Dollar Tree Dinner – Italian Night

Tonight was Italian night at the Dollar Tree.

The menu was:

Spaghetti with tasty sauce

Veggie balls
Steamed veggies
Almost gelato with almond biscotti

All items were purchased at our awesome Dollar Tree in Nacogdoches.

Where is Italy?
See it on a world map right here!

Total cost = $6.00

(Not $6 “each” but $6 total for this full table of food, with some leftovers not shown in photo!)

First, let’s talk about that spaghetti.

You can see it says “50% More Free” and it was so much spaghetti! I was careful to use only as much as I estimated would be in a regular box, and even doing that, I still had more spaghetti than we needed and put some in the fridge. Plus, there was still a lot left in the box, plenty for another meal later. For the sake of this post, though, we’ll call it “$1.00 worth of” spaghetti, as if it were a regular box.

Next, the sauce!
This was a basic plain sauce, just a “flavor”, not “chunky”. I didn’t add anything to it, but in your real world, I’d recommend chop up anything you might have extra in the fridge, leftover veggies, bits of onion, whatever, and add all that in. Spaghetti sauce is very forgiving that way.

The can said 40 calories per serving, and 5 servings in the can. But I used it all, on four plates, so that puts it at 50 sauce calories per plate.

These veggie balls were delicious! I was happily surprised at how tasty they were and would definitely get them again. That said, they did stay quite soft, even when baked in a hot oven, and they did not keep the ball shape even for a moment once the fork reached them. I broke them up into the sauce on individual plates tonight, but next time, I would just do that right in the pan, which would spread the flavors throughout and also add more texture to the sauce.

I was disappointed that there were not 12 in the box, which I would have assumed as a standard (3 per serving, 4 servings per box), but oh well, there were only 9, so that was that. You may notice one plate has none – that’s because of allergies. There were more left on the pan, not shown in the picture.

Because there were fewer than an even 4, I’ll call that only 100 veggie ball calories (instead of the 120 shown on the package).

A trip to Italy traditional includes gelato, so “ice cream” it is.
It’s not fancy, I agree, but it seemed to fit the meal. This package said 1/2 cup per serving and 6 servings. I’m not sure how they measured that, because I used a measuring cup on purpose to try to be exact, and I only got 4. Which worked out fine, but still, though you should know. 90 cal on the box, plus a little more, I guess, so 100 cal -ish each ?

The biscotti package had enough cookies for each serving to have 4, but I was confused, and only put 3 in the dishes, and then ate up the rest myself, while wondering why there were these “extra” pieces in the package!

Calorie & Cost Summary

I am definitely not an official nutritionist, or dietary advisor of any sort, so I’m just doing some regular basic math based on the labels and per-serving info, the way those labels are intended to use by regular people.

Calories Per Plate

Spaghetti – 200 calories
Sauce – 50 calories
Veggie balls – 100 cal
Steamed mixed veggies – 50 cal ?
Ice cream – 100 cal
Biscotti – 140

Total Calories – about 650 (ish) (it’s for supper, after all, not a snack)
Total Protein – about 14 g (ish)

(sorry I forgot to take a photo of the veggies, but I think I remember they were 50 calories a serving)

Cost Per Plate

.25 spaghetti (1 box / 4 plates)
.25 sauce (1 can / 4 plates)
.25 veggie balls (1 box / 4 plates)
.25 veggies on the side (1 bag / 4 plates)
.25 dessert (1 ice cream / 4 bowls)
.25 cookies (1 box / 4 servings)


Total Cost Per Plate – $1.50 (ish….maybe another few cents in tax?)

A good price for a full meal of real food, including dessert!

Learn Italian!

Now try a few words and phrases in Italian! Here are some places to try. (not affiliate links, I’m not selling, just fun places I like for languages.)

Duolingo – popular free language-learning site

Pimsleur – try a free 30-minute conversational lesson today to go along with your meal – it’s fun!

(after that, there is a fee, but the free lesson is really free)

October 31, 2018 Events in Nacogdoches

10 AM – 5:30 PM – Spooky Portraits

Reserve your spooky spot at

A LOT of fun, and just a little bit spooky! A little bit of spooky fun with a heart toward feeding those in need. Spooky Portraits is a 15 minute portrait appointment with immediate same-day viewing, value-packed packages starting at only $25, and super fast turn-around. Along with amazing photos, its one of our many efforts to give back to our great community. With Spooky Portraits, we are collecting canned goods and ask that with each appointment you consider a donation of four or more. Awesome photos AND helping others!

Reserve your spooky spot

2:00 p.m. – Costume Contest & Ducks

Just $1 to enter the costume contest and $2 per guess for the ducks.

