gallamore west

Friday, September 26, 2014

Black & White Halloween Wreath

I'm super excited to show you my Black & White Halloween Wreath today!  It was fun and easy to make, and I'm loving the switch from lots of black with orange in Halloween's past here to a more updated black and white decorating scheme here this year.  

I already had the straw wreath form covered in the black & white chevron fabric and the polka dot bow from our Chevron Birthday Party we had for these three cuties back in May.  

{Sorry, iPhone only pics for these next three pictures}... 

It was a simple wreath that I just taped a cute printable into the middle right onto the door.  Sometimes I'm fancy like that ;)

And this is one of my favorite pictures ever... when I say we're having a Black & White Chevron Birthday Party, our guests take it seriously!  

So, back to the wreath.  I picked up some inexpensive grey creepy fabric and some glitter spiders from Walmart recently.  I just kind of wrapped some of the fabric loosely around the wreath and put a tiny bit of hot glue (because someday in the future I'll probably re-use this wreath again for another occasion.  Because I'm cheap budget-friendly like that.) 

Then I used some FolkArt Chalkboard paint, American Crafts Chalkboard Markers, and adorable wooden pennants from Pick Your Plum to make the little EEK sign that I strung onto the wreath with Pick Your Plum grey twine.  And I love how these glitter spiders look on the creepy fabric.

I'm loving our "new" Black & White Chevron wreath, and especially because it's the 1st time I've crafted in months {it was a BUSY summer with 4 little boys home} and because it cost me under $5 since I had most of the supplies, and even most of the wreath, done already! 

 Have a great weekend! xoxo 
I'm linking up to Tatertots & Jello.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on them and order something, I get a teeny tiny commission from the sale.  These pennies help me keep Gallamore West going.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

5 Ways to Save Money at Home

Looking for simple ways to save money at home?   I know I always am, and I asked my readers on Facebook last week what their favorite money saving tips were.  So today I'm sharing with you 5 ways to save money at home. 

1) Turn off your cable.  We recently switched from cable to Amazon Fire and instantly shaved close to $100 off of our monthly bills.  My only question about this is "Why didn't we do this years ago?"  We still are able to watch most of our shows, plus we have a ton of movies to choose from.  The only thing that isn't the best about this is live sports, according to my husband.  But overall, this was a fabulous way to save a decent chunk of money.

2) Turn your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter.  We keep our air conditioner set at 79-80 degrees.  I know that some of you will probably think that is just crazy, but if I start feeling warm I just step outside for a minute then go back inside and enjoy the cooler air.  The same (well, I guess it's the opposite) goes for the heater.  Turn it down a few degrees and put on a sweater if you get cold.  Doing this saves a lot of money on our electricity bills.

3) Call your cell phone provider and ask for a lower rate.  We recently did this because we were thinking of switching to a prepaid service provider.  We ended up staying with our current cell phone provider because they matched the prepaid price, which now saves us about $65 a month with no change in service.  Except now I have unlimited texting and before I didn't.  So in this case, we're actually saving money and getting better services.

4) Eat at home or pack your meal to go.  We eat almost all of our meals at home.  Our grocery bill does run high (and I'm working hard on that!) but compared to eating out, it's a very smart way to save money.  I pack my husband a lunch for work every day now.  He used to buy lunch 5 days a week, which cost us about $40 a week, so over $150 a month.  We cut that expense down drastically and now I estimate that it costs about $30 a month for his lunches, so a savings of $120 a month.

5) Go Solar with Sunrun and let nature work for you.  If you really want to cut your electricity costs, consider Sunrun solar. This is something that I dream of doing, and would love to do someday soon.  If you're a homeowner who has been considering going solar, you could start saving money immediately on your electricity bill with Sunrun.  

                Here are some helpful facts about Sunrun.
  • Electricity from Sunrun is more affordable than electricity from your utility.
  • Sunrun invented solar service, a way to get solar on your roof without the high upfront cost and hassle of ownership.
  • Sunrun installs, insures, monitors and maintains a solar system that is designed specifically for you and your home. You just pay a low, locked-in rate for the electricity that the panels produce.
  • Sunrun gives you control over your electricity costs and protects you against unpredictable electricity rate increases.
  • Sunrun monitors your solar system's production remotely, so you have peace of mind.
  • Sunrun solar is a win-win; good for your wallet, and good for the planet.

    As a Gallamore West reader, Sunrun has a special offer for you. If you go solar with Sunrun before Nov. 30, you'll get a $500 VISA® Prepaid Card. (Conditions apply.) Get a free solar quote here.

    Want more info on Sunrun Solar? 
    Connect with Sunrun on

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    White Pants on Wednesday #1

    My blog has changed so much from being a family blog to a crafty/sweets/Mommy blog and then sponsored posts became a thrilling reality for me and here I am today... a mix of all of those things, but not a very good juggler so things have been heavy on sponsored posts because I'll be honest, they pay the bills.  And with four bottomless pit boys, we've got bills!  

    But somewhere along the way, I definitely feel like I've buried my real self here, so here I am pulling the reigns back and ready to open up and be more real with you on my blog.  I'm calling it White Pants on Wednesday because...

     I'm wearing white pants right now.

    And because today is Wednesday.  

    And because it's my blog so I get to name it.

     And because I like this picture I posted on Instagram last week while wearing my white pants.  

    And also because there is something about wearing white pants as a mom of four little ones that makes me feel like Supermom if I make it through the day with my white pants not completely covered in dirt and jelly handprints.

    What is White Pants on Wednesday?

