A Peak into our Weekend

Happy Monday folks! How was the weekend for you? It was a beautiful fall weekend in our neck of the woods and I hope you’re jumping into the week feeling nice and refreshed as well! I’ve decided to keep it light on the words and let the pictures do (most of) the talking today. Getting James to cooperate for photos is…well, like I said a picture speaks a thousand words.

“Dad won’t let me swim in the pond!”
“Mom, now is not the time, I’m eating a cracker”
“Hello, I was in the middle of climbing stairs”
Ahh, a peaceful face at last
Just picking out some candy…
A perfect evening treat.
Onions getting nice and caramelized for french onion soup
A cute bundle of thyme for said soup
And the finished product, with lots of melted cheese and bread on top!
The hair curl gets me.
Wagon rides are the best!
The cousin crew (a small part)
Sometimes life feels like a blur, and looks like one too.
Fall on the farm with this guy ❀

Question of the Day: What was your favorite activity this weekend?

Have a great Monday everyone πŸ™‚

Friday Favorites #12

Hello and happy Friday party people! What’s everyone got on the agenda for the weekend? Any fun fall fests happening in your neck of the woods? Is it still sunny and warm, or are the cooler temperatures starting to creep in? I’ve noticed nights and mornings are much chillier even when the temperatures are high during the day. Fall is upon us! And without further delay, let’s take a look at some (fall themed) favorites from the week!

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

There are certain moments that feel exactly what I envisioned stay at home mom life would look like, and as I was peeling and chopping apples to make homemade applesauce one afternoon this week while James napped, I thought to myself, “yes, this is everything I thought mom life would look like and I absolutely love it”. While peeling apples and making applesauce seems to have little connection to motherhood, to me it represents the traditional role of a wife and mom. I think of my Nana and how she always made everything homemade and how I aspire to do the same, even though laziness and convenience get the best of me sometimes. Cooking is a true labor of love. But homemade applesauce is worth it in the end.

HAPPY FALL Y’ALL

Do I sound like every pillow/sign you’ve seen in stores recently? Sorry for the cheesiness, but fall arrived this week both literally and physically! The moment I’ve been dreading and anxiously waiting for all at the same time. It was sad to say goodbye to summer because we had so much fun, but I’m also looking forward to this new season and the adventures and memories it will bring. James and I have been crunching away in the leaves that have fallen in our parking lot, and I got around to some fall decorating this week too! James has totally misplaced (and broken) many (all) of our fall decorations, but it looked pretty while it lasted (for all of 5 minutes).

WAGON RIDES

Something about riding a wagon down the sidewalk is the BEST! Especially when you’ve got your favorite dog walking alongside of you. Just look at that day! I love beautiful fall days where you can enjoy the pretty colors of the season in the comfort of your light summer clothes and sunshine beaming down! Although, I’m just noticing in this photo how green everything is. I guess you can’t expect full blown fall foliage only two days into the season.

AROUND THE WEB

These pumpkin dream cupcakes with espresso cream cheese frosting look absolutely to die for! Like we all need more pumpkin recipes this time of year. I actually shared my most favorite pumpkin cupcakes a few posts back, and I don’t know if I have it in me to deviate from a trusted and loved recipe. In the meantime I’ll dream about this new recipe, and maybe it will magically appear on my dessert plate tonight πŸ˜‰

While I’m not gluten free, these almond flour chocolate chip cookies caught my eye earlier this week. The recipe sounds really quick and easy (win-win), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my previous almond flour baking endeavors. If I give these a try, I’ll be sure to report back with a full review.

I mentioned that I’ve been doing more yoga lately, mostly relaxing yoga but once in a while I’m craving a higher intensity and faster paced session. My go-to video when I want to feel the burn, get a little out of breath, but also feel like I’m getting a good stretch is this 30-minute yoga sculpt workout. I usually use really light weights, and always end up with sore triceps afterwards. It’s a really fun and challenging yoga session!

Alrighty folks! I’m signing off for the weekend. I hope that you all get out and enjoy some fun activities this weekend with friends and family. Or just kick back and relax if that’s what your body is craving. I’m feeling a little bit of both right now. Have a great one friends!