Our 2nd annual costume contest is now official! Come dressed for Halloween in your favorite costume! Your peers will judge your costume and pick a winner at the end of the night.
Guess the number of ducks! How many rubber ducks are in the store? Hmmm… Let’s guess! Just $2 per guess, a winner will be chosen at the end of the night! We also have the adopt a duck. Pick a duck from the store, we will put a number on its butt. Keep your duck and get your number put into a pot. Both guess the number of ducks and adopt a duck will have cool prizes for the winners.

4:00 p.m. – D&D Dungeon Crawl

Just a $15 per table entry, enter as many tables as you like if you don’t survive the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd!

Welcome to our annual Halloween D&D Dungeon Crawl One Shot event! This year we are packing Halloween with an amazing tournament for all you role players and some who have never role played! Muuuhhahahhaaa….. Just come and join us for this crazy adventure through dark realms, poisoned rooms, scary monsters and I almost forgot to mention… try to SURVIVE!! That’s right… just survive your DM’s haunting creation and receive amazing prizes at the end! There will be several tables that you could randomly be assigned to. Just a $15 per table entry, enter as many tables as you like if you don’t survive the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd! Premade characters will be assigned to you by the DM of that table. No need to bring your own. Please do bring a pencil and 7-set of dice if you have them or they will be available for purchase. Remember to think outside the box and have fun!

4:00 p.m. – Pauper Commander Tournament

Pauper commander tournament! Pauper commander has an uncommon creature as your commander and the other 99 must be commons only. Including your lands! There is a small ban list that is posted in store. Make sure to check it out. $10 entry fee. Pods of 4. Starts at 4 pm. We will kick another off at 8 pm for those that do not want to do the dungeon crawl. Prizes will include a playmat, dice and/or booster packs!

5:30 – 8:30 p.m. South Nacogdoches Fire Dept. Trick or Treat
Come out to the fire station bring your kids and get candy and also kids can get on our trucks and see us

6 – 9 p.m. – Ghosts of Millard’s Crossing
Trick-or-Treat with the Ghosts of Millard’s Crossing!
Halloween night, Wednesday October 31.
6pm to 9pm

$5 per person, age 3 and under free.

Alcohol-Free, Family Friendly.
Parking at the Rebellion Barn property (Formally the Flea Market).

This is sure to be “The Spot” for Halloween! So much fun stuff for the entire family to enjoy: Food from Shali’s Indian Kitchen on Wheels and Chambers Smokehouse BBQ.
Dr Rainbow will be out doing all his amazing things including Balloon Animals and a Fire show. We also have a Pet Costume Contest, Hayrides, Magician, Headless Horseman, Fortune Teller, Face Painting, Caramel Popcorn, Games, and of course Ghosts & CANDY!

6 – 7:30 p.m. – Trunk or Treat

(Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church)

First UMC and Perritte Memorial UMC partner together to give families a safe place to Trick or Treat on Halloween night. The FREE festivities will last from 6:00 until 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 31.

6 – 8 p.m. – Fall Fun Night

(University Baptist Church)

UBC will be hosting a Fall Fun Night on October 31st beginning at 6:00 p.m.
We will have a Chili Cook Off, games, and of course, CANDY!!

6 -8 p.m.– Fall Festival

(Calvary Baptist Church)

Join us for this FREE event at Calvary on October 31st. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy games, food, and fun. Come between 6:00pm-8:00pm in the front parking lot of the church. See you there.

6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Fall Fest

(Fredonia Hill Baptist Church)

Join us for an evening of family fun! We’ll have games, inflatables, food, and trunk-or-treating. Come dressed up and ready to have a great time! We’ll kick off at 6:30pm. We hope your family can join us! All are welcome! Be sure to invite your friends!

*Free Admission*

Hot Soup on a Rainy Night

(This meal was sourced entirely from Dollar Tree in Nacogdoches.)
(cost per meal = 95 cents)

It was a dark and windy evening and about to rain . . . soup and bread seemed like the perfect meal for a cozy supper tonight.

Vegetable Beef Soup
French Baguette
Raspberry Sherbet
Fudge Mint Cookie

There are many different options for soup. There were at least four brands of things like “beefy vegetable” or “vegetable beef” and I choose this particular brand for no particular reason other than I liked the picture on the can. They also have several chicken options, chicken & veggie, chicken & noodle, hearty chicken, etc, plus our old standby of classic Tomato.

This soup was indeed very thick – it would work fine to add a little more water and maybe an extra can of of beans or corn, if you’d like to extend it even further.


French Baguettes – such a fancy name adds a special fancy feeling to the meal, and I think meal time is about a lot more than just re-fueling the tank (at least most of the time, anyway). Emotional connection and a pleasant experience matter a lot.

