Author Archive | rae

MOM BOD: A HEALTH + FITNESS PANEL WITH SOME OF MY FAVORITES

Of all the events, podcasts and messages I’ve heard, panels are easily my favorite. They remind me of 2 things 1. That there isn’t one perfect way or person or journey and 2. We are better together! With that in mind, I polled a few of my favorite friends and mom crushes to share how they mix health and fitness with motherhood. Their answers were even better than I imagined when I started planning this post and I hope you feel just as inspired as I do by the insights below.

Can’t wait to introduce you to them so without further ado, meet…

  • Favorite healthy snack: I always have a Lara bar in my purse or if I’m home I’ll whip something up like hummus and veggies.
  • Favorite junkfood: Ahhhhhh – Those Australian red licorice bites from Sprouts are my kryptonite. All my closest friends know that if I am seen eating them, it has been an especially rough day and I need some comfort haha.
  • Favorite song, podcast, app or playlist to workout to: I am a huge podcast junkie. My favorite is “You Made it Weird” with Pete Holmes. He does the best interviews that are both laugh out loud funny, but always get deep and go into meaning of life questions. Tons of thoughtful gems. The Moth and This American Life are two more I can always count on. This is if I am going on runs. I need to keep my mind occupied to go the distance!
  • Favorite way to get a workout: The Bar Method. I am recently obsessed. It really does sculpt your body and seeing results is so rewarding.
  • Your usual workout routine or activity: Recently it is The Bar Method. If not my exercise is chasing my 2-year old around.
  • How or when do you find the time to workout: I schedule all my classes on Monday for the entire week when I have that “this is a new week, new me” attitude ;) It is easy to lose that enthusiasm as the week goes on. So I commit myself early.
  • Health and fitness philosophy, in a nutshell: Celebrate the small victories!

* find more of Danielle at Olivia + Ocean

  • Favorite healthy snack: honeycrisp apple with almond butter
  • Favorite junkfood: Ice cream!!!
  • Favorite song, podcast, app or playlist to workout to: I change it up a lot! From Kygo to 80’s pop to worship music
  • Favorite way to get a workout: Swimming (in our indoor pool) & workout class.
  • Your usual workout routine or activity: 25 minutes swimming laps and a 60 minute workout class hosted at our church with varied, but always challenging, activities.
  • How or when do you find the time to workout: My morning workout class provides childcare for $2. Otherwise, when the kids are at school and the toddler naps.
  • Health and fitness philosophy, in a nutshell: If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Am I right??

  • Favorite healthy snack: Healthy Bonez “U Got Kale” juice which contains fresh kale, celery, cucumber, coco-water, apple, & lemon. All of their menu items have no sugar added, are gluten-free, dairy free, and otherwise entirely plant based which is kinda exciting.
  • Favorite junkfood: Chips & salsa!
  • Favorite song, podcast, app or playlist to workout to: I always go with a podcast from either Bobbie Houston, Brian Houston or my pastor Judah Smith. I like to learn and think while I work out and these three people always inspire me to be a better version of me.
  • Favorite way to get a workout: Real life activities outside of the gym are my favorite. Today for example I enjoyed a four mile walk with my husband after we dropped the kids off at school. Bonus that it was along the waterfront!
  • Your usual workout routine or activity: Normally I drive to the gym and spend 35 minutes on the stair-stepper at level 7 then I jump on the tread mill for 20 minutes with a #3 incline and #3.8 speed. If I get three days a week at the gym combined with the daily activities that my life brings then it’s been a good week.
  • How or when do you find the time to workout: I plan out my week ahead and make sure to put it in the schedule. If it’s on the schedule it’s most likely to happen. I also try to make it social and will text a friend and we will plan a day to go for a long walk or go to the gym and take a class I might not normally do (because it’s always more fun to join a class with a friend).
  • Health and fitness philosophy, in a nutshell: I am not hard on myself, I don’t feel guilty if I miss a week at the gym and I also do not diet. It’s more about discipline, making healthy responsible choices and living a lifestyle that promotes health.
  • BONUS TIP! I also highly recommend the book “Eat Beautiful”. It’s full of pretty photos, beauty tips, recipes, has a cute and informational story line and is all about the effects of food on your skin.

* find more of Nicole at Hopper Group!

