How to save money on food!

Meal plan. That’s it. End of story 😂

Ok this might not be a new concept at all, but it’s one I’ve really wanted to concentrate on starting in the new year. Every weekend we plan our meals out for the week. We also try to include at least one new recipe. What we learned by doing this just in the last month:

*Our grocery bills are about $50-$75 cheaper each week

*we aren’t throwing away food at the end of the week

*we eat out WAY less

*from the recipes we have tried, we now have several new favorite meals!

We also go to Costco about once a month to stock up on bulk items!

I am truly blown away by how much we are saving. Just when food prices started to rise, our weekly spending average had decreased!!! This is also a huge feat as we eat gluten free in this house! I also love that by the weekend our fridge looks bare which is a great thing. It means we didn’t buy things we didn’t need and no food is being wasted!

Cheesesteak casserole 😋
Stuffed pepper casserole 😋
Chicken bacon ranch
Chicken pot pie
Pork chops, homemade mashed potatoes and asparagus 😋
Sweet potato skillet 😋

Mimi Day!

Did you see any pink butterflies flying around today? Ha aunt Mimi told us she was coming back as a pink butterfly and although i might not see them outside, i sure see them everywhere else! Here’s my favorite shirt that i truly believe looks like me with the pink butterfly!

8 years ago i had to say goodbye to my favorite aunt. My second mom. She was absolutely amazing. She never had children and she always told me that was so she could spoil me. And boy did she spoil me. Every fall she took me school shopping. As you can see in the photo below, that carried on way in to my adult life 😂. This is a photo of her and i out to breakfast after shopping, just months before she passed. The other photo is me holding her hand, as she took her last breaths.

Today the family and i headed to Lake Erie. This is where i go to talk to Mimi. 8 years ago, her husband and i took her shell of ashes out in Lake Erie for her final resting place. She now lives in the most beautiful lake!


It was beautiful out today and the sun was shining. The shores of Lake Erie were covered with ice and it was beautiful. I said hello to aunt Mimi and took a few deep breaths of the lake breeze!

Aunt Mimi always said to me “i love you to the moon and back!” I made sure as i was taking this photo that i said it back to her!

January recap

Is it really February 1st? Where did January go? We had so many wonderful memories to kick off the year!

My youngest nanny kid and i are so happy to be back in the groove with library activities and school once a week!

Karalyn had a friend spend the night. They did typical tween girl things and we had fun listening to them laugh and be silly!

John, Jimmy and i went to the boat show. We had fun walking around and seeing all the different style of boats. The second day just the boys went so they could sit through fishing seminars! They are very dedicated tournament fishermen!

We were all super happy to have Cally spend the night! A lot of times when she stays here, karalyn is not with us, so this time we were lucky enough to have both our girls together!

John surprised Karalyn and i with tickets to Disney Immerse Experience. It’s set up in a warehouse in Cleveland. The first area is all about how Disney movies are made. Then they take you inside a “vault” and the entire room is lined with walls that have Disney images projected on them. From their website….

Disney Animation: Immersive Experience is an innovative celebration that takes you inside the greatest films of Walt Disney Animation Studios, from their very earliest, groundbreaking features to the beloved hit movies of today.

Imagine stepping into the Casita with Mirabel from Encanto, being at Pride Rock as Rafiki presents Simba – surrounded by the animal kingdom as the sun rises. Imagine hopping on a train with Judy Hopps and going into Zootopia or taking a magic carpet ride with Aladdin and Jasmine, and so much more….

After an amazing show we went and had dinner at Fat Heads. They have a wonderful gluten free menu!

Lastly we end the month with our first baton twirling competition. We did not take our teams because they were not ready. However four of my soloists competed and they did amazing!!!

Hello 2023!

Well here we are blessed to see another year! John and i started the day at the gym and for dinner we had pork! Great way to start, right!? He also went fishing this evening because apparently he hasn’t fished since last year 😂. We have many goals for the upcoming year. We will try and stay focused but our number one goal is always to live a happy and healthy life. I’ve recently been diagnosed with adenomyosis so i will be having a surgery in the upcoming months. I’d like to be as healthy as possible going into that so i have a quick recovery!

We had to grill since it was 50° outside!!!

What are some of your goals for the new year?

