Cheers to Friday! The kids are off of school today and we are headed on a family trip to Niagara Falls. But first, we are squeezing in family pictures this morning! Wish me luck:) Today as usual, I am linking up with   Erika, Narci and Andrea. for Friday Favorites.  I’m wrapping up the week with some meal planning tips, home decor shopping finds and a review of a new kids cookbook!

Halloween Rae Dunn Finds #halloweendecor #hocuspocus #raedunnhalloween

Meal Planning 101

Earlier in the week, I shared some of my tips for family meal planning. The timing of this post was perfect as I have been feeling “off” from our meal planning game. It is so easy to slip off the dinner routine—traveling husband, busy evening with kids activities, sick kid…you name it!

Must have strategies to succeed at family dinner planning #momhacks #dinnerideas #organization #kids #family

Our evenings are so much more organized when we have a dinner game plan. I’ve gotten a few requests to share what our dinner menu looks like, so here is our plan for next week:

This week’s menu:

Sunday: Homemade Pizzas (This is a bit of a change from our normal dinner theme for Sundays but pizzas are one of the easiest, throw together meals for our family. I buy flat bread and then everyone can add their own toppings and perfect amounts of sauce and cheese!)

Monday: Mac and Cheese (my husband and I will not be home for dinner–so I am keeping it real!)

Tuesday: Chicken Tacos/Bowls

Wednesday: Eggs, Bacon and Cinnamon Rolls

Thursday:  Salmon, Pasta/Zoodles, Garlic Bread

Friday: Pizza

As I have mentioned, I am obsessed with Instacart! It saves me so much time. I will be ordering our groceries on our drive home from our trip on Sunday. We will have groceries delivered just minutes after we get home. Normally, the day we get home from a trip, we end up eating take out because we have nothing in our refrigerator and we are too tired to go to the grocery store!

Kid Chef Junior Cookbook Review

Speaking of food, I just received the new cookbook, Kid Chef Junior. This book was written by Anjali Shah, who also wrote Super Easy Baby Food. She is a board certified Health Coach who focuses on baby and child nutrition.

Kid Chef Junior is super easy to read and is filled with fun and healthy recipes! I like that this book grows with the child. Younger children will need assistance with most of these recipes but as the kids get older, many of these can be done on their own.

My five year old and I got right to work trying out some recipes. We made Alphabet Pretzel Sticks with Cheese Dip! We had all of the ingredients to make on hand–which is my kind of recipe!

Healthy After School Snack Ideas #easy #kids #homemade

I ended up prepping the dough before my son got home from school. Then when he came home, he got to roll out the dough and make the dough into letters and shapes!

Getting Kids to Help Cook #cookbooks #healthy #toddlers P.S. I love this red mat with measurements for baking! It comes in handy when we are making pizza dough, pie and bread! You can roll out your dough to the size needed. 

My little guy loved brushing the dough with butter and sprinkling on some salt.

These pretzels are perfect for an after school treat and we were sure to share with the older siblings when they got home!

Healthy Kids Cookbook Review #healthyeating #children #recipes #snacks

Is it just me or do you also flip to the back of a cookbook to see the dessert recipes?! Err…maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Brownies when the kids were at school. The recipe was a little healthier than your typical brownie with the addition of greek yogurt and applesauce plus there was less sugar!

Healthy Chocolate Dessert Recipe for Kids #kidfriendly #baking #homemade

I have to admit that these brownies were perfect with my morning coffee!!

There are a ton more recipes that I look forward to trying! This is a great starter cookbook for kids! It would make a perfect Christmas gift especially if paired with an apron or a few cooking tools:)

Kid Chef Junior was just released this week and is currently on sale!

This cookbook was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.

Christmas Home Decor Preview

I am still working on a wrap up on the mother-daughter shopping getaway. However, I wanted to share some of the home decor finds we spotted. Of all the stores we visited, Kirklands had the most Christmas decor of any!  I wanted to grab one of everything!

 I love all of the red buffalo patterns and I think the lanterns are so pretty!

Farmhouse Style Christmas Decor #inspiration #homedecor #buffalocheck #signs #pillows

These buffalo check garlands are so adorable! How pretty would these be for a Christmas tree or a mantle?

Buffalo Check Garland #chrismasdecor #homedecor #farmhousestyle

These signs seem Rae Dunn inspired! Kirklands does sell some Rae Dunn but these are not RD!

Rae Dunn Inspired Christmas Signs #kirklands #farmhouse #christmasdecor

Farmhouse Christmas Decor Inspiration #kirklands #homedecor #holidaydecor

These white and silver stems are so pretty!

Favorite Christmas Finds at Kirklands #decor #homedecor #christmasdecor

I love that rustic Santa painting and I think the red mailbox is adorable!

