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The Ultimate Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

I love fall and all the comforting, warm flavors that come with it.  This apple cinnamon french toast casserole is so reminiscent of fond memories with family and friends during the fall and holiday season.

holiday recipes


There is just something about fall that makes it my favorite time of year.  I have so many fond memories apple picking with family, the smells of the apples and cinnamon wafting through the house as my mom made her famous homemade pie.  She usually only makes it twice a year, once after we go apple picking and for the holidays and it's something I always look forward to.  I used to love watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and eating a slice of that warm apple pie for breakfast. Having dessert for breakfast just feels so decadent and I love the way that food and flavors can trigger memories.

This past weekend, the temps got a little chilly. You bet I busted out my favorite chunky sweater and we hit up the apple orchard for some picking.  When I came home with my bushel, I was thinking, "what am I going to make with all of these apples?"  I decided to throw together this apple cinnamon french toast casserole.  Now I'm not one for breakfast.  Usually it's just a cup of french roast with cream for me.  But this apple cinnamon french toast casserole reminds me of my mom's apple pie and those feelings of comfort and indulgence.

holiday recipes


Ingredients
  • Butter (for greasing your pan)
  • 1-2 loaves of french bread cut into thick slices
  • 12 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 4 apples cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup of pecans roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar (for topping)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (for topping)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

2.) Lightly grease your casserole dish with a stick of butter. (I used my 9x13 corningware)

3.) Arrange the slices of bread into the casserole dish so that the tops are facing up.

4.)  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

5.) Pour the egg mixture over the bread into the casserole dish, being sure to soak each piece.

6.) Add the apples and pecans, pushing them down into the cracks between each slice of bread.

7.) Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl and sprinkle on top.

8.) Bake in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes.

9.) Let cool before serving.  I dusted some confectioners sugar on top and to make it a little more   special, a dollop of whipped cream.


holiday recipes

Enjoy! And Happy Fall!

holiday recipes






DIY Distressed Bedroom Furniture Tutorial


diy distressed furniture
I have had the urge to paint and distress something for awhile now.  I absolutely adore how rustic it looks and how each two pieces are never the same.  Initially I had been wanting to paint our kitchen cabinets but the husband nearly killed me. So I decided to settle for our bedroom furniture instead to give it a little makeover.  For those who are new here, Joanna Gaines is pretty much my spirit animal.  Like Jo I get these grand ideas and hubby well he's like the Chip to my Jo, he makes it happen! It came out great and it was super easy! I shared pieces of the process on my Instagram stories and so many people had been asking for a tutorial so here it is.

First you will need:
  •  Screwdriver
  • Chalkpaint or Rust-Oleum light color kit (I've seen lots of tutorials using chalkpaint and after doing some research I decided to use the Ruse-Oleum cabinet kit because it is a little more durable and doesn't wear as easily)
  • Palm sander
  • Sand paper (I used 120 grit and 220 grit for the distressing)
  • Paint brush 
  • *** If not using the Rust-Oleum kit you will also need a clear wax.



Step one: First remove all the hardware with a screwdriver.

Step two: Lightly sand all surfaces of the furniture with 120 grit sand paper. We also used a palm sander which made it much easier.  This will give the paint something to stick to. When sanding, sand in the direction of the grain of the wood.



Step three: Wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth or towel to remove any of the sawdust particles.

Step four: Once the furniture is dry, paint with either your chalkpaint or according to step 2 of the Rustoleum kit if using the kit. We did two coats.  Then let dry.




Step five: Using sand paper (we used 220 grit for this part), lightly sand/distress the corners and edges of furniture until you receive the worn look you want.



Step six: Clean all surfaces again with a microfiber cloth.

Step seven: Apply the lacquer included in step 4 of the kit. If not using the kit, apply a clear wax. This will serve as a protective coat.  When applying the lacquer or wax, you do not want to over brush, apply in long passes.  Let dry in a cool area.

Step eight: Replace all of the hardware

We went a step further and reupholstered the headboard and footboard of the bed.

diy bedroom furniture


For the re-upholstery you will need:
  • Fabric of your choice for reupholstering
  • Stapler Gun
  • 3M Spray Glue
  • An old credit card
  • New razor blades
Step one: Cut all of your fabric to the appropriate size you are looking to cover.

Step two: Stable the fabric to the bottom edge first.

diy headboard


Step three: Using the spray glue, spray the entire area you are going to cover.

diy headboard

Step four: Pull the fabric from the bottom up to cover the area.

Step five: Using a credit card, go side to side to smooth out the fabric and any wrinkles.

diy headboard

Step six: Using the stapler, finish stapling the remaining three sides.

Step seven: With the razor blade go around the edges and trim the fabric to your liking.  I left mine a little unfinished to give it more of a rustic look.

distressed furniture

And that's it! To complete my modern farmhouse look I found the cutest duvet from Linens & Hutch.  I chose the Rugged Stripe pattern in light gray to complement the white furniture and light gray walls.  Since I love them so much, you can use my promo code Ourtinynest at checkout to receive 30% off non sale items.

farmhouse bedroom

farmhouse bedroom



So there you have it friends! Since this is my first DIY tutorial, I would love any feedback and would love to hear how yours comes out!





The best farmhouse decor finds on Amazon

 This post contains affiliate links

We've started moving into our new home and I am in full swing decorating. You know I love Amazon for all the things and Amazon has tons of super cute farmhouse decor! Plus there's some really cool items that are purposeful yet look tasteful (scroll down to see my favorite baby gate and pet dishes!)


