Pumpkin Carving Snacks

It’s that time of year when the evenings are cool, the orange and purple lights are hung, and the kids are amped up on sugar. These are the days leading up to our first fall holiday, Halloween. Perhaps you and your family are gearing up to hold a night of pumpkin carving to celebrate.

A few nights ago, we had a pumpkin carving design session where we started to scope out what we’d like to do with pumpkins this year. I ordered some pumpkin carving snacks to enjoy while we created our project list of tools, designs, and “just the right” pumpkin. (More to come on this!)

fall cake pops

Cake pops are always a favorite in our house.

And not that the kids need more sugar, but I couldn’t resist but get these cookies for the kids. How cute are the Frankenstein and mummy?

fall cookies

Do you have a pumpkin carving tradition with your family? What pumpkin carving snacks would you pick? If you’re looking for some snacks while pumpkin carving (whether you’re having a party or just turning your kids’ drawings into the block’s spookiest jack-o-lantern), check out Sheri’s Berries for fall treat ideas that can be delivered to your door on the day of your carving.

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Vegetable Chili with Kale and Quinoa

There is no denying that the days are getting colder and darker. These are the kind of days that our family loves to enjoy eating a bowl of piping hot chili while under a comfy blanket and watching a good movie. You? Recently Hormel sent me a recipe for Vegetable Chili with Kale and Quinoa, a healthy alternative to your standard chili recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious, so I decided to share it with you.

Vegetable Chili with Kale and Quinoa

photo courtesy Hormel

Vegetable Chili with Kale and Quinoa

Makes 8-10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans HORMEL® chili
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale


  1. In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Sauté onion, carrot and celery 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in zucchini and next 3 ingredients and sauté 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in chili, quinoa and kale and simmer 15 minutes.

Enjoy! xoxo


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SoulKix Custom Shoes

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post is brought to you by SoulKix.

It’s no secret that Greg and I like our shoes. Recently, our shoe game was upped big time. Our “secret” would be custom shoes from SoulKix. We both ordered pairs that spoke to our passions and have made for plenty of conversation starters.

soulkix logo

First up, Greg customized a pair of SoulKix with his favorite collegiate team, the Clemson Tigers. An uploaded logo, some previews, and boom!

clemson soulkix

They’ve been a great addition to his Clemson game day wardrobe and have taken to the top of his shoe collection. (wink)


I decided that since I needed comfy shoes for Dreamforce, I’d customize mine for the event with the Salesforce logo. (I’ll also be able to wear them to work, but they got broken in while stepping all over Sam Francisco last week.) Evan was pretty excited how “Sales + force = Salesforce” – my lil’ reader!

salesforce soulkix

The number of comments I got on them and people I was able to tell about this custom shoe brand was incredible. We’re in an “about me” society, so the concept of  personalizing everything is huge. With SoulKix, you take your creativity, put it on the shoe canvas, and SoulKix prints it. It’s really that simple.


While I’m super in love with my conversation starters, I’m even more in love with how comfortable they are. The foot bed is incredibly comfortable and has molded well to our feet. I didn’t blister on my heels even after a week of walking almost 20,000 steps a day. They’re THAT comfy.

About SoulKix:

  • Our shoes come in a bag that has been made of recycled materials and can be reused for almost anything which is why we say Think Outside The Shoebox.
  • For every pair of SoulKix purchased, we donate the equivalent to a pair of shoes to our partners Soles4Souls. They then provide shoes to those in parts of the world that are less fortunate.
  • We have over 500 celebrities, athletes, musicians and actors wearing SoulKix.

We’ve already inspired a pair of custom Kix, and have some ideas of shoes for Ari and Evan. What would YOU get on your SoulKix?


Connect with SoulKix on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Eight years Old

Wishing our biggest Big a very happy birthday today. I know I can’t believe she is eight years old, can you? 

Daddy’s Biggest Fan

I’d seriously love to know where the time has gone. When I woke Greg up early this morning eight years old, neither of us had a clue how she’d change our lives. 

Our littlest biggest decision is what started this amazing family. We celebrate that with her today and all days. She made time stand still. Greg and I learned true love through her. We both fell in love with this little girl sent to save us both. 

Arianna continues to be my biggest challenge, my biggest blessing, and my mini me. Something tells me this isn’t going to change any time soon…and that is quite alright. 

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. Can’t wait to celebrate with you when I’m back home. Daddy, spoil our sweetie lots today! Xoxo.

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Gerber Lil’ Beanies for the (Twin) Win-Win

Hey there. We’re the ‘lil Burghers twins and of course we do everything exactly alike. You know. How twins do. We’re best at eating all of our meats, fruits and veggies and Gerber snacks.


Believe them? Ha! We’ve been struggling with getting both twins to eat like they should. Ava loves meats. Isla loves carbs. They both are “eh” about getting in all of their fruits and veggies. They both love some snacks.

Ever since birth, I’ve been keeping my eye on their nutrition. Not to keep them from having weight gain issues, but the exact opposite. Most of you probably remember when they were “failure to thrive”, measuring in the first (and less) percentile of weight for their age. That was some scary times. So it’s no surprise that when I see them throwing food around, I get a little cranky.

