Wednesday, November 14, 2018

October Instagram Roundup

Howdy!  I thought I would start trying to do a monthly roundup on the blog featuring the popular posts I've shared on Instagram.  I know not all of you have an Instagram account, and since I do feature most of my style photos there, I wanted to share them here as well.  Also, Instagram is so screwy lately with their algorithm changes that even if you do follow me, chances are you missed a post or two, or ten!

I will try to link the items I can, and if I can't link an exact item, I always do my best to find a similar option.  The idea behind my style posts is not to try and pressure you into buying the items I am featuring, but rather to serve as style inspiration!  I want you to be able to use items you have in your closet, learn how to put them together, and possibly add a new, trendy piece here and there to freshen things up and keep it fun!  But by no means do I ever want anyone to feel like I am trying to sell you on all of the things I post. 

If you do like something you see here, you can shop each look by clicking picture.  That will lead you to the items I have linked.  It's no secret, but I wanted to fully disclose that if you click on one of my links, most likely it's an affiliate link, which means if you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.  It's not much, but it adds up and helps me justify the time I spend coordinating outfits and posting pictures for you guys!  As always, thank you so much for your support and for shopping through my links!

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Garage Floor Transformation

Hey friends!  I am branching out from my usual posts to bring you something super exciting! 


Today we are going to discuss garage floors. 🤣 Yep, that's right.  Not something I had originally planned on blogging about, but I posted a few stories on Instagram about how we were having ours redone and you guys were extremely interested in it...so I thought I would just put it all in a blog post so you could reference back.

This post is not sponsored.  

Our garage is not just a garage.  It also doubles as my husband's man cave.  He loves cars, and always has, so he likes to hang out in the garage and tinker with/clean them in his spare time.  We had this same type of epoxy garage floor at our last house, and it was so nice!  Not only did it make the space look more like a finished room, but it is nice when things spill because they are easily wiped up.  Nothing can stain them!  


When we moved, this house had a similar flooring in the garage, but it was flaking off in several spots.  We called the company who installed it, and he reluctantly came out to fix them, but they just continued to flake up.  


It was just an inferior product and because we had the good stuff at our old house, it was obvious this floor was not only sub-par because of the materials, but also because of the way it was installed.  This isn't the best picture, but it shows how there was a brown paint or coating of some sort with just a few flecks scattered like confetti.  And whatever was used to seal it, did not last very long.   


We also had a few cracks in our concrete that needed to be repaired, so we decided to call our friend, John with Amazing Garage Floors, to take care of all our garage floor needs!  

He sanded down our old flooring, repaired all of the cracks, including a large chunk of concrete that was broken on the edge of the garage, and then installed new flooring.  And it looks amazing!  


We chose grey, black, and white flecks to match our color scheme, but they have over 200 color combinations!  


See how the floor is solid flecks now? You can't even see the base coat!  So, if this is something you have been contemplating, I highly recommend John!  He has several franchises nationwide, too, so even if you're not in the Kansas City area, he may have a dealer near you!


It's even Moose approved!  He sat in the trailer all day while they worked!  

Because before and after pics are so fun, let's take one last look at the before and after.  This was the best before pic I could find (since I wasn't anticipating writing an entire post about this floor)!



Looks so much better, and more importantly, the quality is top notch!




 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Halloween 2018

It seems like Halloween was months ago.  And now, a mere six days later, it's getting dark at 5:00 and snow is in the forecast.  Boo.  This Halloween, and actually the entire month of October, was absolutely perfect!  I have thoroughly enjoyed the leaves changing color SO much this year.  I guess it's me getting older, slowing down a bit to actually appreciate the little things.  But, I do think it was just an amazing year for fall foliage!  And the weather was crisp and cool, just what a Halloween night should be!


Halloween for the Frenches this year involved a SWAT team!  Chase has been very engrossed in everything police/army/SWAT related for a while now, so he came up with the initial idea.  Y'all know I love a good family theme, so luckily Beckham went along with it.  Although, when asked by a few different people what he was going to be, he would often say something completely different...spider, ninja, tiger...just to name a few.  But, in the end, he was a SWAT.  

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Friday, November 2, 2018

One Dress, Six Ways

Hello there!  I can't believe it's already November!  Where in the heck did October go?  I will say, even though it seemed to fly by, we definitely tried to make the most of it because we were blessed with some amazing weather!  Maybe that's why it went by so quickly...because we were busy little bees!

And November always brings a huge candy hangover at my house.  I think all schools should make Nov 1 a teacher work day.  I mean, you know the teachers dread having to deal with the kiddos who stayed up too late and ate too much sugar!  Let's start a petition, shall we?

If you missed my Old Navy try on post earlier this week, definitely go check that out!  There are some cute things, at great prices, some of which I am also featuring in this post.