  • Favorite healthy snack: Hummus & carrots!
  • Favorite junkfood: Ice cream.
  • Favorite song, podcast, app or playlist to workout to: Nursing & Cursing podcast, or Macklemore.
  • Favorite way to get a workout: Lifting weights/circuit.
  • Your usual workout routine or activity: Group strength and yoga classes, or a regular cardio/lifting circuit at the gym.
  • How or when do you find the time to workout: Early in the morning or late at night!
  • Health and fitness philosophy, in a nutshell: Treat yo self… but really, “JUST DO IT!”

* find more of Kendra at Hen & Co.

  • Favorite healthy snack: Apples and almond butter and edamame.
  • Favorite junkfood: Ice cream (duh! Ha!)
  • Favorite song, podcast, app or playlist to workout to: Erwin McManus, Churchome, Brian Houston, or School of Greatness podcast if I’m running by myself (which is rare) or a random “workout” or “gangsta rap” playlist off of Pandora or Spotify.
  • Your usual workout routine or activity: Short runs, Body Boss workouts (found on youtube) and other circuit training… Lots of burpies, jump-squats and kettle bell swing, type exercises. (Here’s a list of exercises for inspiration)
  • Favorite way to get a workout: I love weights (medium weight with higher reps) or any crossfit workout that doesn’t involves crazy weights, overhead squats or kipping. Hot yoga is fun every once in awhile and I’ve been wanting to find a hip-hop class to take! I also love chasing, jumping, or playing soccer, tennis or basketball with the kids and Johan.
  • How or when do you find the time to workout: Usually early in the morning or in the evening while at one of the kids’ sports practices. I also try to do a workout every now and then with the kids around so they get to see and participate.
  • Health and fitness philosophy, in a nutshell: Do what you can and enjoy LOVE the process!

* you guys know where to find me, but I love hanging out with my peeps on Instagram if you’re not already following along over there!

Wasn’t that fun?!!! I love seeing all the different likes, strengths, goals, and schedules. Something I think is so important to remember because the comparison struggle is real. Especially for us girls… but it doesn’t have to be! So, if or when you feel yourself getting sucked into it, just remember that there is strength in numbers and that we ALL have so much to offer each other.

If you have any follow up questions to leave in the comments, please do! I would also love to know how you would answer a question or two from above.

Last but not least, what would you like to see next in the mom-bod series?

Here’s the first “mom-bod” post if you missed it!

xo, Rae

1

HALLOWEEN 2017 RECAP

We all think it and say it and it definitely sounds cliche, but kids grow up way too fast and I don’t ever want to forget what Halloween was like at this stage of life. So here’s a little recap and some pictures we took prior to the sun going down yesterday and the real chaos beginning!

ON HALLOWEEN THIS YEAR WE…

Attended classroom parties.

Got to see Gigi and Papa.

Made last-minute adjustments to Tilly’s ghost costume (read: made Tilly’s costume, lol).

Dressed up as Pandas, Darth Vader, a super cute Ghost, and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.

Gigi and Papa joined in the costume fun — Gigi as the Cafe de Columbia guy and Papa as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski (the resemblance was hilarious and worth seeing… I’ll try to share a pic on my Stories!).

Ate chili, quesadillas and apple slices for dinner.

Met up with our neighborhood friends and then ran around trick-or-treating.

Had a hard time keeping everyone together in one group (!!!) with the big kids in a hurry to fill their containers and the little ones straggling behind.

Carried a terrified Poppy around most of the night — she wasn’t a fan of the “creepy” costumes and “bad guys”.

Enjoyed all the decked out homes and vowed to get a little more creative next year on the big day!

Filled plastic pumpkins and pillow cases with candy.

And then snuck wayyyyy too many pieces (when does this not happen?).

Laughed. A lot.

Was so thankful it wasn’t raining.

Walked through EVERY pile of leaves.

Went to EVERY house in the neighborhood — although Poppy and I called it a night halfway through. Thank goodness for Daddies!

Ran out of candy (oops!) and had to pass out leftover knick-knacks from our “boo bags” for the last few groups of trick-or-treaters.

Celebrated mine and ozzie’s bday with candles, a “Happy Birthday” song and eclair cake (my traditional bday cake since I was little!).

Was up an hour past bedtime but fell asleep so fast and stayed asleep ALL night! (I was expecting lots of waking up with tummy aches or blood sugar crashes. :)

 

 

Oh, and I almost forgot! Made our 16-year-old dress up the day before for a picture because it will be too dark by the time he got home from football.

