Bits of Sweetness

Roasted Honey Mustard Pan Vegetables {Easy Brunch under $10!}



Every now and then, a fancy breakfast sounds like what would make the perfect morning. I don't know about you, but I rarely have time to actually put something elegant or time-consuming together (at least not during the week!) so, in creating this dish, I knew it had to fall under easy, tasty, and a little bit fancy. The honey mustard really hits the spot and kicks it up a notch! I don't normally think of that flavor as being a breakfast one, but it is delectable and perfect for brunch!

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I go to a wonderful mom's group (MOPS!) It happened to be our table's week to bring food for the twice-monthly meeting. I picked up some donut holes but felt in the mood for something a little more substantial (and fancy!) I'd heard Grocery Outlet had expanded their organic NOSH section and decided to check it out since I needed a few things for my dish to bring. Consensus? It's an impressive size and has so many brands we already buy (and some new favorites!)

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Probably my best score was a huge bag of frozen butternut squash for $4.99 versus at least twice that much. I tend to meal plan like I pick outfits for photos- select one main ingredient and build something around it. They had a lot of organic frozen veggies on sale for $2.99 & this week, KIND bars Oats & Honey with Coconut flavor are on sale for $1.99! I know I would have paid twice that at my other favorite store. These were my final picks for main ingredients in the recipe I was creating (on the spot- fun yet challenging!) Total cost? Under $10!

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Final verdict? Having an excuse to make some delicious food is always good for the soul. Also friendships. We had a wonderful talk about counter-cultural living and what things actually bring happiness. (Hint: contentment. It is one of the biggest factors in true happiness and joy.)

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I have a nice little problem on my hands now- I have a lot of butternut squash leftover! What are some of your favorite ways to use it? I think I might roast it with butter and cinnamon for some healthier snack options in the remaining ten weeks of pregnancy.

Do you shop at Grocery Outlet? My 5-year old has their little jingle memorized from the radio. I don't think I'll ever forget it now! Highly recommend stopping by sometime and checking out both their selection and prices on their NOSH section. It would make for some awesome easy lunchbox add-ins or the makings of a tasty brunch dish like this!

Roasted Honey Mustard Pan Vegetables

Ingredients
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 sweet potato cubed
1 potato cubed
1 cup quartered brussel sprouts
3 Morning Star patties crumbled
1 TBS EVOO
S & P to taste
2 TBS honey mustard

Preheat oven to 400 F

Lay all ingredients (minus the patties) on a baking dish or pan. 
Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 10 minutes.
Add in crumbles. Serve. Enjoy!



10 Special Meaningful Christmas Traditions under $20



"Deck the halls with folly jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la!" My three-year-old daughter's sweet voice has been ringing out this take on the traditional Christmas song, and I have to admit, I love it. We put the festive into Christmas and special memories are my favorite.

It's so easy to stress out though about how quickly all the merriment adds up. I don't like to cut out things just for the sake of cost, so I tend to get creative this time of year. We're saving our pennies for our house to be built, hopefully by next Christmas and so, the ideas are a bit more budget-friendly this year. I thought I'd share some of our favorites the kids helped think up too. The best part? They're all under $15!


1. Visit a garden nursery. 

There is a particularly lovely one near us that feels magical. It makes for beautiful sights to take in and a few pictures to take as well! They even have a sleigh!

2. Take Christmas pictures at a decorated place.

The sleigh at the nursery I love is perfect for pictures (and sometimes Santa even comes to visit!) You can snap some pictures with him in the sleigh. It's much fun! Of course there are always places like the mall, but I love finding the ones that won't have a line hours long. 

3. Give a smile and items to those in need.

Do your kids love to make others smile? Ours sure do! Giving is something they treasure. The church that hosts our moms group is currently collecting items for a fantastic local organization that has a free shop set up for families who need basics this time of year. It touched my heart to see the table already overflowing with donations!


I honestly don't always love stopping by the store this time of year, so I made it easy and ordered from Amazon for the Kleenex we donated(even saving up to $8 off my order with coupons available right now!!). They delivered right to our door (and I just discovered that they are rolling out same day delivery in many cities! If it's not available yet, 2-day Prime delivery is still such a wonderful time and stress-saving option!) It's not what you'd typically think of with Christmas gifts but getting feedback from those in the community, things like this are such a kind touch (and needed!) this time of year!


It was such a neat complement the other day when our postman told me how much he loved our kids. Apparently they are very polite and helpful whenever he's at the door with a package. They never fail to tell him thank you. It's adorable, and sweet to hear feedback like that! 

4. An Advent Calendar

We got this neat Advent calendar in the mail, this year with a stable included that the kids could put together and a free printable of ideas to go with it. I can't wait to show the kids tomorrow! They love counting down the days and it's a great tool to teach them the meaning of the season.


5. Christmas stories to read each day

What are your favorite Christmas stories? I always love hearing what stories are cherished traditions for families. Some of ours include The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, The Candymaker's Gift, The Gift of the Magi and The Polar Express. We unwrap a miniature candy cane and enjoy it each evening along with a special holiday book that I read. Some are religious and some are not, but they all bring some very special moments. This was the first year we've regularly done this and the first day was pretty chaotic, but by the fourth evening, the kids had the new tradition down.

6. A Holiday Light Parade

One of our towns is right along a channel from the ocean. Every year they do a lit boat parade on the second weekend of December. We figured out a great hack, going across the water and just simply watching from in our warm van rather than braving the cold with all the people. We bring snacks and it works out well. I might be looking forward to it more than the kids this upcoming weekend!



7. Attend a school, community or church holiday production

This is a great way to enjoy a play or musical production without the pricetag of a bigger hall. One theatre in our area has a free community show for the last practice. Be sure to check performance times! The theatre here is first come, first serve and a few years ago we were very lucky to snag the last remaining seats for "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." 

8. Host a Cookie Swap

I'm going to my first one next weekend actually! It's a super easy way to have a holiday party and gain some new cookie recipes. Hosting or attending- both are so fun! (Just make sure to have people also bring savory treats to go with the sweetness!) We are even getting our competition on and judging the cookies brought! Everyone gets to take at least a dozen home. I can't wait! My favorites are salted caramel snickerdoodles! Not traditional but so delicious!

9. Hot cocoa Christmas light walk

Or drive if you don't care for the cold! We do this every year. We just stay close to home and drive around looking at lights. There are several that play along to a radio station. Everyone gets some hot cocoa in a warm travel mug and we end the night with a stop to get some snacks along the way. It's easy and so memorable!

10. Opening gifts in the days before Christmas

This is totally breaking from tradition but so much fun! (It helps curious kids too!) In the days leading up to Christmas, whether a week or 12 days, we've opened one small gift each day. We take turns and open them slowly, savoring the moment. (It's more fun than opening them all at once!) I look for simple gifts at the dollar spot, thrift stores, and a neat antique mall nearby that has local craft things too.



What are your most special traditions? I'd love to hear them! 


(This post may contain affiliate links. This just simply means I made a small amount if you make a purchase but it doesn't change your price at all! One neat way to support our family!)