Ever has been showing interest in helping me in the kitchen a lot lately. To encourage her love for cooking, (I’m so proud haha) I often try to come up with fun recipes and projects she can help me with.
White chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorite treats. I’m a sucker for anything sweet and salty. And the white chocolate just gives it that perfect touch.
We were so happy to work with Daydream Society for this project. We used cups and temporary tattoos from their Love Notes Collection. I wish I could say it was planned but I didn’t even know there were pretzels on the cups. That was a cute little surprise! They couldn’t be more perfect. You can check your local boutique party store to see if they carry these (I know some that do in San Diego!) but you can use any cup and little treat topper (ours being the tattoos) you’d like!
These are so fun and EASY to make. I let ever do the sprinkle part...which kids love. She kept saying “mama I help sprinkle” with a cute proud face.
S U P P L I E S
FOR THE PRETZELS
-White Chocolate Melting Wafers (we used Ghirardelli)
-Sprinkles (we used our fave Fancy Sprinkles)
-Microwave Safe Bowl
FOR THE PACKAGING
-Yarn to tie (we just love yarn but you can use any ribbon!)
-Clear Gift Bags (we got ours at Daiso and they were 7x10 and the perfect size!) You can also get a roll of cellophane but I like them to be ready to go personally!
-Temporary Tattoos (you can use stickers, pins, anything cute but something on top adds a nice finishing touch!)
-A hole puncher (if you’re using stickers or tattoos you’ll need one!)
One thing is for sure I will always crave pasta! It’s definitely my weakness. I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with how I can incorporate healthier options and in doing this I came up with this recipe that I’m pretty sure you’ll love as much as I do! And aside from the pasta, it’s all a one pot recipe!
I N G R E D I E N T S
Organic Chicken Sausage (I used Sabatino’s Paleo Basil and Cracked Pepper that I got at Costco!) You can use as much as you want. I used three links.
1 package Gluten Free Egg Fettucini (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 Can Italian Style Tomatoes
1 tbs. Chopped Parsley
4 oz. Majestic Garlic (Plain Garlic)
Pepper to taste
Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
1 tbs. Coconut Oil (you can also use avocado oil)
2 Cups Organic Broccoli
1 Can Coconut Cream
D I R E C T I O N S
1. In a pot, boil your water for the pasta.
2. In a separate large skillet on medium, add your coconut oil, majestic garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper until all are blended together nicely.
3. When that mixture is hot add in your sausage and broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender.
4. When broccoli is cooked, add in your tomatoes and coconut cream and stir to blend evenly. Add a lid and simmer.
5. While the sauce simmers and all of the flavors cook together, cook your fettuccine as instructed. Ours was fresh and only takes 4 minutes but packaged may take longer.
6. When noodles are done, drain, and add to your large skillet and blend everything together.
Top with parsley and enjoy!
It’s been so much fun interchanging these books in her room every season. We’ve been learning all about love and different forms of love and it’s no coincidence that Ever’s favorite thing to say right now is “love you tooooo”. Hope you L O V E these books like we do! Below each book is linked for
1. PART OF MY HEART
2 THAT’S ME LOVING YOU
3. MIRABEL’S MISSING VALENTINES
4. IN MY HEART
5. ROMEO AND JULIET
6. LOVE IS
7. HENRY IN LOVE
8. I LOVE YOU MORE
9. LOVE IS A TUTU
10. CUDDLE BUG
11. L IS FOR LOVE
12. LOVE MACHINE
13. FLORA FLAMINGO
14. PLANT A KISS
I N G R E D I E N T S
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
half an onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
a sprig of fresh rosemary
a spring of fresh thyme
32 oz organic chicken broth
2 red potatos, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 cups carrots, sliced(I like a lot!)
1 can full fat coconut cream
1 cup cashews
fresh chopped parsley
D I R E C T I O N S
1. Slow Cook: Place the chicken, salt and pepper, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, broth, potato, and carrots in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours. Remove the chicken, shred, and return to pot. Remove the herb sprigs and discard.
2. Make it Creamy: Blend the coconut cream and cashews together until smooth. Add to the slow cooker. Keep on high heat for another hour or so.
3. Serve: Stir the parsley into the soup to add a little fresh color. Divide the soup among bowls and top with another pinch of parsley. Yum!
E N J O Y!
Last year I started this post like this:
“ I have never learned more in one year than my first year of motherhood.”
Honestly this still rings true and I think a lot of you would agree. I learned a lot this year but I was definitely more adapted or “broken in” if you will. Because for me, my first year of motherhood shaped me into a stronger woman in so many ways.