    It's a time and place to open up about anything and everything... from my frustrations to successes as a Mom, my favorite finds of the week while out shopping, my plans, snippets of my life and favorite corners of my home... so pretty much anything.  And it will pretty much be iPhone pics, or maybe a combo of "big girl camera" pics and iPhone pics.  I just want to get it posted and not worry too much about editing the perfect shot, because life isn't perfect and that's what I want to capture here, real life. 

    I could show you a picture of our clean house today because I really did an awesome job today of vacuuming, putting all the laundry away, and bagging up 4 big trash bags of stuff for donations, all while wearing my white pants.  But in the spirit of keeping it real here at White Pants on Wednesday, here is what our little boys' room looks like today :)

    See you next Wednesday- xoxo.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Mini Apple Pie Trifles Recipe

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias

    Fall baking is my favorite, but so far in San Diego we have had nothing that resembles fall weather... at all.  We're talking temperatures soaring over 100 degrees for days here.  But I'm still craving everything fall, including fall desserts.  So this weekend I went to Smart & Final for a few ingredients to make our family a fall dessert that didn't even require me to heat up the oven, Mini Apple Pie Trifles.  Whether you really are enjoying fall weather, or whether you're still cranking the AC, these Mini Apple Pie Trifles will satisfy your sweet tooth for something deliciously "Fall" tasting.

    I picked up a First Street Vanilla Pound Cake and First Street Apple Pie Filling from Smart & Final.  Don't those look amazing?  The cashier and I were about ready to open up that apple pie filling and try it out!  I love shopping at stores where the cashiers are not just friendly, but also excited about their store's product line.  

    Mini Apple Pie Triffles @ Gallamore West

    The pound cake was SO good- it tasted fresh and so good that our boys thought it was homemade.  And the apple pie filling was also delicious, and I was impressed at how that also tasted homemade.  To complete the "this tastes homemade" theme, I whipped up my own whipping cream with some sugar and vanilla extract.  It's so much better than the canned whipped cream.  Then I just got to layering...

    Mini Apple Pie Triffles @ Gallamore West

    I put about 3-4 one inch square pieces of pound cake at the bottom of each mason jar, then layered about 3-4 slices of apple pie filling, then a tablespoon or so of whipped cream on top of the apple.  I repeated the layers two times, then sprinkled cinnamon on top.  Don't be afraid to gently push down each layer with the back of a spoon before putting in the next ingredient.  It helps the layers fill all of the space in the jar and lets you pack in more deliciousness into each jar.  And who wouldn't want that? :) 

    Mini Apple Pie Triffles @ Gallamore West

    Do you shop at Smart & Final?  Every time I go there I love it because it really is a smaller, faster, easier to navigate warehouse store without a club membership fee.  I always get a close parking spot, the store isn't jam packed full of people, I'm able to find exactly what I'm looking from produce to meat, wine and baked goods all at great prices, and Smart & Final is my #1 source for party candy too because the selection is awesome.  Oh, and their coffee is amazing too!  I really do love Smart & Final.  

    Smart & Final's First Street Bakery is having a fun sweepstakes from September 17-September 30th, where they are giving away (3) $500 gas cards and (10) $100 Smart & Final gift cards when you pruchase any 2 First Street Bakery items and enter a code online that you can find on your store receipt.

    How fun would it be to win one of those prizes?!  Head to your local Smart & Final and be amazed at what a great place it is to shop! 

    Check out Smart & Final 
    on Facebook
    and on Twitter

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Game Day Party!

    This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® Tyson and Wet-Nap®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #wingsandwipes

    Are you ready for some football?  

    We love football season here at Gallamore West!  Some more than others but still, I love to make a big spread of food where everyone can get up and help themselves throughout the game so that I can sit and relax, and I especially love it when I can make that food fun, easy, and with a football theme.  So to kick off football season, I set up a fun dinner for our family so we could sit down for the first Monday night game of the season.  

    I wanted the food to be fun and easy, even for the kids to grab themselves so I picked up these Tyson Any'Tizer Wings in Buffalo Style and Honey BBQ.  And since wings can get messy, I also grabbed a box of Wet-Nap so the kids could  clean up their own hands up too. Tyson Any'Tizer Buffalo Wings taste just like the pricey ones from a restaurant, but for a fraction of the price and you don't even have to leave your house. 

    We also picked up some fun Tyson Boneless Chicken Any'Tizer wings for the kids. YUM!

    I served the wings with dipping sauces- BBQ for the Honey BBQ wings, and spicy Siracha for the Buffalo wings.  Both were huge hits with everyone- the kids really loved the Honey BBQ, and the adults were huge fans of the Buffalo wings.

    And for dessert, I kept it simple with fresh fruit bowls, and pretzel thins drizzled with yellow and white chocolate with blue sprinkles.  

    If you haven't noticed yet, we are definitely San Diego Chargers fans in this house!

    I printed out some free football printables to attach to the individually wrapped Wet Nap napkins.

     And I also made a fun little "football field" with green & white card stock paper for the kids to play a fun little game of "Flick the Football" to keep them occupied when the real game started getting long.

    Sounds silly, but silly things keep these boys busy around here!  Plus, Wet-Nap is great to keep their little fingers clean.  I think I'll keep a little basket of them on the table all of the time.

    Gearing up for Game Day at your house?  Head to Walmart for Tyson Any-Tizer Wings and don't forget a package of Wet-Nap to clean up those fingers with.  Grab a coupon for Wet-Nap here (available at Walmart, while supplies last). 


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