Fun and Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Lunch for Kids

A super easy, healthy St. Patrick’s Day lunch for kids that doesn’t require any craftiness or special tools.

A fun St. Patrick's Day lunch for kids that's also fast and easy. No creativity required!

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I get really excited about packing fun holiday-themed lunches for my kids to take to school. I find all sorts of ideas on Pinterest and have the best intentions.

Then I remember that I don’t have the cookie cutters, food-safe markers, or (let’s be honest) the desire to spend a ton of time on school lunches.

I genuinely admire all the fabulous mamas who pack these super creative lunches. But I don’t feel the need to hold myself to that same standard when it doesn’t really bring me joy. So I’m Marie Kondo-ing that biz and getting on with life.

Instead, I came up with a super simple St. Patrick’s Day kids lunch that anyone can make, even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body!

A fun St. Patrick's Day lunch for kids that's also fast and easy. No creativity required!

Whole grain noodles with pesto and chicken are a tasty and filling option for lunch. PLUS pesto is already green! This is also a great non-sandwich option for anyone whose kids are as sick of pb&j as mine are 😉

The rainbow fruit salad was the most complicated part and that’s only because I wanted all the colors to show. Otherwise it’s as simple as cutting up fruit. You could even opt for all green fruit (kiwi, grapes, melon, etc), but I think the rainbow colors are extra fun.

Vanilla Greek yogurt with some green sprinkles could not be easier. I bought a variety pack of sprinkles so you could use this idea for basically any holiday.

A fun St. Patrick's Day lunch for kids that's also fast and easy. No creativity required!

We use the Panino lunch box by Yumbox (you can find it here) and we love it. It’s cute, sturdy, and most importantly, leakproof. Food never leaks into other compartments, which is key if you’re packing something like yogurt or applesauce.

The inner tray is top-rack dishwasher safe and the outer tray is quick to hand wash. My one recommendation is to buy an extra inner tray because it’s kind of a pain to wash by hand. (This isn’t a sponsored post; we just really like the Yumbox.)

So now you’ve got a fun and healthy St. Patrick’s Day lunch for kids that anyone can make. No creativity required!

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7 Fantastic Sources for Affordable Holiday Decor

With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been pulling out our seasonal decor and pinning loads of new inspiration photos. If you’re anything like me, you already have a healthy stash of holiday supplies. I try to use what we have first, but it’s always fun to pick up a couple new things to add to our home’s festive feel. I don’t want to break our budget with new seasonal accessories so here are seven of my favorite places to find affordable holiday decor.

Decorate for the holidays without breaking your budget. Here are my 7 favorite sources for affordable holiday decor.

Target

This is an obvious one right?! I love Target’s dollar section for super affordable holiday items. They’ve really upped their dollar spot game over the past couple years and there are loads of cute accessories to be found in the $1-5 range. The trick is to shop early because the good stuff sells out fast. 

Homegoods

I adore Homegoods all year round, but particularly during the holiday season. They carry a range of decor that fits most budgets. I always find cute wrapping paper and party supplies. Aside from home decor, they also have some great gift options. Last year I packaged their Christmas baking mixes, cookie cutters and holiday tea towels into DIY gift baskets for some of our family friends.

TJ Maxx/Marshall’s

Both TJ Maxx and Marshall’s have smaller seasonal sections than Homegoods, but I find a lot of smaller accessory-type items that generally cost less than $15. It’s a good source for tabletop decor, centerpiece items, bookcase decor, etc.

Dollar Store

This one goes by many names, but whatever your local store is called, it’s sure to have some good holiday finds. A lot of the actual decorations can be a little cheesey or flimsy, but they always have standard ball ornaments and other elements like vases or jars for creating your own seasonal decor. It’s hard to beat a vase for a dollar!

Hobby Lobby

We just got a Hobby Lobby in our area last year and it’s insane how many options they have. To be honest, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed when I go in, but they do have great prices! You can find even better deals when they do post-holiday markdowns. It’s a great time to grab some items for next year at super affordable prices.

Michael’s

Michael’s has started carrying a lot more cute decor in the past few years, although they still have plenty of craft items for making your own if you prefer. Grab the free Michael’s app to get instant access to weekly coupons to save even more on decor that is often already on sale. Don’t wait too long as they typically transition to the next holiday on the early side.

Amazon

One of the best online options for holiday decor, Amazon has a literally endless selection so it’s best to search for a specific item if you don’t want to lose track of your day! Take advantage of Amazon Prime to get those fun new decor items shipped for free in just two days (also great for last minute Christmas shopping… not that I ever wait until the last minute.)