So here are my top 10 lessons of 2018. You can read my Top 10 Lessons of 2017 here
2019 is my year for less and more
10. Less judgement and more acceptance | Not everyone will care about your kid(s) as much as you’d like them to or as much as others. It’s just the truth. And the other truth to this is that it doesn’t feel good. Not a lot of people talk about this. But here I am. This year I’ve learned to let it go.
9. Less expectation and more wonder | Expectations. Just let go of them. At the end of the day they’re just a bunch of fluffy stuff taking over your brain. This has been a big realization for me in so many ways. Friends and family, my body image, and business to note a few.
8. Less perfection and more experience | I have a new outlook on what “clean” is in my home. I had to learn (and am still learning) that nothing else gets done if I constantly pick up my house. With a very active two year old this is HARD for me. I set a goal for the level of cleanliness my house should be so I can get other things done (work and play). This goal has to be set or I get majorly distracted. Like upon sweeping you notice something on your baseboard and then your whole closet is torn apart distracted. My job is to take care of my daughter not to have a perfectly clean house.
7. Less mind and more heart | I’ll never be able to get it ALL done. Things need to be moved to tomorrow’s list. And when I do get it all done the feeling isn’t that much greater than when I get it mostly done. So why be anxious for that race to perfection when I can be enjoying life a little more. After all these standards are most likely your own.
6. Less quarrel and more peace | If you read last year’s list this isn’t much different. Currently learning to speak more gently and definitely not fight in front of Everley. Any time we sound anywhere near passionate about something Ever says “STOP”. She does not like negativity.
5. Less worry and more trust | In a difficult time I’ve learned to stop dead in my tracks and pray. On top of this I learned what I’m praying for is peace and direction vs God simply “changing” the outcome for me. And that having God on my side is really all I need. There is a lot of weight in this.
4. Less ego and more soul | FOMO is still real. I still admittedly get upset when I see friends doing things I feel like I want to be a part of. People still assume you can’t join because you have kids. What’s changed this year is truly from the bottom of my heart- it’s just gods way of giving me more time with my family.
3. Less routine and more adventures | I’ve learned to play. To forget about the hustle and bustle when I’m with Ever and just play. This lesson came along mostly at Disneyland on our solo trips this year. I’d map out the day, which rides and shows we’d see and find myself stressed if it wasn’t going to plan. Why? My intention was for her to have the best time but quickly realized she’s happy just dancing down main street waving to all of the characters. I learned this after the first couple of trips and then when it stuck and I just let go we had the best time. Kids are the best teachers.
2. Less walls and more bridges | If something scares me then it’s something I should probably go for. If I don’t take the leap there’s no room for growth. Whether it’s making new friends, expanding your creative outlet, or making lifestyle changes. This will be a big challenge for me in 2019. But I’m so ready!
1. Less complaining and more gratitude | I can be disciplined when it comes to body and my health. And I can give it grace and patience at the same time. I spent most of the year mad at my body for not working the way I wanted it to. After some tests at the end of this year I got a slight health scare. I went on a sugar control diet and said goodbye to sugar, processed food, grains, starchy veggies, and even coffee. All in an effort to heal my gut. I lost some weight and inflammation in my body but more importantly gained a new appreciation for what my body has already done for me up to this point. It’s not to be taken lightly. I was upset because it meant putting baby number two on hold but I needed to allow myself to heal. I still have work to do but I now know I can do it and that realization holds so much power.
Resolutions are something I’ve never made. I respect those that do whether they hold to them or not. Optimism, however, is more my style. Less of this and more of that.
I’m still holding onto this:
Happiness isn't defined by reaching goals or everything happening perfectly the way you want it to. It's rather your frame of mind as life is thrown at you. So I'm not going to make a million resolutions I know I won't keep. I'm going to make one promise to myself: find joy in every situation. I'm going to thank God for every opportunity and challenge that comes my way because I know either is meant to shape me into tomorrow's me.
Happy New Year, friends!
