banana Split Greek Yogurt Pancakes I am sharing with you all today.

Not only are dairy foods a quick & budget friendly way to keep your kiddos fueled and ready to go throughout the day, but each serving also happens to contain 9 essential nutrients & 8 grams of high quality protein. Experts recommend that we get in at least 3 servings of low fat or fat-free dairy (think a glass of milk, a yogurt cup, a cheese stick, etc.) every day, but most of us need an extra serving each day to meet the daily nutritional recommendations. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Easy Chicken Puttanesca Penne

You only need 30 minutes & 5 simple ingredients to whip up this family-pleasing Easy Chicken Puttanesca Sauce on a busy weeknight...
You only need 30 minutes & 5 simple ingredients to whip up this family-pleasing Easy Chicken Puttanesca Sauce on a busy weeknight.
This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla, Walmart, & No Kid Hungry. All opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Is anyone else's head spinning from the fact that back to school is just a few short weeks away? And for some of you all, the first day of school has already come and gone! (<<My mind is still blown over that one.) 

While I am definitely looking forward to reclaiming my 6 hours of kid-free time on the weekdays, I am also a little sad that summer break is almost over. We had all these grand plans for this summer, but a few things (like that promised weekend camping trip in a tent) didn't get crossed off the family checklist this time around. That seems to happen just about every summer, right?

But now I am getting ready to switch gears from a summer break bucket list to all of those checklists that come with the beginning of a new school year. The school supply list, checking off all that required paperwork that has been signed in and turned in for kindergarten registration, shopping for the necessary back to school clothes, dorm room essentials, and last but certainly not least- weeknight meal planning

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Refrigerator Baby Garlic Dill Pickles

These Refrigerator Baby Garlic Dill Pickles are perfectly crisp & crunchy with an amazing garlic flavor and just a little hint of heat...
These Refrigerator Baby Garlic Dill Pickles are perfectly crisp & crunchy with an amazing garlic flavor and just a little hint of heat.

One thing that my family & I just love is a good, crunchy dill pickle. We love them even better when they are garlicky with a little kick of heat. While we can always go for a jar of store bought kosher dills, I have been trying for over two summers now to come up with the perfect homemade dill pickle recipe. Last summer, I failed. This summer, I finally achieved crunchy success! :)

I have tested many the dill pickle recipe- from spears to slices- but none of them were ever quite what I was looking for. Last month I came across this recipe for Quick & Easy Dill Pickles from Once Upon A Chef. I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe to adapt it for whole baby cucumbers and to bump up the garlic factor, but other than that I didn't make too many changes to the original recipe. (If you are more into pickle spears, then definitely click over to get her recipe.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins

These super moist & dense Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins are the perfect way to use up that summer zucchini...
These super moist & dense Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins are the perfect way to use up that summer zucchini.

I think by now you all know how much I love sneaking hidden veggies into the meals & sweet treats that I serve to my unsuspecting family. ;) I mean, it really isn't necessary for me to hide the healthy green stuff from my 5 year old daughter- she loves all the veggies. In fact, she spent her own money to buy fresh beets from the local farmers market last weekend. So nope, it is not the youngest that I have to hide the vegetables from as many would assume. It is my adult husband & my grown son who turn up their noses at most anything green or leafy.

So what to do I do? I stoop to stuffing those vegetables into decadent, chocolaty treats like these Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins I am sharing with you all today. And no one is the wiser (well, except for my daughter who helped me bake these ;) ). 

Friday, July 21, 2017

5 Essentials for Your Road Trip Survival Kit

Ensure the survival of everyone's sanity in the car on your next family road trip with these 5 Essentials for Your Road Trip Survival Kit...
Ensure the survival of everyone's sanity in the car on your next family road trip with these 5 Essentials for Your Road Trip Survival Kit.
This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

We are gearing up for our last big family road trip of the summer & heading to the Midwest next week (Be sure to give me on a follow on Instagram to discover exactly where we will be traveling to & to follow along with our travel adventures!). Our hotel rooms are booked, the route to our destinations have been plugged into the GPS, our itineraries are just about finalized, & I am starting to throw together our road trip survival kit. And yes, I said survival. Because it is ALL about the survival of everyone's sanity when there is a restless 5 year old in the backseat. ;)

In addition to the usual road trip must-haves (think coloring books & crayons, snacks, water bottles, headphones for each member of the family, etc.), I will also be adding the 5 essentials listed below to my family's road trip survival kit...