Luckily, they both love some snacks. Tricking them into getting their veggies and other key nutrients in through snacks has made for a win-win situation. We introduced Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ and now they get goodness from this snack made from navy beans. For the twins, this means flavor and nutrition. For mom, it means I get to say yes to the twins more often when they beg for a “nack”.

Take for instance when we went to Target to grab some supplies for our upcoming vacation. We knew the Gerber Lil’ Beanies™ would be perfect for a road trip snack, but the girls thought that the road trip was right then and there and didn’t understand why they couldn’t just dig in and eat up. There might just have been a mini meltdown in the baby aisle.

lil beanies

We grabbed two flavors, both equally loved by the girls. Isla was ready to chow down on the Original while Ava was begging for the White Cheddar & Broccoli to open itself and get in her belly.

toddler snacks

It was so mean of us to make them wait until they got home, huh?


We know that good things come in twos, so we’re sharing a way for you to get a discount on your next Target purchase of Gerber Lil’ Beanies™. First, you’ll need to login to iBotta and grab up this offer to earn cash back on the purchase of Lil’ Beanies™ (while supplies last). Next, head out to your local Target. Find the baby aisle (in ours, we always forget that baby food and diapers are up front and not with baby furniture and clothes) and look for these cans of win-win choices. Your toddler will thank you and you’ll feel better about giving into the ‘nack. (Oh, and after you check out, be sure to go back to iBotta and submit your purchase so you get that cash back! Win-win!)



About Lil’ Beanies (information from Gerber):

The first bean-based snack in the baby aisle, Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ is made from the goodness of navy beans to deliver 2 grams of protein (9% Daily Value), 1 gram of fiber, and 10% Daily Value of Vitamin E per serving. A delicious and nutritious treat, your little ones will love it for its taste and you’ll love it for its nutrition. Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ Snack is baked, not made with genetically engineered (GM) ingredients, and is naturally flavored!

We’ll just be over here, enjoying our snacks! xoxo, Ava & Isla

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Keep Her Safer

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post, Keep Her Safer, is one such post.

Name a woman, any woman. Why did you pick her? I’m going to guess because she’s important to you. And because she’s important to you, I’m going to guess that (if you’re like most people I know), you’d do anything to defend her and keep her from getting hurt, yes?

But what about when she’s out and about on her own? Not that being a woman is a weakness, but sometimes we women do need to protect ourselves. Since Greg and I have decided the combination of my past, my Irish temper, the world we live in, and the kids do not equal a good idea for me to carry, he had to find a way to “keep her safer”.

keep her safer

I was introduced to Finder’s Keypurse, a product I thought was simply a great way to not lose my keys in the large bags I tend to carry. What I didn’t realize was that this product is not only a timesaver, but also could be a lifesaver for a woman in distress.

Perhaps I need to grab my keys fast because it’s raining and I have the kids with me. With my Finder’s Keypurse, they are right there, ready to be used. Or maybe I’m leaving the office in the late evening and the walk to the garage is a little shady. My keys are ready and easily grasped.

finder's key purse

But I’ve taken it one step further than just having the car keys there. I’ve started to carry a pepper spray, part of the Isn’t That Clever Keep Her Safer line. Why pepper spray? It’s a great way to be prepared (self-defense) and could literally save my life.

It’s a sad fact, but I don’t always feel safe while running on the trail behind my house. A few months back, a thirteen-year-old was beat up by bullies just a few blocks away. It’s a known fact that my town has other issues which also end up on the trail, too. Running at the hours I usually need to isn’t so fun, especially since I’m still working on getting my speed back. Having my pepper spray with me has definitely helped put me at ease.

pepper spray

I suggest heading over to Isn’t That Clever and checking out not only the Finder’s Keypurse but also the Keep Her Safer line. For less than $10, you can put that important person in your life in a little bit of a safer position.

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Whiffer Sniffers

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. (We received Whiffer Sniffers in exchange for this post.)

Take me back to the 80s! Who else LOVED scratch ‘n sniff stickers and all the things? When I found out about Whiffer Sniffers, I was taken right back to the 80s. These delightful characters are unique additions to your kids’ toy collection and will be ones you won’t mind having around the house.

whiffer sniffers

What is a Whiffer Sniffer? They are collectible toys (currently with three series released) that include backpack clips, a large huggable plush, and scratch ‘n sniff stickers. What’s special about them? They smell amazing (well, most of them, as you’ll see in our video), and hold their smell even after being played with. (Our large plush still has her sweet smell of caramel apple even after Ava’s tried to sink her teeth into it a few times.)

Do they really smell? They sure do! The toys are characters based on their scents. We love Chunky Chuck, who smells like Chocolate Chip Cookies! (yum!) They should keep their scents for about a year.

What do the kids think? Well, check this surprise sniffing and find out!

What’s up with the three series? Each series brings a new scent to your world. As they grow in popularity, the series will get limited availability (like the Series 1 S’mores is out-of-stock!), so you’ll have limited edition collectibles on your hands when you act fast and grab your favorite scent (anyone up for a Series 1 Dilly Yo?).