These breads were the item that inspired this whole meal. They caught my eye and I thought they looked perfect to cut into four pieces and then it was a quick jump to add soup with them.

These needed about 6 minutes in a hot oven and they were great just like that, right out of the package. You might also add a bit of butter or garlic powder, perhaps?

I think they will also work beautifully sliced in half again, longways, and used like garlic bread with spaghetti or lasagna, or perhaps sliced in rounds, to make dipper chips for hummus, pimiento cheese or tuna salad? So many options to try!

I have always loved sherbet and still do.

I used raspberry tonight, but Dollar Tree also has orange sherbet available.
(We have both in the freezer right now!)


I added the cookie just as a little bonus at the side of the sherbet, to look pretty and add another special touch to the dessert.

These cookies tasted just like their packaging implies they might. I think they would work just fine in any recipe that calls for a different brand of similar cookies in similar packaging.

Visit Shangriladoches on Facebook, too.
See you there!

2018 Halloween Options Nacogdoches

Trick or Treat?
That’s a spooky prospect indeed!

Sending your children off to stand at long lines so they can take candy from strangers? Or even worse, driving all over town, so you can visit the homes of people you know?

Try these other options on Halloween night instead!

Event Page Here.
Millard’s Crossing Historic Village
Target audience: Families with younger children
Experience: Traditional trick-or-treat experience, walking house-to-house in the village, but with the fun twist of meeting a “ghost” from the past (story teller wearing facepaint) who will share some history from their real life and also give you a candy treat. This is a great event every year and a fun time to visit the village.

Alcohol-Free, Family Friendly. RAIN OR SHINE.
Parking at the Rebellion Barn property (Formally the Flea Market).
$5 per person, age 3 and under free.

Ghosts, Candy, Headless Horseman, Hayrides, Magician, Food Trucks, Fae Painting, Bounce house, Photo Area, Games, Popcorn
Dr Rainbow will be out doing all his amazing things including Balloon Animals and a Fire show, a Doggy Costume contest with prizes,
and so much more!

Event Page Here.
Gamer’s Hollow Game Store
Target audience: D&D players, and their friends
Try to survive while you adventure through dark realms, poisoned rooms, scary monsters and more. There will be several tables that you could randomly be assigned to. Just a $15 per table entry, enter as many tables as you like if you don’t survive the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd! Premade characters will be assigned to you by the DM of that table. No need to bring your own. Please do bring a pencil and 7-set of dice if you have them or they will be available for purchase. Amazing prizes all night long!

Event Page Here.

Pythian Poster Contest 2018

Since 1960, the Pythians have had a poster contest for students grade 9 to 12, in the past mostly with public schools. This contest is now open to students of similar ages and experience who are in private schools and home schooled students. Great cash prizes, too!

Deadline is April 24, 2019

Rules on the images below.
Contact local Pythias lodge for more information.
Lanana Lodge, Knights of Pythias in Nacogdoches

Pythian main site here.
The Order of Knights of Pythias is an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, established in 1864 in Washington, DC, by Justus H. Rathbone and was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an Act of Congress. The Order bases its lessons and builds it ritual largely on the familiar story of the friendship of Damon and Pythias, who were historical characters living about four hundred or more years before the beginning of the Christian era.

Cancer Research at SFA

Click the link below to see interesting article about exciting cancer research at SFA

Li Article



(Credit to The Daily Sentinel for this great article.)

March 3 – Community Open-Mic Night

At The Bosslight in downtown Nacogdoches

Calling storytellers,
short-story writers,
hula hoopers.

Community Mic Night is your chance to get up and do your thing.

* come by and sign up ahead of time, so we have some idea what you’re planning.
* music must be 100% acoustic. No worries, the room will make you sound great!
* comedians, please be funny. And no inappropriate material. Sorry!

More info at the FB event page here:

Events for Dec. 3 – 10, 2017


December 2017 – all month

Grab a scavenger hunt card from the Nacogdoches Visitors Center, or any of the other 30+ participating locations, and be sure to fill it out when you go out to shop, eat and scout for the magical elves that will be watching over Nacogdoches this Christmas. After finding all of your elves, take your scavenger hunt card to Party N’ Things to enter for a chance to win gift certificates for their amazing toys! $100, $75, and $50 gift cards will be provided. For more information, call Nacogdoches Main Street at (936) 559-2573.


December 3, 2017 (Sunday)

6:00 – 9:00 P.M.

(The Healing Center)

 Join Isaiah 61 One as we celebrate 15 years of ministry at the East Texas Healing Center!

The band will do a full worship set along with all the other festivities!