Where are your favorite places to find holiday decor??

 

{Linking to the Inspiration Gallery}

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Fall Porch Decor & A Mini Tutorial

Halloween is over and most of the stores are jam-packed full of Christmas decor now, but I’m not quite ready to roll out the garland and ornaments quite yet. Fall decor feels more appropriate for the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Yesterday I showed off our fun Halloween set-up; I’m still patting myself on the back for coming up with the pirate ship idea 🙂 Today I want to share our festive fall porch.

After Halloween, I ditched the skeleton and brought our front doorstep back to regular fall status. We had a couple smaller pumpkins leftover so I left them for now. With just a few simple and inexpensive items, we now have a lovely and welcoming front stoop.

fall porch decor

The wreath was $3 from Walmart about three years ago and has been used over and over. I bought the strands of berries last year and just attached them with some brown thread. The white planter is something I found in the Ballard Designs catalog for around $129. It’s gorgeous, but there’s no way I can spend that much for a square wood planter. I found this unfinished planter box at Home Depot for $20.

unfinished-planter-box

I sanded the entire outside and inner edge with medium grit sandpaper, then gave it a good coat of Zinser oil-based primer to help it withstand the extreme San Diego weather. A final coat of white paint leftover from the exterior trim on our house and it was all ready for showtime.

How do you decorate between Halloween and Thanksgiving??    

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Fall Mantel

As I mentioned last week, I’ve got some serious fall fever going on and I’ve been itching to pull out the fall decor. When the temp is hovering near 100, it seems a little silly to be putting out pumpkins, but today I finally caved and put together a fall mantel.

Since our renovation, the wall above our mantel is now home to a 55″ flatscreen so it’s a little more challenging to decorate than before. We used to have a wrought-iron Pottery Barn candleholder hanging above the mantel that allowed more space for decor on the mantel itself.

Now that we’ve changed things up, I have to be careful that whatever is on the mantel is either to the side or below the tv so that the swivel arm is functional. It’s great for being able to watch football while you’re prepping in the kitchen, but makes it much harder to choose decor for the mantel.

Fall Mantel: First Pass

fall mantel decor

fall mantel decor

After looking at these pictures for a while, the mantel was feeling a little too sparse. I shifted everything toward the center a bit and added some fall foliage from Michaels. I’m much happier with the new version.

Take 2: Adding color

fall mantel decor

I’m not ready for pumpkins yet. Instead I added warmer tones and some texture with grapevine wreaths, pine cones, and corn kernels.

fall mantel decor

book page decor

Remember the book pillars from this Pinspiration post?? I followed Kelly’s tutorial found here and did some serious page-folding while I was stuck in bed because of my back last week.

fall decor

You would never know that this tray is actually a wall-hanging that says “friend me” on the other side! It was a steal I found at Homegoods and works perfectly as a small tray for the mantel.
fall mantel decor

I kept the book bundle and the lantern from the summer mantel, adding a miniature grapevine wreath from the dollar section at Target. The candle holder was a little spray paint job I did this summer.

What is your favorite way to bring fall decor into your home?

 

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Summer Mantel

One thing I love about spring and summer is the chance to introduce brighter color into our home. My overall decor scheme is mostly neutral so it’s fun to add pops of bold color sometimes.

Summer is a great time to add pops of color to a neutral decor scheme.

The mantel is a new point of struggle for me. When we did our kitchen renovation, we exchanged our giant dinosaur tv for a sweet new flatscreen. Hanging the tv above the fireplace is the only logical spot based on the new arrangement of furniture. Our living room is very open, but kind of spatially awkward. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but right now I’m trying to work with what I have.

The new tv is fun but also pretty darn big. It hangs on a large swivel arm so that it can face the kitchen. The whole contraption including the tv itself is pretty thin so it sits fairly close to the wall but it still takes up a lot of wall space! I struggle with decorating the mantel because of the height and space constraints.

Easy ways to add summer decor to your mantel.

The little pot was also from the Home Depot and cost just a few dollars. It’s a fun spring green and brings in some fun color. I already had the lantern, and I made the book bundle by covering a few old paperbacks with paper bags and twine.

Easy ways to add summer decor to your mantel.

My sweet girl helped me choose some summery house plants and insisted on at least one being pink! I found the basket at TJ Maxx, intending to put it in our guest bath, but apparently I was thinking of someone else’s bathroom when I was shopping because the colors didn’t work at all. The basket fills in this side of the mantel with a little color and also a little texture. I think it was $8. So for about $20, I have a summery and colorful mantel to greet our guests this weekend.

How would you decorate the mantel while avoiding the tv??

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