Folino Family Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with my family the day after. It was nice to have the time to enjoy each other, without the rush of seeing other family. We started with gift giving. Afterwards John made us an amazing walleye dinner. Karalyn and i had chicken nuggets 😂. Everyone enjoyed dinner and I’m so glad i could catch all that walleye for them 😉. As we were finishing dinner and starting to enjoy some dessert, my aunt Vivian and Uncle Ty stopped by. They live in Cincinnati but were in town visiting family for the week. I just love spending time with them and i am so glad they were able to stop by!

Merry Christmas Part 2

In the early evening Mother Nature cooperated and we were able to travel to my aunt and uncles house. They only live about 30 minutes away, but if the roads were still slick, we weren’t going to plan on going. Gosh I’m glad it cleared up because this is the first time in 3 years, all the Folino’s were back together!!!!

My Folino Family
Brother Donny, niece Cally and SIL Brittany
John, Karalyn, Me
Dad and Mom
Aunt Terri and Uncle Dan with their grandchildren Jude, Kristiana, Sophia and Pierce
My cousin Amanda, her husband Jay, her brother Daniel and the 3 beautiful children
My cousin Rob, his wife Brittney and their daughter Sophia

It was so fun to see everyone and catch up. None of us live that far from each other, but sadly we dont see each other enough. The kids are all growing up so fast and so busy with all their activities. Such a fun get together and time with family!

My aunt gifts all the kids jammies to put on why they open gifts!
Cally, Kristiana and converse!
My cousin Amanda
My cousin Daniel
Uncle Dan and his girls Maggie and Molly

Merry Christmas

Well we indeed had a white Christmas. The days leading up to the holiday, we experienced a “blizzard” that was more arctic cold, strong winds and lots of ice, rather than large amounts of snow. It was absolutely brutal and one of the coldest Christmas days we’ve seen in Ohio in a long time!

Christmas morning finally began at 10am when Karalyn arrived. She was so excited to come over. She had been texting us all morning and had john meet her downstairs because she couldn’t wait to see him. She made us open our gifts before she even opened her gift from Santa 😮! She was so happy to gift me (and herself) mama bear and lil bear slippers. She has always called me mama bear and was so excited to find these. For her dad, she made the most incredible memory box. She worked hard on it for weeks and was so thrilled to actually give it to him. These were by far the best gifts we opened on Christmas!

When she finally got to her gifts, she was beyond excited to see that Santa had brought her a television for her room!

We enjoyed the morning with just the 3 of us exchanging gifts!

In the early afternoon, my in-laws came over to exchange gifts and also enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner with us. It was nice to have them over our house to share the special day.

John was gifted a larger watch box (his collection has grown) and inside was his grandfathers watch ❤️

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

A little bit of Christmas was sprinkled throughout the month!

This was probably one of my most favorite things. My older nanny kids made a sleigh that they were riding in. Next to them on the floor they made this scene using all miniature items. They were miniature you see because they were flying high above the world in their sleigh. Seriously i love their imagination!

Check out the road and cars!

Had to get my nails done for Christmas!

Our gym is always so festive and beautiful!

Our Christmas cards for 2022!

My friend gifted me a box of gluten free cookies that she was very busy making!

Our annual Pink Ladies Christmas party. One of my older students made a hot cocoa bar for everyone!

Every year i gift the girls an ornament that my amazing mother makes. This year she did a gnome!

Cally had her Christmas dance recital the same day Karalyn had her show choir Christmas performance. We were so grateful we were able to make both!!! They are so pretty!!!

The week of Christmas is always so busy, but i always make time to go to my aunt Terri’s house, with my mom, to help her wrap the million presents for her grandchildren! Maggie and Molly enjoy my visit!

Cally at the tree farm 🌲

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is my work party. I just love hanging out with my nanny family and seeing the excitement on the children’s faces!!!!

Really excited to discover the company MINUSG! Their mixes are the best gluten free mixes i have ever tasted. I made Santa’s cookies using their sugar cookie mix!!!

The house is all decorated and ready for the big day!!!

Our princess is 12!

Did you know a 12 year old these days is equivalent to a 16 year old back in my day 😂!? No but for real this “little” girl is growing up so fast. She is loving, kind, sassy, hilarious and wise beyond her years. She loves all things girly and we’ve surpassed the years of buying toys! We look forward to continuing to watch her grow into an amazing young lady!

The night we celebrated her birthday, we also celebrated my amazing in-laws who have been married for 50 years!!!! What an awesome milestone!!!

For her birthday, karalyn requested we drive through the lights at the fairgrounds! We love doing this every year and she wanted to make sure we went right away so we could get in the holiday spirit!