Chandelier West Elm | House Figures Target Dollar Spot | Dining Table Target and chairs Target | Stools Target | Rug Urban Outfitters
Wooden Beads Hobby Lobby
Wooden Letterboard Emmerie Lane
Wall Hanging Mimi and Lei on Etsy
Ornaments Michaels and painted by me
Diffuser Young Living | Christmas Tree Wall Shelf Joann Craft
Santa Mug Freckled Farmhouse
Wreaths and Wooden Floating Shelves Target
Wooden Wreaths Michaels and painted by me
Christmas Tree and Tray Target (last year)
Throws Target (Project 62 Line)
Rocking Chair Crate and Kids
Bow and Styrofoam Shaped Mickey Head Michael's
Mirror Target | Basket IKEA
Sunburst Mirror 31 Bits
Small World Print Little Moon Dance
Dresser Crate and Kids | Mirror Target | Unicorn Wall Hanging Target | Unicorn on shelf Crate and Kids | Cloud Shelf Target
Rose Gold Christmas Tree ON SALE Target | Bedding Beddy's Bed | Rug Target | Mickey and Minnie Disney Store | Santa Pillow Hallmark Baby | Sun Throw Rylee and Cru
Merry and Bright Banner Maddox and Klaus | Painting Alissa Hummel Art
Star Banner Maddox and Klaus
Rug Target | Pig Crate and Kids
Wooden Trees Wysh Boutique Carlsbad
Initial Hook Anthropologie
I have been making these for a few years now and I thought it was about time that I would put some extr I have been making these for a few years now and I thought it was about time that I put them up on the blog. This year I added some Mickey Mouse head glitter to a few of them and I think it is the cutest added touch. You could really do this with any glitter.
S U P P L I E S
-Bottle Brush Trees (Mine are from Joanne’s & Michaels ) I usually make a few different sizes for different sized gifts!
-Acrylic Paint & Paint brushes
-Hot Glue Gun
-Mini Clothespins (I always grab a couple different sizes for different size gifts!)
-Glitter! This is optional but if you plan to use it have fun with this part! I got my Mickey head shaped glitter here.
-Mini Bows (optional) I got mine from Michaels.
S T E P O N E
Paint your bottle brush trees with your favorite colors! You don’t need much but on some areas I like to add more paint for a pretty “flocked” look.
S T E P T W O (optional)
Sprinkle on your glitter while your paint is still wet!
S T E P F O U R
After your trees are dry you’re ready to assemble your trees to your clothespins with your hot glue gun. This is the part where you can also add your mini bows or toppers if you so choose!
We’re back at it! We’re sharing our top favorite books for Christmas time! Everley was born just about ten days before Christmas so some of these we’ve been reading to her since then! And the others are new favorites. We hope you enjoy these just as much as we do!
*Below I have included links and descriptions for each title*
1. The Little Reindeer
When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget. Nicola Killen’s evocative illustrations are sure to enchant in this beautiful book with die cut pages, foil, and flashes of festive red.
2. Pick a Pine Tree
Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree — digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.
3. Madeline's Christmas
It's the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed. All except brave Madeline, who is up and about and feeling just fine. Taking care of eleven little girls and Miss Clavel is hard work, but when Madeline finds help from a magical merchant, the girls embark on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget their sniffles and sneezes.
4. The Nutcracker
With this colorfully illustrated board book version of the classic Christmas-time ballet, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver present a new holiday favorite, The Nutcracker: A BabyLit® Dancing Primer. This board book features soldiers marching, mice prancing, snowflakes swirling, dolls bending, and buffoons skipping as a way to introduce basic movement terms to babies and toddlers.
5. A Birthday Party for Jesus
The meaning of Christmas is often overshadowed by the wave of commercialism that precedes it. It’s all too easy for kids to lose sight of the true meaning of this holiday when their daily cartoons include a flood of toy commercials and their focus is on their own wish list. This book is a heartwarming reminder to children that Christmas isn’t about Santa or asking for presents; it’s about celebrating Jesus’s birthday. This inviting, full-color, illustrated picture book tells a story of forest animals preparing for a big and exciting event. Each page provides another clue to young readers that somewhere in the forest, one special animal knows the true meaning of Christmas and wants to share it with the rest of his forest friends. By the final page of the story, kids will better understand that the greatest joy of the Christmas season is in celebrating the life of Jesus with their family and community.
6. Olivia Helps With Christmas
Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure Dad sets up the tree, watch Mom make the Christmas dinner, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung, and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Whew, being helpful during the holidays is exhausting!
7.My Little Gifts
There are many types of gifts. You can give a big, shiny, wrapped gift on Christmas morning, but you can also give the gifts of your help or your time. You can bake a cake for your parents or share what you learned in school with your little sister. You can help a friend unravel a knotty bracelet or smile at a stranger who looks sad. With a spirit of generosity, you’ll find you have many gifts to give to the world—and that giving can be even more fulfilling than receiving. Featuring a die-cut cover and interior flaps throughout, My Little Gifts celebrates the gift of giving.
8. Oh Christmas Tree
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! Santa sees all kinds of Christmas trees! Travel around the world, under the sea, and into outer space to discover trees that are whimsical and festive. This book is sure to bring Christmas cheer to story time.
9. Last Stop on the Reindeer Express
Christmas is coming but Mia has no time to send the card she made to Grandpa, who lives far away. But when she stumbles across a magical mailbox, Mia finds herself inside the Reindeer Express and is whisked away on an exciting voyage over many exotic lands, reaching Grandpa just in time. Young readers will love opening doors that lead into the next page, peeking through holes into the next scene, and opening the card that Mia made for Grandpa. It's an interactive holiday story that will be especially appreciated by families that can't all be together for Christmas.