Where can we learn more and get our own Whiffer Sniffers? Check out their website as well as social media like Twitter and Instagram. You can buy the Whiffer Sniffers right on their website! (I’m hoping to grab up a Series 3 Ken D. Corn – can you guess what he smells like? Or maybe you want to surprise your kids with a MYSTERY PACK and see what happens when they first sniff it – do they get it right? )

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Five Friday Faves: Volume 1 Edition 3

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. My Five Friday Faves lists will from time to time include affiliate links or products my family received for the blog. 

five Friday Faves

Can someone tell me where September has taken itself to? All the sudden, it’s fall and all the things that come with it – like being busy every single night of the week and not having much weekend rest time. Anyone else?

Good thing that quality time living life as a family has given me plenty to tell you about. To keep you caught up, here are a few quick things that have been part of our lives the past few weeks, our…

Five Friday Faves

One. Juicy Juice. There’s this crazy amazing point in time when babies start to be able to drink from a straw and all the sudden running out of the house is no longer a big deal. This time is here for the twins, as shown by their enjoyment of some Juicy Juice boxes.

juicy juice splashers

Not going to lie, I indulge in the Splashers because they are delicious ways to get some juice in my day without all the sugar and calories. (Don’t believe me? Check out my post on Instagram from this morning and tell me you had to go check.)

juicy juice

What is your go to drink for your kiddos?

Two. Speaking of the twins and keeping them happy, we’ve discovered the “Little Journey” brand of baby snacks and products at Aldi. So far, we’ve tested their wipes (love), some fruit pouches, and the yogurt snacks. The girls can’t get enough of these and we go through a bag of them in two days. Okay, again, maybe the Bigs are taking some, too. (I got to test these out as part of the Influenster program – are you part of it? If not, head over on my referral link to get sampling!)

little journey

Three. Football season is back! You know we’re huge fans of the Steelers and Clemson, right? What a great season so far, huh? Yes.


Four. Y Fit. Greg and I have teamed up to battle our bodies together at our local YMCA. On Tuesday and Thursday, we do Y Fit together and it has been awesome. I HATE it in the midst of it (because I feel so weak, but I have to stop comparing this body to my body pre-twins but post-Evan). But I love it at the end. I feel accomplished and good.


Five. The fact that 1) it is officially fall and 2) my Thirty-One business has been a blessing in so many ways already this month. I’ve been able to put smiles on many faces (including my Customers, Hostesses, and family) because of the things this amazing company has done for us in my small business. (If you didn’t know, there’s an amazing special on our #1 product – here’s a link to my site!)



Now it’s your turn! List five things you’re really digging this week in the comments or on social with #fivefridayfaves – will you? Bonus – I’ll be linking up weekly with a list of others sharing five things, so who knows what else you might learn about by visiting their lists. Have a great weekend! xoxo

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Tech Tuesday: Kanex

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This Tech Tuesday post is brought to you by Kanex.

Those months just before a phone upgrade seem to drag, don’t they? When you’re spending hours in the car, listening to audio books and trying to navigate the best commute, those months drag even longer. This time around, I’m lucky enough to be backed up with two products from Kanex to make them just a little shorter.

I’m using this keychain for more than keeping my keys together. It’s got a micro USB (lightning, Apple certified!) to connect my phone to my computer. This is a quick and easy way to make sure I’ve always got a charging cable with me and double bonus, it works with my iPad. How fun is the bottle opener?


Reality is that being connected to a computer or outlet isn’t always ideal (like last week at Girl Scouts in a pavillion). The Kanex GoPower holds two charges (one for me, one for him, or both for me if I’m not in a sharing mood, ha) for your smaller micro USB devices or the iPad once. 

For charging at your desk, kick out the stand:

I have the midsized 6000 mAh, which is compact enough to travel in my bag daily or in my hand with my phone while I’m wandering around. I love the LED lights that indicate how much charge time is left, too. 

If you’re interested in grabbing up these devices, you can find all the specifics on the Kanex website. Pin this post on your gift ideas board for those “have everything” people, too!

Tell me…When could your day have been saved because of one of these devices?

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Super Wings

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. (We received Super Wings in exchange for this post.)

Raise your hand if you can rattle off the name of all the shows your kids watch. Mine is not raised. You see, I didn’t know that Evan was into Super Wings until I brought him home some figurines and asked him if he wanted to check out the app. He looked at me like I was on something, like why don’t you know I like them?!?!

super wings

Super Wings is an animated television series where cars and planes work together to solve problems – together! There is also an app and a toy line. We got to check out their blind bag toys, which soon became a staple in Evan’s every day play.

After he opened his blind bag, Evan begged for the iPad so he could check out the App. He’s loving helping Donnie “make things happen” (as Donnie’s favorite saying is I’m ready to make things happen, in case you’re like me and aren’t schooled in Super Wings) and video Donnie and the rest of our Super Wings in action.

super wings app

If you’re like me and didn’t know about Super Wings until today, check them out online as well as on Sprout TV. Super Wings toys are available through Auldley Toys.

super wings blind bag


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