Woke up and was thankful for a late-start school day (school started at 10am this morning!).

Nursing our post Halloween hangover this morning with an hour of Mickey Mouse Club House, a trip to Home Depot for paint and lots of coffee.

Hope your Halloween was magic yesterday! How are you handling the hangover today?

xo, Rae

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STYLE + PLAY: WITH FALL COLORS + PRETEND PLAY

Happy Monday! I’m back with a second edition of STYLE + PLAY and even though my once-a-month attempts at being a style blogger could use some help, I’m super excited for this post!!! Inspired by our visit to the Seattle Children’s Theater to see Go, Dog, Go! (HERE’S the post if you missed it) I thought I’d share a list of ways to encourage pretend play at home. You’ll also see some of my favorite fall colors and a trend I’ve been wearing a lot lately.

Ideas and links to outfit sources below!

P L A Y :

If you saw our kid date post, then you know Johan and I have decided to do a better job of exposing our kids to the Arts while we’re out and about, but I also think there’s lots of things we can do at home too! Over the last couple weeks I’ve found that kids are naturals, but it’s more fun when us parents get involved too. Here’s a few ideas.

  1. Act out a book, song or favorite movie
  2. Write a story, play or song.
  3. Cook together.
  4. Build a fort and then pretend it’s a home, cave, igloo, etc.
  5. Play dress-up.
  6. Make puppets and put on a puppet show. (The theater pictured is from The Land of Nod.)
  7. Play kitchen.
  8. Set up a stuffed animal audience for a dance or theater performance.
  9. Set up a restaurant and let kids take your order, etc.
  10. Build a town for playing with cars or action figures.
  11. Stock up on art supplies and play dough!
  12. Schedule in some downtime without a screen or a smartphone (ahem… mostly talking to myself) — I recently listened to a podcast about how boredom leads to brilliance and creative thinking and after being more aware of how often I check my phone I totally believe it! Johan and I also decided to schedule a couple hours every evening where we’re phone free and it’s been so good for us!

After seeing Go, Dog, Go! I immeditely hopped online and ordered THIS puppet theater but was half expecting the kids not to be that interested in it. However, just a few minutes after hanging it up, Tilly grabbed brown lunch bags and went to town making puppets and before I knew it all of the kids were getting involved.

S T Y L E :

Can’t get enough of that fall color palette! Shades of green, pink and toffee, mixed with dark neutrals are my current favorites. Add in a layer of denim, stripes and scrunchy socks for interest and texture and you have an easy fall outfit!

POPPY | please more broccoli tee x skirt x hair clip

Her outfit is even cuter in person but thought I should mention that the straps don’t stay up very well. Poppy didn’t seem to mind so I just kept letting her pull them up, but they look just as cute hanging down by her side!

TILLY | endless days top is old from zara but love this and this x similar skirt x hair clip

Always try to take advantage of this in-between fall weather that still allows for bare legs!

ME | dress, similar denim vest, similar cardigan (on sale!), clogs, socks

Sonnet James dresses are the perfect base for a fall outfit when you add a few cozy layers. I also love layering a denim vest or jacket under a coat, bomber jacket or even a bigger cardigan. Adds warms, texture and interest!

Trying so hard to catch that popcorn!

What have you been wearing lots of, lately?

How do you pretend play at home?

xo, Rae

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HAPPY WEEKEND + MOM PRESSURE.

Happy Friday Friend! What’s happening in your world this weekend?  We’ve got two Birthday kids to celebrate, a bday party for Tilly, 4 different sporting events to spectate and I’m feeling that mom pressure to make everything run smoothly and be festive! Trying my best to keep in mind something my friend’s mom said to me the other day, “A good parent isn’t perfect, they’re just willing to make improvements.”

I know she wasn’t talking about weekend festivities, but it still takes the pressure off when you realize that perfection isn’t the goal and look at the big picture! Hope it helps relieve any parenting pressure you’re under right now too.

In other news, below are a few pics Johan took while on a fall walk with Poppy last week. The playground was too wet to play on so we occupied ourselves by collecting leaves and making a bouquet. Can’t get enough of that fall air but it is getting harder to find reasons to be outside… brrrr.