There are rumors of tacos!


December 3, 2017 (Sunday)

Now – until Dec. 31, 2017



Write a piece of Loop Poetry and you may win a prize!

See details at the BTB page.



December 4, 2017 (Monday)

4:30 p.m. – until Dec. 8th at 5:30 p.m.


The Hour of Code is a global movement introducing tens of millions of students worldwide to computer science, inspiring kids to learn more, breaking stereotypes, and leaving them feeling empowered. Drop in any day between December 4th and 8th at 4:30pm to try a fun, hands-on coding activity and get inspired! All ages. Children under 8 should be accompanied by a parent.


December 5, 2017 (Tuesday)

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

(Front Porch Distillery)

Theology on Tap meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Locations will vary, but we will always find a place that has good food, good drink, and space to talk, listen, think, and share about faith and life. Please contact Jenni Marshall at




December 7, 2017 (Thursday)

6:30 p.m. – until late

(Gamers Hollow)

Gamer’s Hollow is now Nacogdoches’ premiere collectible card game, board game, tabletop and RPG game store, and is also a great place to hang out with your old friends, and meet new ones.



December 8-10, 2017 (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Lamplite Theater

Getting ready for the holidays is beginning to wear down everyone in town — and is definitely hurting the spirits of Santa’s elves, who are trying to get things ready in time. Then, when a homeless family strays into the workshop, Christmas might be delayed even more. 



December 8, 2017 (Friday)

5:30 p.m. – until ?

Bring a friend and join us for DIY facials, manicures, and cosmetic makeovers. Enjoy sweet treats, warm beverages, and even warmer company for this laidback, stress relieving evening of pampering. Please visit or call 926-559-2970 to register.




December 8, 2017 (Friday)

7:00 p.m. – until late

(Gamers Hollow)

Draft, tournaments, casual, serious, formats may vary, please call to see what’s happening this week. Gamer’s Hollow is now Nacogdoches’ premiere collectible card game, board game, tabletop and RPG game store, and is also a great place to hang out with your old friends, and meet new ones.




December 8, 2017 (Friday)

5:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Join us in Downtown Nacogdoches for our annual Jingle and Mingle. We have revamped the previous years events to make this the biggest downtown shopping event of the season by adding food trucks, live entertainment, and more. Participating stores will be open late so you can mark plenty of people off your Christmas list. Take a stroll downtown on December 8 and you will be sure to get into the Christmas spirit!



December 9, 2017 (Saturday)T

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Local produce, baked goods, eggs, cheese, jellies, canned goods, honey, personal care products, local wineries, and locally produced crafts. Help support your local community! The Farmer’s Market is a Smoke-Free facility. We welcome animals on a leash.



December 9, 2017 (Saturday)

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Join the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. at the 2017 Christmas Tour of Homes. Celebrate this holiday season by visiting five incredible and unique homes in Nacogdoches. See link for list of homes and more details.



December 9, 2017 (Saturday)

2:30 p.m.


Gather gently used items you no longer need and come to a clothing & toy swap party. You may bring adult’s and children’s clothes, as well as toys, household items, and accessories, to exchange with others, just in time for the holidays! Party leftovers will be donated to a local charity organization. We’ll also accept new, unopened toys for gifts to local foster children. In collaboration with Resilient Nacogdoches. Please or call 926-559-2970 to register.



December 9, 2017 (Saturday)

5:30 – 10:00 p.m.


Nacogdoches Main Street is excited to announce the return of the Downtown Progressive Dinner, and it’s sure to be BETTER THAN EVER. On December 9, you’ll begin your evening with artisan cheese by the Daily Rind and wine by NacaValley Vineyards hosted at Morning Glory Yoga’s newest location, MGY2. Then you’ll move on to Dolli’s Diner for your soup and salad course. Your entree will be served at The Fredonia Hotel with a one of their signature cocktails. Your final stop will be at the Fredonia Brewery for beer flight with delicious homemade dessert by Blue Horse Bakery. Tickets are $100 each. Seating is very limited.





December 9, 2017

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Interdenominational community based worship for Christmas.



December 10, 2017 (Sunday)

12:30 p.m. – 4:00 (ish)

(at Pecan Park)

The Republic of Sun Fall Abbey is an Amtgard park that plays in at Pecan Park (826 Starr Ave) in Nacogdoches Texas, right next to Stephen F Austin University. We meet on Sundays, starting at 12:00 pm. This week we will have arts and crafts of various types on display, plus potluck. Bring something to share and please join us!


Still thing there’s “nothing to do” in Nacogdoches?

For even MORE things to do this week, please see the Nacogdoches Events Calendar!

Click here!