I love a versatile piece...one that can be worn multiple ways, across different seasons!  When I first saw this plaid dress, I thought it was cute, but then as I was trying it on, I just kept experimenting with different ways to wear it and there are so many!  These are the top 6, although, I am sure the possibilities are endless.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Old Navy Try On

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!  The weather in Kansas City was absolutely amazing, so we tried our best to take advantage of it and crammed in lots of fall fun!  My kiddos were out of school Friday too, so we had an extra long weekend of fun!  Is it just me, or are the leaves more beautiful than ever this year?  Maybe it's just me being more appreciative in my old age, but I just can't get enough of the fall colors!

I recently ordered a few things from Old Navy, so I wanted to share my try on's with you!  Also, be sure to check back later this week because I am sharing how to style a particular Old Navy dress six different ways!  Gotta love a versatile piece!  

For sizing reference, I am 5'6", wear a S/M in tops and usually a 6/8 in pants.  I will link everything from this try on at the end of the post for ya!

Old Navy Try On / Fall Closet Staples  / Midwestern Mama

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Halloween Home Tour

We love Halloween!  Every year I think to myself, I am just going to get a *few* Halloween decorations out and focus more on fall decor....but then we start going through the boxes and the boys get so excited to see things they remembered from last year.  It's hard to refrain ourselves once we get going!

So, here we are...in full Halloween swing!  And being less than a week away, I wanted to finally get this post out before it's too late!

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
It was so fun having a blank canvas with this faux shiplap wall this year!  If you want to see how I created this wall, you can read all about it here!

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
This fireplace area is oddly hard to decorate!  The stone makes a lot of decor items blend in and they get lost.  I was able to incorporate things from our regular everyday decor into the Halloween mix, ie the ghouls hanging from the candlesticks and the skeleton coming out of the lantern.  

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
In the past I usually just add a few Halloween decor items to our existing bookcase decor (like I mentioned doing on the mantel), but this year, I decided to try something new and I took down almost everything from the bookcase and filled it with Halloween goodies!  I love how it turned out and it's been fun to change things up!  When it's time to take it all down I will probably regret this decision, but it's fun for now!  

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
Both of my sofa tables are challenging to decorate because you can see them from both the front and the back, depending on where you are standing in the room.  That makes it difficult to have frames, or things with an obvious back.  I have tried to incorporate mostly things that will look cute from both the front and the back!  The wooden signs are printed on both sides, which is perfect for what I need!

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
Both of these pumpkins were crafts from previous years.  The black one just has googley eyes glued all over it and for the orange one, I drilled holes all over, then pushed orange string lights through the holes, It looks really cool at night!  

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
This guy is technically supposed to go in the ground outside, but I stashed him in here and he seems pretty comfortable!  It's one of those kits that looks like the skeleton is coming out of the grass, so there's no body, but with the creepy cloth, you'd never know it!

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
We took things outside to the front porch, with a more fall themed decor, but a few pops of Halloween!  This will make things easier to transition to Thanksgiving after Halloween is over.  I'll have enough to put away inside, so I kept it pretty neutral outside!

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
The black and white accents are really pretty neutral, but I love how they tie in with the witch's legs for a more Halloween feel!  

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama
And of course its fun to play around with Mr. Skeleton, although I can't leave him outside or my dogs will eat him!  

Halloween Decorations to make your home festive with a little bit of spook!  Midwestern Mama

Thanks for joining me on this Halloween home tour!  Have a great weekend!

 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Hey friends!  Most of y'all know I'm smack in the middle of my 2nd Whole 30, so it may seem a little odd that I'm sharing a recipe for a meal I can't even eat right now.  But I have had this recipe in my drafts for a while, so I wanted to go ahead and share it with you! 

Do you ever get stuck in a dinnertime rut?  I definitely do.  I feel like we make the same things over and over because they are easy and I don't have to think about them.  But, I get bored, so I am always searching Pinterest for new, yummy, easy ideas that everyone in my family will actually eat.  All four of us like this meal, and that's a rarity in my household, so this meal is definitely a winner!  Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 😂 hahahaha!  Easily amused.  😏

This chicken cordon bleu casserole is one of those recipes that checks all the boxes!  I can prep this meal at any point during the day, and keep it in the fridge until it's time to throw it in the oven.  I usually make things even easier on myself and get a precooked rotisserie chicken.  Another shortcut you could take would be to use canned chicken...you know the kind that comes in a tuna fish style can?  Or if you are having chicken earlier in the week, just cook a couple of extra pieces and you'll have them all ready to go for this meal!



Ingredients:
4-5 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (I use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken)
1/2 pound deli ham, cut into squares
5-6 slices Swiss cheese

Sauce Ingredients:
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1.5 cups milk
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Topping Ingredients (optional):
2 Tbs butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs (or crushed crackers)

Directions:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk until the mixture bubbles.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the milk, 1/2 cup at at time, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.  When all of the milk is added, reduce heat slightly and let the sauce bubble for a few minutes to thicken.

While the sauce is thickening, grease a casserole dish and layer the shredded chicken, ham, then Swiss cheese.  Cover with the mustard sauce.  Melt 2 Tbs butter and mix with the panko crumbs,  then spread evenly over the top of the casserole.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 min until bubbly.   Let stand 5-10 min before serving.

Let me know if you make it and what your family thinks! 






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