Summer into Fall Bunco Menu Plan

I’m secretly calling my Summer into Fall Bunco Menu Plan, my S’Fall menu plan.  Secretly, I miss watching Phineas and Ferb with my youngest son.

Bunco is a fun dice game played with a group.  You can read a bit of information about the game here if you are interested.  Really, it’s just a fun excuse to get out of the house, get together with friends, and eat (hopefully) good food.

Food selection threw me a bit this time.  The last time I hosted it was February and most definitely winter making food selection ideas fairly easy.  I mean it is technically still summer until Thursday.  Plus, we are supposed to have highs in the 90s today.  However, autumn and apples and pumpkin spice are already everywhere.

Did I want to serve summer or fall food?  Give into the pumpkin spice phenomenon or stand my rebel ground on insisting it is still summer?  Tough questions for a serious food spread.  I needed a compromise.  I needed S’Fall!

My Summer into Fall Bunco Menu Plan

Summer and Fall plates and napkins from the Dollar Tree

Summer and Fall plates and napkins from the Dollar Tree

Main course food:  Pulled Pork Sandwiches (My back up is to get deli chicken and shred it should the pork not work out right).    I’m using Elizabeth from Burnt Out Mom’s recipe except with KC Masterpiece sauce and a different cut of meat I bought by mistake (my husband said the cut I bought was actually better. Whew!)

Sides:  crunchy coleslaw, chips, dill pickle spears (the kind in a jar, nothing fancy)

Always transport Crunchy Coleslaw in parts and assemble right before serving to avoid a soggy salad

Always transport Crunchy Coleslaw in parts and assemble right before serving to avoid a soggy salad

Desserts: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, raspberry dots, and Apple cake with whipped cream and caramel sauce for toppings.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies made using my Aunt Ruth's recipe

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies made using my Aunt Ruth’s recipe 

Fun, easy, and tasty idea found on Pinterest: Chocolate chip filled raspberries.

Fun, easy, and tasty idea found on Pinterest: Chocolate chip filled raspberries. 

One of my fall favorites, move over pumpkin spice, it's apple cake season!

One of my fall favorites, move over pumpkin spice, it’s apple cake season!

Miscellaneous items to round out the food and snack selections:  a bowl of apples, summer sausage, cheese ball and crackers

Cheese ball and crackers. Easy recipe: Combine two 8 oz packages of cream cheese with 1 packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing Mix. Roll in chopped pecans, and chill (overnight for the best flavors).

Cheese ball and crackers. Easy recipe: Combine two 8 oz packages of cream cheese with 1 packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing Mix. Roll in chopped pecans, and chill (overnight for the best flavors).

Drinks:  Apple Cider, Lemonade, Soda

Simply Lemonade is simply the best lemonade out there!

Simply Lemonade is simply the best lemonade out there!

Table Snacks: Mini starburst, Dark Chocolate M&Ms and peanut M&Ms, Cheez-It party mix, Chex snack mix

Table snack options

Table snack options

I’m trying to keep the menu simple this time.  Hosting bunco tends to be a balancing act between not having way too much food and having it look like skimpy offerings.  I usually tend to error on the side of too much food and have to bring quite a bit of it home. Hopefully, this time I planned it right and won’t have quite as much left over.

Do you play Bunco?  What is your go-to menu for a large gathering?

Happy Homemaker Monday, Time For A Happy, Healthy Week

A bit late getting to my post today as I wanted to conquer a few items on my to-do list before sitting down at the computer.  Last week was not a happy, healthy week around here.

J stayed home Monday and Tuesday with some combination of a pesky slow to leave virus and middle school angst.  Wednesday was a rough one convincing him to go to school (bad, bad morning) and then, having to go to work all day.  Preschool is my happy place for sure, saved my week from being a complete dud especially since I woke up on Thursday morning with laryngitis.

I was smart about it and kept myself at home resting and watching television.  I also quit whispering after reading not to do it.  Oops.  I mostly have my voice back today and feel 100 times better.  May be something to that resting when sick theory.

On with our happy, healthy week!

The Weather

Summer is ending not with a whimper but with a bang! Sunny and highs in the low 90s to high 80s with no rain chances until Sunday.

On My Bedside Table

Pretty much the same pile as last week with a few more clothes, some day I’m going to tackle that pile and make my bedside table pretty again.

On My TV

I watched the entire 6th season of The Walking Dead last Thursday and Friday.  I guess I’m going to have to find someone to let me know who met their final fate when it starts up again.  I also watched the rest of Supergirl and Doctor Who.  I haven’t had the TV on today.

Thinking and Pondering

Aside from wondering if anyone ever has a good 6th grade year, I’m mostly thinking and pondering about what to serve at Bunco tomorrow night.

Listening To

The hum of the computer, my phone text message alert (it was work), and also waiting to hear the sound of the kitchen timer (I’m making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).

Favorite YouTube Video

This is almost 10 minutes long but worth the time.  So funny.


MONDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic toast

TUESDAY: I’m hosting Bunco (Bunco menu coming in a separate post) and I’m not sure what the boys will eat.  I was planning on giving them pizza until my husband requested spaghetti for tonight.

WEDNESDAY: Roast in the Crock Pot (I work until 3:45)

THURSDAY: Apple Sausages and Fried Potatoes (G has evening band practice so he’ll probably just have another BBQ sandwich)

FRIDAY: Either tacos or left-overs, depending on how the week goes

Our weekends usually look like a mix of left-overs and out like this:


grocery store Chinese choices

There are always lots of ideas over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.

To-Do List:

  1. Go To Grocery Store (done x2!)
  2. Go To Dollar Tree for Bunco plates and such
  3. Pay Bills
  4. Laundry
  5. Clean the House
  6. Still need to find time to buy tennis shoes
  7. Call music repair store to see what they have in the way of used baritones
  8. Get ready for Bunco on Tuesday night (prepare food, double-check RSVP)
  9. Put out Fall decor depending on how the week goes
  10. Mow the lawn

What I Plan on Doing For Myself This Week

Taking a nap, making food I like for Bunco, and buying some tennis shoes!

Lesson Learned From Past Few Days

If you take the time to rest when you are sick, you actually feel better faster.  It’s okay to ask for help and have my husband do the running around.  Also, whispering is harder on your vocal chords that normal talking so don’t do it when you have laryngitis.

From the Camera

Interesting walking stick on our house this week.  dscn6834 Also, J took the photo below that I posted on my Instagram account.  I’m trying to be a bit better about adding my photos there.

moon emerging from clouds on Friday night

moon emerging from clouds on Friday night

Thoughts For the Week

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. (Irish proverb)


What are you planning to do to make it a happy, healthy week?  Don’t forget to go check out Happy Homemaker Monday hosted by Sandra from Diary of a Stay At Home Mom.

Tiny Tip On A Thursday: Sandpaper For Feet

I’ll start by saying I had a completely different tiny tip post planned for today but woke up feeling blah.  Sore throat, no voice, I’m 2 glasses of Emergen-C and almost a full day of Netflix sick.    tinytip

I do really want to get back to posting more than once a week though.  Not feeling quite up to messing with uploading photos today.

So, since it is still technically summer for a few more days, I’m going to share my sandpaper tip.

Back off all you pumpkin spice, caramel apple, autumn loving people!  We summer folk have 7 days left to eat a Popsicle or two and wear our flip-flops.

I’ve been living in my Crocs lately.  Still haven’t made it out to get new tennis shoes, today’s list went a bit sideways this morning.  I love my Crocs and the sandals I wear to the pool (no comment about how the pool closes way too early each year!).  I’ve been wearing my sandals as house shoes lately.

One thing about living in Crocs and sandals is they are a little rough on the feet.  My heels especially rebel with lots of dry skin when I wear this particular kind of footwear.  This brings me to the tiny tip for today.

First though, a small confession about myself for anyone who has yet to figure it out.  I am very much not a girly girl type.  It’s probably just as well since I’m surrounded by boys.  I think I own perhaps 2 bottles of nail polish for fingernails I seldom paint and toenails I never paint, a no frills pony tail is my hairstyle of choice (though a little girl at preschool had the coolest braided hair yesterday and made me wish I knew how to do such awesome stuff), and with rare exception find most “chick flick” movies to be pure torture.  All this to say, I don’t own a pumice stone.

While there’s not a pumice stone to be found in this house, we do have lots of sand paper on hand (thanks to my husband’s job).  Guess what works just as well as a pumice stone?  Sand paper!

Sandpaper works like a pumice stone!

Of course, I wouldn’t use it on my feet and then on a wall or anything like that because, yuck. I’m also not talking about a high-grade of sand paper or using power tools but just a regular piece of little sand paper, great as a substitute pumice stone.  Followed up by some nice smelling lotion.  I am after all, not a completely uncivilized.

What items do you use for completely unusual and different purposes?


Happy Homemaker Monday, Hoping For A Better Week

Last week was a bit rough.  Actually, this whole school year has been a bit rough so far.  Add in, a computer coma, a couple of rough days at work, sickness, and a not so fun weekend.  Thank goodness for a new week!

Hopefully, it will be a better week.  I certainly missed having a plan last week.  Step one to having a better week, have a plan!  Thankfully, Sandra at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom almost always inspires me to have one.

The Weather

I thought we were supposed to have nice weather all week.  Feels wonderful and fall-like this morning but I did see another site where we have fair chances of rain on and off all week.  It does look like the temperatures won’t ever get too hot though.

On My Bedside Table

Too much stuff!  Clothes I need to put away, books in need of a home (I’ve read them all but I’m not ready to let them go yet) and usually my phone.

On My TV

I may or may not be watching Supergirl on Netflix.  Some episodes are a little rough but overall I do like the show and am excited to see what the CW does with it this fall.  A certain 6th grader may be watching it with me (although he’d never admit it!).  My husband and I are also catching up on season 3 of The Black List, a show that has yet to disappoint me.