A Chili Bar and Other Food Highlights from the Week

Hello! I am back with another roundup of what we’ve been eating in September. I shared a highlight of our eats earlier in the month, and then took a week or two off. Here we are nearing the end of the month already, yikes! Let’s dig into some favorite fall meals.

What better way to kick off this chillier season than with a chili bar?! Featuring maple turkey chili and homemade cornbread, yum all around.

And a look at the bowl of chili after it took a trip through the toppings station. Never. Enough. Toppings. Who’s with me? Also I’ve declared Fritos > tortilla chips when it comes to a bowl of chili.

Oh you know we’re rolling with it now. Hello, chili dogs! Why did I just find out about this amazing way to eat leftover chili only a year ago?! Super delicious way to spice up leftovers and basically create a whole new meal. Also, this maple turkey chili is my favorite for topping chili dogs, it’s got a hint of sweetness from the maple which I find to be the perfect compliment to the salty hot dog underneath.

Ok we’re finally moving on from chili to BREAKFAST. My favorite meal of the day! I just found out that my husband has been holding out on me and happens to be a professional omelet chef. He’s actually good at making eggs of all kinds, but can we just look at that perfectly folded omelet with perfectly thin layers of egg and melty cheese…way beyond my egg making skills.

This is basically the lighting we’re working with at breakfast these days…ugh to dark mornings. I promise these fluffy whole wheat zucchini bread pancakes topped with greek yogurt and banana slices tasted way better than they look. I also made a variation of this breakfast with strawberry slices and declared it to be dessert worthy, somehow the greek yogurt turned into whipped cream, it tasted like it at least!

And we’re back to dinner. Looks healthy doesn’t it? It tasted great at least! Walking tacos inspired by our friends Kevin and Marie when they made us a walking taco bar for lunch while camping. Great camping food, but also a great weeknight meal! Very little mess, barely any dishes. Just your favorite taco toppings piled into a bag of crushed up chips. Sign me up!

This meal looks beautifully basic. And it is. But James and Josiah really like it, it comes together in one pot, and there are some hidden veggies. An all around win in my book. For those interested, it’s this spinach mushroom beef pasta.

It looks like our lighting at night is getting tricky these days too. What’s a blogger to do?! Another easy weeknight meal of buffalo chicken sandwiches and roasted broccoli. I just marinated thinly sliced chicken breasts in a spiedie marinade, baked them in the oven, coated the baked chicken in buffalo wing sauce and served it on top of toasted buns with blue cheese dressing, lettuce, and tomato.

Not the best photo, but an amazing milkshake that I shared with Josiah while we were out celebrating our friend Lauren’s birthday the other night. Josiah declared it to be the best milkshake he’s ever had! I put in a special request for whipped cream and a cherry on top, no regrets.

Last but not least, you’ve seen it but it’s worth another feature. Homemade apple crisp. I totally forgot to link the recipe in Monday’s post, so here it is! I thought it was a very easy recipe to make, and a very delicious apple crisp to be eaten. We served it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Only the best πŸ™‚

Alright y’all, that’s all I’ve got to share today. I need to get back in the swing of food photography. I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut lately, and our meals haven’t been all that impressive. Simple meals might be fun to share too though.

I hope that you have a great Thursday friends. Happy Eating!

It’s Been A While

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? It has been a while, hasn’t it. I didn’t blog at all last week and it was really just what I needed. I have been taking a major break from social media, so I’m trying to figure out how my blog fits into that. I really enjoy blogging but I’ve also enjoyed just living life in the present moment detached from all things screen related. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my phone and computer quite regularly, I’m just not spending as much time mindlessly scrolling. When I do that, I find myself sinking into comparison traps that just aren’t a healthy mindset for me. I’ve been struggling to take photos recently too and I find that blogs are way more fun with photos.

Before I get carried away with that ramble, it’s almost officially FALL!! I know a lot of us are already in the full swing of it, but I’ve been procrastinating pulling out our fall decorations and my current excuse is “it’s not fall until September 21st”. We did go on a quick apple picking trip this weekend and then I made apple crisp with the fresh apples! Here is the recipe I used, and really liked! Oh my gosh does anyone else feel overwhelmed by the amount of apple crisp recipes out there. I know there are a lot of dishes like this where it just feels like you can find a hundred variations of the recipe and it can be incredibly stressful to weed through the slight differences to pick the best one. I’m not going to claim this is the best recipe on the planet, it’s one that my friend/cousin Katy shared with me a few years ago. I have tried many of apple crisp recipes, and this one is very good!