Here are some of my favorite farmhouse decor finds on Amazon.

blanket ladder


Farmhouse blanket
farmhouse throw blanket


Buffalo plaid throw pillows
buffalo plaid throw pillows


Mini boxwood wreath
boxwood wreath


Farmhouse chairs
galvanized metal chairs


Arched mirror
farmhouse arched mirror


Tobacco baskets
tobacco basket


Utensils holder
utensil holder


Letterboard
letterboard


Kitchen towels
farmhouse kitchen towel


Welcome mat
home sweet home mat


Table Runner
table runner


Mounted light
wall light


Pet feeder
dog food bowls


Serving tray
serving tray

 Farmhouse end table
farmhouse end table

 Farmhouse baby gate
Farmhouse baby gate



 Happy shopping!!! And if you have any home decor items from Amazon that you absolutely LOVE let me know!

farmhouse decor on Amazon




7 time saving tips for a smoother morning for moms

This post is sponsored by Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle and Viva but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

As August comes to end, it's time for back to school and new transitions.  This September will be a new transition in our family as well as we will be in our new home and Maxwell will be in a new daycare full time.  With new routines comes crazy mornings trying to get everyone ready for the day and out the door on time.  I've gathered some tips and hacks to help beat the morning rush and help for an easier transition for all.

tips to save time in morning


1.) Prep the night before - pack lunches and lay out outfits the night before. That way in the morning you can just get dressed and take lunch boxes out of the fridge and pack in everyone's bags.  Let your kids help you too that way they can wear something they helped pick out.

2.) Buy all your home essentials online and have the house stocked - In the morning the last thing you want to have to do is be running around looking for more paper towels or toilet paper because the roll is empty.  I buy all of my essentials online at Amazon and have them delivered to the house that way I avoid the stores and don't have to lug all of the bulky items around and into the car with a little one in tow.

groceries amazon prime


3.) On Sunday, prepare some easy breakfasts for the week - I'm all about food prepping! One of my favorite quick breakfast ideas is egg muffins. Super easy to make and everyone loves them! In a bowl I whisk a dozen eggs, some milk and salt and pepper all together. Add shredded cheese and some veggies or meats of your choice. (We love to do some chopped bell peppers, spinach and chunks of bacon).  Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Pour the egg batter into the muffin tins until halfway full. Bake in the oven on 375 for 15 minutes.  Store in a ziploc bag in the fridge and pop in the microwave before eating.

egg muffin recipe


4.) Pack bags and backpacks the night before - Have your kids be sure to pack all their school supplies and homework the night before. Little one's gotta bring in Kleenex for the class? Pack that too. 

5.) Wake up early - I wake up earlier than everyone else that way I can shower and enjoy my morning cup of coffee in peace and quiet.  I crave that time in the morning to gather all of my thoughts for the day and embrace the quiet before the chaos starts.

tips for a busy morning


6.) Make a playlist - Have your kids make a playlist with songs that they like that get them up and moving.  Make it into a routine.  When Taylor Swift comes on, they have to get dressed by the end of the song. Once Bruno Mars is done, they have to have finished brushing their teeth.

7.) Keep the car stocked - How many times have you gotten the kids out of the house and into the car and then noticed they have peanut butter or yogurt smeared all over their face? I keep things like Kleenex wet wipes in my car that way I can wipe my little dude's face clean before going out in public.

must haves for your car


Wishing you and all your little ones a fabulous school year!

And be sure to shop on Amazon to save $3 on all your Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle and Viva essentials!



time saving tips for the morning



How to boost your baby's health with probiotics

This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

babys gut health

Have you ever heard the saying "it all starts in the gut"? It's true.  Your gut health is responsible for your overall health and wellness. As moms, we want to give our babies only the very best and protect them from harm.  But have you ever thought about protecting your little one's gut?  I know when I was planning for the birth of our baby, I was busy researching the safest cribs, carseats, you name it but I never thought about baby probiotics and gut health.


october baby


The Importance of a Healthy Gut

Our bodies have a mix of tiny microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and yeast) which makes up our microbiome.  This microbiome contains healthy bacteria which helps to push out any of the harmful bacteria therefore strengthening our immune systems and aiding in a healthy gut.  More and more studies are showing that a healthy gut has been linked to fewer cases of allergies, eczema, obesity and diabetes.  But how does one acquire a healthy gut?

Babies acquire their gut health mainly from mom.  More specifically, babies acquire a healthy bacteria known as B. Infantis during birth as they pass through the vaginal canal and from breast milk.  However, today 9 out of 10 babies are missing this healthy bacteria.

How Evivo Can Help Restore Your Baby's Microbiome


baby gut health

Evivo is the only probiotic that's clinically proven to restore baby's gut and repopulate it with the good bacteria that are missing. During a clinical trial, babies who received Evivo mixed with breast milk had their gut 100% repopulated with healthy bacteria.

Once daily, just mix the contents of one packet with some breastmilk and feed to your baby in the syringe provided.

pregnancy

I wish I had known about Evivo sooner.  For those who are new here and may not know our story, Maxwell was born via csection and we struggled with breastfeeding.  Had I known about it sooner, I definitely would have used Evivo to help replenish his gut flora.  But I must say, we are extremely lucky to have such a healthy, happy baby!

breastfeeding
 (This was his 1 month photo! How is he going to be 2 in October???)

Save Money on Evivo Products Now

Use Code BLOG8211 for $10 off your 4 week starter kit or
Use Code BLOG 8212 for $20 off your 8 week or greater starter kit. 

For more info about Evivo products click here