Frugal Foodie Mama

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

5 Festive Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh During the Holidays

Twinkling lights, holiday magic, and festive family fun await you & your family this holiday season in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...
Twinkling lights, holiday magic, and festive family fun await you & your family this holiday season in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This post was created in partnership with Visit Pittsburgh. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

I have spent most of my life living 2 hours or less from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and never once in that 30+ years did I visit the Steel City just to take in the sights & the sounds of the holiday season. To shop at the malls for holiday gifts? Yes. But we had never took the time to go and see the twinkling lights at Kennywood, or to take in the wonder of the season at Phipps Conservatory, or to try our luck at ice skating downtown. That is, of course, until a couple of weeks ago. ;)

Let me just start by saying that we have been missing out! I don't know how many times during our most recent visit to Pittsburgh (aka, Kidsburgh) that I turned and looked at my husband & asked him why we have never taken the kids to the city do all of these fun & festive things during the holidays before? Pittsburgh becomes something so much more during the holidays than just a former steel town, a home to major league sport teams, the point where the Allegheny, Monongahela, & Ohio Rivers meet. During the holiday season, the city becomes a magical place alive with the spirit of holiday wonder.

Although there is so much to do during the holidays in Pittsburgh, I am sharing with you all my top 5 festive reasons to visit the Steel City during the holidays in today's post...

Friday, December 8, 2017

12 Fun & Festive Cocktails for Christmas

Keep your spirits merry & bright this holiday season with these 12 Fun & Festive Cocktails for Christmas...
Keep your spirits merry & bright this holiday season with these 12 Fun & Festive Cocktails for Christmas.

Since Christmas is just a little over two weeks away (OMGEE!), let's list all of the reasons why you just might want to have a few fun & festive cocktail recipes on hand- shall we? ;)
  • Christmas tree decorating happens to be just a tad more fun with a bubbly cocktail in hand. (Truth.)
  • You decide to throw a last minute holiday cocktail party for friends & want to make a boozy drink or two that is sure to impress.
  • You just came back from a full day of Christmas gift shopping (the crowds, the lines, the fight for a parking space, the mounting credit card bills- ahhhhhh!), & you need a serious, yet festive drink to unwind with. Because we are certainly not going to let the hustle & bustle of that crazy busy mall dial down our holiday spirit- am I right?? ;)
  • Christmas cookie baking is always a little more merrier while sipping on a holiday inspired libation.
  • The kids have tore into all of their presents, the extended has family has left, & all you want to do is curl up on the couch by the twinkling lights of the tree & watch A Christmas Story for the umpteenth time Christmas day. And having a festive cocktail in hand certainly wouldn't hurt too.
There are probably at least 100 more reasons I could list as to why this collection of 12 Fun & Festive Cocktails for Christmas will become your go-to this holiday season, but I think you all are getting the gist of it. Whether you are looking to unwind from the craziness of the holidays or you are planning to throw the Christmas party that everyone will be talking about the next day or maybe you just need a little something-something to get your through the overload of family (& maybe in-laws ;) ), I got you covered with these holiday perfect cocktails I am sharing with you all below...

Friday, December 1, 2017

Why Grapevine, Texas Should Be on Your Holiday Travel List

If you haven't considered Grapevine, Texas as a family holiday destination before, then you definitely need to check out these reasons why the Christmas Capitol of Texas should be at the top of your holiday travel list...
If you haven't considered Grapevine, Texas as a family holiday destination before, then you definitely need to check out these reasons why the Christmas Capitol of Texas should be at the top of your holiday travel list.
This post was created in partnership with GrapevineTexasUSA. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

When it comes to making travel plans for the holidays, I know that Texas may not be the first destination that comes to mind. I mean, we usually think of snow and maybe a cabin with a roaring fireplace in the mountains when we start thinking about planning an escape from the usual Christmas festivities. But today I am going to share with you all the very reason why the Lone Star state should be at the top of your holiday destination list this year- Grapevine, aka the Christmas Capitol of Texas

I had the pleasure of visiting Grapevine near the beginning of last month just as they had started to gear up for their annual 40+ days of over 1400 holiday events. The entire historic downtown area had been transformed into a festive wonderland of lights, wreaths, & evergreen garlands. All the shops along Main Street were already getting into the swing of the hustle & bustle of holiday shopping. And this was during the first week in November, folks. Grapevine doesn't play when it comes to Christmas. I mean, you certainly don't earn the title of the Christmas Capitol of Texas by not going all in, am I right? ;)

There are hundreds of reasons why Grapevine, Texas is the perfect family holiday vacation spot, but I can't possibly cover them all in this post. You all might be reading this for days if I did attempt that. However, I will share with you all my top picks of what to do when visiting Grapevine with your family during the months of November & December starting with my personal favorite- a visit to the Gaylord Texan Resort... 

Monday, November 20, 2017

15 Foodie Gifts for the Star Wars Fan

Whether you are a huge Star Wars fan yourself or you happen to have one on your holiday gift list this year, you are going to love this collection of 15 Foodie Gifts for the Star Wars Fan...
Whether you are a huge Star Wars fan yourself or you happen to have one on your holiday gift list this year, you are going to love this collection of 15 foodie gifts for the Star Wars fan.
This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website.