Christmas Farmhouse Decor #kirklands #christmasdecor #farmhousestyle

Do you think it is too early to think about Christmas?!


Despite all of these glimpses of Christmas, for now, I will enjoy all things fall! I hope you have a great weekend!

If you are a new visitor to the blog, thanks for popping by! Feel free to join me on FacebookInstagram and Bloglovin! Also, if you love all things Homegoods, Marshalls and other home decor stores, be sure to join our Homegoods Happy Facebook group!

Christmas Home Decor at Kirklands #farmhousedecor#christmasdecor #farmhousechristmas #holidaydecorating

Shabby Chic and Farmhouse Style Christmas Decor #decorations #cozy #ideas #holidaydecor



  1. Andrea Nine on October 12, 2018 at 5:45 am

    You lil guy making the pretzels is soooo sweet! Yep, your Kirkland’s has way more out than ours. The taste of all the goodness did get me excited for more. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Jaclyn on October 12, 2018 at 8:06 am

      That’s a bummer your Kirklands had less…although give it a week or two and I am sure every store will be decked for Christmas!

  2. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on October 12, 2018 at 6:54 am

    All of those Christmas decorations are making me so happy! We don’t have a Kirklands near us- can’t wait to get to Hobby Lobby though! Good luck with your pics- I am sure they will come out great! Have a BLAST in Niagara Falls-we went two years ago and we all had a ball- we did the Hornblower Cruise to the Falls which was awesome- we also spent a day over at Niagara on the Lake with the cutest shops and restaurants and had a picnic lunch right on the lake- incredible! Watermark Restaurant is the best place for dinner and overlooks the falls ….so fun at night as they light up the falls in different colors- enjoy Jaclyn!

    • Jaclyn on October 12, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Thank you for all of the NF tips!! We don’t have a Hobby Lobby near us so I feel you on Kirklands.

  3. Dara on October 12, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Kirkland’s has so much fun decor stuff. I could buy the whole store! The cookbook looks like a fun one! Have a great trip!

  4. Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate on October 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Hooray for a delicious dessert and such fun shopping! Hope your family photo shoot goes beautifully and you end up with pics you’ll cherish for a lifetime! Enjoy every bit of your family vacation!!

  5. Jenna on October 12, 2018 at 9:03 am

    I love that Kid Chef Jr kit, it looks like so much fun. I love when stores start bringing out Christmas decorations. I don’t think it’s too early. I wish we had a Kirklands. Happy Friday!

  6. Lauren on October 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I LOVEEEEE Kirklands at Christmas! Looks like it’s time to make a visit!

  7. Shannon on October 12, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Those brownies look delicious! The alphabet pretzels are so fun!! Great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.

    Kirklands always has the best decor! My paychecks should just be sent straight to them!

  8. Shannon on October 12, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Those brownies and pretzels look amazing! Kirklands always has the best decor!

  9. Amanda @ That Inspired Chick on October 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Oh all those Christmas decorations make me so happy!! I can’t WAIT!! Joining your FB group by the way! Sounds like my kind of group. 😉 I’ve got a Daily Deals FB group (there are links on my blog and in my post today) if anyone wants to join that. Happy Friday!!
    That Inspired Chick

  10. Casey on October 12, 2018 at 10:23 am

    All the food you posted has me drooling – especially those brownies!

  11. Heather Gilbert on October 12, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I freaking love Kirklands! They have the best finds ever!

  12. Danica on October 12, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I could definitely use hello with my meal planning. Thanks for the great ideas!

  13. Jennifer on October 12, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I love breakfast for dinner! So easy I can almost make it on auto pilot! I can’t wait for Christmas Decor, so I loved that you added a section to spark my mind in that direction!

  14. jenna | the urben life on October 12, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Ah I love your cute mugs and holiday decor!! I need to start decorating our house 🙂 Thanks for the inspo!

  15. shan on October 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Again, your posts inspire me to get decorating and in the kitchen. Love it. The fall corner in your kitchen is adorable and those brownies!!! Keep it up! 😉

  16. Julie Plagens on October 12, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    I love the pretzel and cheese. I love that you are making them together. That is so sweet.

  17. Amanda on October 13, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Those pretzels would be the perfect weekend “learning” gig for my son! Hurricane Michael came through and left us without power and with a huge mess – I took the kids to Walmart (they had their generators going strong!) and they spent time looking at the Christmas decor – so I can totally appreciate your Christmas entry in this post! Have fun at the falls!

  18. Denise on October 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Those alphabet pretzel sticks were just awesome! Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. Cassie on October 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Such cute decor! I’ve got to stay away or I’ll overspend! Brownies and coffee sound so lovely <3

  20. Samantha on October 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I love all those Christmas decorations! I really need to up my decor this season.

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