I would LOVE to get really crafty in the kitchen and make my own fritters (dream!), but I just don’t have the time or energy these days. So for now, simple apple crisp it is. And hopefully a batch of applesauce later in the week because I think James would be a fan. Speaking of James, he had a lot of fun apple picking this year. I think he’s always amazed when we’re out in nature picking sweet fruit off of trees or bushes. Similar to our blueberry picking experience this summer which consisted of lots of “nom nom” as I handed him endless blueberries, he happily ate away at the small apples we picked off the tree for him. He might have scared us with a few coughing fits and I’m not sure we’re quite at the age of eating whole apples yet, but he did well overall.

As for the week ahead, we have a few exciting plans on the agenda. My friend Kelly (heyy!!) is going to be in town at the beginning of the week. She is currently living out of a beautifully renovated van exploring the country (jealous) and I can’t wait to catch up with her and her parents in person! I also have another friend visiting from Colorado at the end of the week, so lots of fun visits to look forward to. I’m sure James and I will be enjoying plenty of playground time as well, our favorite hangout these days.

I hope that your week is off to a good start! I hope to be back soon πŸ™‚

Quick Catch Up + Fall Baking List

Hey y’all! How’s it going? It’s been a while since we’ve chatted. What’s new with you?

I am just doing the whole mothering thing over here for the most part. Playgrounds have been our hangout of choice. I love meeting other mom’s, dad’s and grandparents and it’s fun to see James interacting with new friends as well. It always feels equally awkward and exciting to meet new people. Maybe it’s an adult thing because James will happily latch on to other kids at the playground and not think twice. Ha!

I can’t believe tomorrow is the first day of September, does that mean we can start celebrating all things pumpkin and apple?

I’m usually ready to get a kickstart on the fall season but this year I feel myself hanging onto the sweet days of summer. I love all of the outdoor time James and I have been spending and I’m thinking we will both miss it when the seasons change.

Let’s talk allergies. Blah. I’m getting hit hard this year on the allergy front. Anyone else suffering with the sniffles? Allergies are the worst.

On a brighter note, what’s on your fall baking list?

Here’s a look at mine so far…

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins: I’m thinking they will be a great snack for all of us this fall, they look easy and healthy which is just what we need to balance out all of the other treats we’ll be eating!

Cinnamon Crunch Bread: This bread looks like a cinnamon roll in bread form and I am a HUGE fan of cinnamon rolls! I also love a bread that turns into great french toast and this screams delicious french toast to me.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting: My go-to fall recipe for years now. Whenever I bring these cupcakes to a party they are a huge hit! Super moist, bursting with sweet pumpkin flavor, and topped with the creamiest melt-in-your mouth frosting.

Cranberry Whipped Goat Cheese: If you love both cranberry and goat cheese then this looks like a must-make for you too! We don’t do a lot of appetizers around here but I’ll have to keep this in mind for a topping on fall salads or to bring to a party.

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad: Speaking of salad, are there any Panera fuji apple salad fans out there? I’ve been making a homemade version of that salad for a while now and stumbled on this recipe recently for those that want to follow an exact replica. I am so ready to put this salad back on the menu, but trying to hold off a few more weeks!

Baked Apple Cider Donuts: Oops I forgot that I titled this a “baking” list and then got carried away with cheese and salads. For those of you that need more donuts in your life (me!) how about a baked version…I plan to eat multiple fried apple fritter this year, so we’ll see how a baked donut compares. By the looks of these, I have high hopes.

Spiced Apple Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze: For those of us looking to hold on to summer while also diving head first into fall, this bread looks like a perfect combination of both. I hope to make it before zucchini season is over.

I’m starting to get that fall baking itch and can’t wait to make some of the goodies I’ve listed above. I hope you’re all enjoying the last day of August! Talk soon πŸ™‚

Question of the Day: What’s on your fall baking list?