Who else is excited as I am for the release of The Last Jedi next month?
Having been born in the late 70's, I grew up watching the Star Wars trilogy. The heroic tales of Princess Leia, Luke, Han Solo, & Chewbacca were intertwined throughout my childhood. 

In the late 90's, the Star Wars trilogy was revisited & remastered and I anxiously awaited the release of each one at the movie theaters. Then in the mid-2000's came the prequels. We finally had the back story of Luke & Leia's parents. We found out how Darth Vader came to be. It was revealed just why Obi-Wan & Yoda went into seclusion. And we also got a few things that we didn't bargain for or ask for (ahem.. Jar Jar Binks, lol). 

Fast forward to 2015, and we now have a whole new generation being introduced to the magic of Star Wars. I took my daughter to the theater to see both The Force Awakens & Rogue One, and we are already making plans to see The Last Jedi in a few weeks. 

Whether you are a huge Star Wars fan like myself or you happen to have one on your holiday gift list this year, you are going to love this collection of 15 foodie gifts for the Star Wars fan! I mean, what hard core Star Wars fan & foodie isn't going to love a pair of light saber chopsticks or Death Star shaped waffles?? ;)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pumpkin Ginger Shandy

This quick and easy two ingredient Pumpkin Ginger Shandy is the perfect cocktail for fall or Thanksgiving entertaining...
This quick and easy two ingredient Pumpkin Ginger Shandy is the perfect cocktail for fall or Thanksgiving entertaining.

When it comes to Thanksgiving entertaining, I am all about keeping things easy. I have hosted dinner for my family almost every year for the past five years, so I definitely have a system down by now that keeps my Thanksgiving morning running smoothly and virtually stress free. 

The house is cleaned top to bottom by the whole family the day or two before Thanksgiving. Pies get baked the day before. I break out both of my slow cookers to prepare side dishes so I can keep the oven free for the real star of the Thanksgiving dinner table. 

The only thing I really have to worry about the day of the big dinner is roasting the turkey. Keeping our annual family Thanksgiving dinners fuss free and simple makes the turkey day more enjoyable for not only the guests, but for the dinner hostess as well. ;) Even the cocktail I will be serving to my dinner guests this year will be quick and easy, requiring only two simple ingredients to make!

Friday, November 3, 2017

25 Cozy Chai Spiced Recipes for Fall

Enjoy the warm & comforting blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, & cloves in these 25 Cozy Chai Spiced Recipes for Fall...
Enjoy the warm & comforting blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, & cloves in these 25 Cozy Chai Spiced Recipes for Fall.

I know that when most of you all think of chai spices that you automatically think of lattes, but this warm & toasty blend of spices is absolutely amazing in some of your favorite fall recipes as well. Chai spices make the perfect addition to soft & fluffy cinnamon rolls, warm & cozy cocktails, perfectly spiced desserts, and so much more. The spicy & comforting blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, & a touch of black pepper complements your favorite flavors of fall (think apple, pumpkin, pears, even chocolate) perfectly.

Each & every fall, I whip up a jar of my DIY Chai Spice Mix & use it in place of just plain ole cinnamon for the entire season. I sprinkle it over toast with butter & a little sugar. I add a teaspoon of it into pancake & waffle batter. I stir a little bit of it into into my morning oatmeal. This warm blend of spices instantly gives everything a tasty fall makeover. This DIY spice blend will also work perfectly in each of these 25 cozy chai spiced recipes for fall that I am sharing with you all today. :)

From breakfast to dessert to happy hour, I got you covered with the most cozy & comforting chai spiced recipes to enjoy all throughout fall & the holidays...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Apple Chai Mug Cakes for Two

Brimming with chunks of fresh apple & warm chai spices, these Apple Chai Mug Cakes for Two are ready in less than 10 minutes...
Brimming with chunks of fresh apple & warm chai spices, these Apple Chai Mug Cakes for Two are ready in less than 10 minutes.

Have I ever mentioned to you all that fall happens to be my favorite season of the year? (I am pretty sure you guys have probably heard about my love of all things autumn at least a hundred times since I started this blog, but humor me, okay? ;) ) One of my favorite fall family traditions is our annual pilgrimage to a farm/apple orchard/pumpkin patch in Pennsylvania to go apple & pumpkin picking. We have been going to this very same farm each October for 6 years now. In fact, my daughter's first visit there is while she was still in utero. 

Flash forward 6 years later to the weekend before last when we once again visited our favorite farm to go apple picking. Except this time my sweet daughter happens to be smack dab in the middle of the Ferocious Fives. I am not even sure that the ferocious fives is technically a thing, but let me tell you all that my husband & I experienced the full brunt of it's wrath a couple of Sundays ago. And if it isn't already a thing, it totally should be. 

I won't get into all of the sordid details, but let's just say that we ended up leaving after only being there for an hour with my daughter screaming bloody murder the whole way back to the car. Did I mention that this farm is an hour & a half drive away? Yep.