Thinking and Pondering

About how much having kids is basically just waiting.  Waiting for them to be born, waiting for them to go to bed until they become teenagers, then you’re waiting for them to get out of bed, waiting for appointments, waiting for practices and activities to end, waiting for school to end, to start, so much waiting.  I know all the moments happen in the waiting but honestly, sometimes I get so tired of all the waiting.  Just me?

Listening To

mostly the silence of the morning.  I can hear a bird calling outside the open window and occasional car sounds but inside the house is quiet.

Favorite YouTube Video

I’ve got nothing.


I really need to start being more intentional about checking out the ideas over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.  I feel as though we are in such a menu rut around here.  Of course, new meals aren’t exactly met with excitement either yet I keep trying and again, waiting for a winning dinner.

MONDAY;  Ham, green beans, and new potatoes in the crock pot.  I’m going to mostly use this Pinterest recipe and of course, cook ham steaks on the side for the picky kids.

TUESDAY:  I work until 6 so it will probably be another crock pot kind of night.  I’m thinking I’ll make white chicken chili minus the beans and we’ll just have it in tortillas.  J will probably have mini tacos as he doesn’t like this meal.

WEDNESDAY:  I work again on this day but not as late so I’ll probably go with something easy and quick.   Either BLT’s or French Toast, I’ll just let the boys decide.

THURSDAY:  G has evening band practice so he’ll have to eat earlier than the rest of us.  Fish sticks and baked potatoes for the rest of us and I’ll fix G something easy (He usually eats French Bread pizzas on practice night).

FRIDAY:  Subway, pregame tradition for G.  The rest of us will either eat that or grab something at the game.

To Do List

  1. Squeeze in a Target Trip for household items
  2. Clean out fridge and freezer.  This was on the list last week but didn’t happen.
  3. Make sure to put the bags of stuff out for the charity truck on Wednesday morning/find more stuff to give them.
  4. Call a friend and plan a get-together
  5. Check on my Bunco RSVP numbers, it’s my turn to host next Tuesday!  I should probably start planning that menu as well.
  6. Buy some new tennis shoes! I ruined my old tennis shoes mowing a soggy lawn and have been living in my Crocs but I really do need some other footwear especially if we have all the rainy days predicted.
  7. Laundry (and put my clothes on the bedside table away!)

Looking Forward To

Is Monday too soon in the week to say I’m looking forward to the weekend?  I feel like I need a do-over weekend but instead I’ll just move my thoughts ahead to the next one.

What I Plan on Doing For Myself This Week

getting some new tennis shoes!

Lesson Learned from the Past Few Days

Patience, I suppose.  I’m still waiting for it.

From the Camera

Not sure what kind of winter one that looks like this predicts…


Thoughts for the Week

My best friend shared this verse with me long ago, it’s become one of my favorites.  james


What are you looking forward to this week?

Tiny Tip on a Thursday: Cinnamon Might Be The Answer

Cinnamon might be the answer to your ant problem.  It seems to be our answer.

It’s cheap and easy as well.  When the ants first invaded our pantry, I went out to the hardware store and bought the Terro liquid ant baits.  Stuck them in the pantry and we waited.  And waited.

Why weren’t the ants leaving?   It seemed more like an ant party than any form of good riddance of the insects.  And the party was getting out of hand.  I couldn’t understand it.

(Here’s a not so tiny tip: Always read the directions!) J insisted we were attracting more ants because it was ant BAIT but I kept saying no, that’s not what it means.  Then, I read the directions.  Oh, you weren’t supposed to leave the “bait” out once you only started to see a few ants.  We’d been attracting new ones.  Whoops.

We removed the ant bait and all seemed to be okay.  Put a few items back in the pantry.  Peeked into the pantry a day later only to realize the sugar ants had invited their cousins and forgot to tell them the party ended.  I decided to try peppermint oil instead of more Terro (read a certain lazy person didn’t want to return to the hardware store).

The whole house smelled like a giant candy cane!  These sugar ant cousins thought it made their party atmosphere festive and continued to raid our crackers and the single serving packets of Ranch dressing (it will be a long time before I desire Ranch dressing on anything!).

Food continued to go into the trash and the table remained unusable.  tinytip

While grocery shopping, I remembered the preschool used cinnamon in the sandbox to repel ants.   I’ve even used cinnamon myself.

Cinnamon repels ants!

I picked up two bottles of it (the cheap stuff, Saigon cinnamon is not necessary for ant control).

On Monday, I sprinkled it liberally along the base of the pantry shelves.  I decided to give it a full 2 days just to be sure.  I did see 1 or 2 random ants on Monday and noticed when I sprinkled the cinnamon near them, they would leave.

J sprinkled the cinnamon even more liberally while I was out on Tuesday.   Liberally enough, my husband vacuumed the excess.  He also checked for a nest in the exterior wall last night and found nothing.  I think cinnamon may be our answer!

What ways have you found to repel ants?


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