10. The Night Before Christmas
In her fresh imagining of Clement C. Moore's timeless classic, acclaimed watercolorist Holly Hobbie introduces an entirely new character to capture the magic and heighten the wonder of this exciting, mysterious time. Her inimitable illustrations glow with warmth and feeling and will transport you to a place where anything can happen.
11. The Wish Tree
Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don't believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.
12. First Snow
In this beautiful book from debut creator Bomi Park, a young girl wakes up to the year's first snowy day. From her initial glimpse out the window to her poignant adventures—rolling a snowman, making snow angels—the girl's quiet quests are ones all young readers will recognize. Simple, muted text and exquisite, evocative art conjure the excitement of a day spent exploring the wonder of snow—and the magic that, sometimes literally, such a day brings. As subtly joyful as a snow day itself, this book will find its home in the hearts of young adventurers everywhere.
13. When Santa Was a Baby
Santa's parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby's gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh ... and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny - and two very proud parents.
14. Little Penguins
Snowflakes? Many snowflakes. Winter is coming. So begins this ever-so-simple story. As the snow starts to fall, the excited penguins pull out scarves, mittens, heavy socks, and boots, and Mama helps them bundle up. But when it’s time to go out, one timid penguin decides to stay home. Filled with waddling baby penguins, playful text, and delightful illustrations, this book feels like a young picture-book classic in the making.
I’m going on a month and a half of no sugar. It’s forced me to be more inventive in the kitchen. I’ve always loved to cook but now that I can taste food better, i‘m really into experimenting with flavors. This recipe resulted from me prepping tons of spaghetti squash one Sunday and I didn’t know what to do with it all! It’s so easy and so delicious. If you make it please let me know what you thought! Enjoy!
Organic Pasture Raised Eggs
Organic Chicken Sausage (I used True Story Sriracha)
Ground Black Pepper
Himalayan Pink Salt
Herb Seasoning (I used Primal Palate)
Optional: Your favorite hot sauce! (I used Siete brand)
I had already meal prepped my spaghetti squash but just in case you’re making it as you go I’ll give you my tried and true recipe for baking it in the oven. Step 1: cut your spaghetti squash in half (not lengthwise). I know a lot of people do lengthwise but I personally think it makes for a longer “noodle” when it’s halved horizontally. Step 2: hallow out the inside and rid of the “guts”. Step 3. Add a little grape seed or avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Step 3: did you notice I didn’t say preheat oven? Yeah, I don’t. Place your pan of halved squash in the oven and set it to 460 degrees for 40 minutes. *if the squash is overly large you may need longer* That’s it! It comes out so tender and with a delicious naturally carmelized flavor.
Scramble eggs in coconut oil. I like to slow cook mine on low-medium so they turn out nice and fluffy! Salt and pepper to tast!
While your eggs are cooking, combine a tablespoon of avocado oil with diced white onions and your chicken sausage (sliced into coins). Cook to your liking. I like mine a tiny bit blackened. I add salt, pepper, and garlic and herb seasoning to taste.
Using a smaller pan (to maintain haystack form) coat with avocado or grape seed oil and heat. Once hot, place a handful of spaghetti squash onto the pan. Cook until brown (about 2-4 minutes per side)
Once all of the above is cooked you’re ready to assemble! Here’s the order I like to use:
Chicken Sausage and Onions
Top with avocado and a pinch more of pink salt
Add some of your favorite hot sauce for a kick! My favorite right now is anything Siete makes or good ol cholula!
YES! So good!
This year I wanted to do something different with my Thanksgiving Tablescape. Well, if I’m honest every year is different. That’s part of the fun, right? This go-around I was inspired by these cute color blocked houses (from target). They’re a seasonal item for Christmas and you better believe I was there as they were unpacking all the holiday things the day after Halloween. I can’t help it! I’ll definitely be using them for my Christmas village but I love them for Thanksgiving. They just scream “gather” to me.
Lately I’m really into mixing different textures. I wanted to incorporate terra-cotta, wood, wheat, and glass. As for colors I wanted to use white (obviously), blush, burnt orange, and gold as the mains.
Below I linked as many resources as I could possibly find. Happy Thanksgiving friends!
Rattan Mirror World Market
Textured Placemats Target | Dusty Coral Napkins World Market (they have SO many colors!)
Painted Pumpkin (by me) Supplies Handmade Modern by Target
Terracotta Plate Michaels | Cotton Michaels
Decorative Wheat Michaels
Color Blocked Houses Target