Have an amazing weekend… we’ll see you back here on Monday!!!!

xo, Rae

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2

KID DATE: SEATTLE CHILDREN’S THEATER

We are a sports family to the core and even though there is often music playing in the background like a soundtrack to our day, we haven’t done a very good job of exposing our kids to the arts. Unless of course craft time counts? LOL. I guess it’s better than nothing, but there are always those thoughts in the back of my mind — am I providing them with all the experiences they need to be a well rounded human being? (Prob. not) Should we sign then up for piano lessons? (Prob. yes) What if their heart and talents aren’t on a soccer/football/baseball field? (Hmmm) If they have a knack for, or interest in music, theater, dance or art, will I notice and be able to support them in it?! (Gosh I hope so!)

I know worrying and feeling guilty isn’t the answer and trust that if I pray about it and then do something productive, things will fall into place. Which takes the pressure off, !? Anyways, our schedules are a little too full at the moment to add another commitment so Johan and I have been talking about doing a better job of taking them to performances and museums, to get a sense of what they might be interested in trying themselves.

We’ve heard so many wonderful things about the Seattle Children’s Theater it seemed like the perfect place to start so we planned a little date with Espen and Griffin to see  Go, Dog go! and it did not disappoint! Here’s a little recap…

Of course, every good boy date starts with pizza! Zeeks on Queen Anne is a favorite and right up the hill from the Seattle Center where the children’s theater is.

The booths are roomy with tall benches so we weren’t worried about bothering our neighbors when the boys got a little rowdy and loud. A dream come true when eating out with kids! Another dream come true? Delicious personal sized pizzas for only $6 (during happy hour)! No negotiating over toppings :)

Next we hopped in the car for a quick drive down to the theater which is right next to the Space Needle. It’s not often we are in this area at night so it felt like an extra treat to see it all lit up!

A few pics before the show! Cameras and phones weren’t allowed once the show started… I may or may not have gotten in trouble for trying to add a few moments to my Instagram Stories (oops!). It was just so hard to resist!

So you get a good idea of the look of the play, I grabbed a couple pics from their site:

It was definitely geared towards ages 3 to 6 or 7, but both of the kids  L O V E D  it and asked when we can go back to see another play! If you are in the area we highly recommend it. Very kid friendly and there is a family area at the top of the theater if things get a little too loud or squirmy.

You can find more info on the Seattle Children’s Theater site, facebook and youtube.

Wish we had all the kids with us, but individual time is so sweet too!

Thinking we’ll probably take the girl’s to something festive over the Holiday season and have been thinking about adding a piano to our family Christmas wishlist.

How do you guys keep things balanced (or not!) when it comes to activities, sports and art for your kids?!

xo, Rae

2

GOOD THINGS: HALLOWEEN AROUND OUR HOUSE

October is flying by you guys! In an effort to take it all in and freeze time for just a little bit I got my camera out a few different times over the weekend to document a few of my favorite things around our house right now. Most of which have something to do with Halloween of course but all of them are little details I don’t ever want to forget…

… Like handmade holiday decorations on the kids’ doors. It’s become an unspoken tradition that changes with each season and makes our hallway feel fun and festive to walk down. It really is the little things isn’t it!?…

BOOKS | Kitten’s First Full Moon (on sale!), B is for Boo (hands down favorite Halloween book!), How to Make Friends with a Ghost (best illustrations!)

… The constant scattering of vampire fangs, candy wrappers, Halloween books and other festive knick-knacks…

Boo bags all packed and ready to deliver!…

… Less real clothes and more jammies! Between soccer and church our weekend mornings aren’t always as long and lazy as I would like but at the same time, no one is in a hurry to get up and outside these days so pj’s stay on a little longer and get put on a little earlier than the summer months!

Pumpkins, balloons and silly decorations!

Halloween gets kind of a bad wrap for being dark and creepy (and it certainly can be) but I think the whimsical design, loads of pumpkins and easy playfulness, more than make up for it!

What little details are you loving around your home right now?

xo, Rae

4

LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 3

We’ve been putting the finishing touches on Tilly’s New York themed Birthday party and it occurred to me yesterday that I never shared the last part of our trip! Last June, I took Espen and Tilly to visit my brother and his family who live in Brooklyn and had the most amazing time. My sister in law was sweet enough to capture so many moments from our time with them…  Here’s day 1 + day 2 if you missed them, and below are pics of what we did on day 3!

Everyday we spent in NY was a favorite for different reasons, but day 3 took the cake (literally and figuratively) because I imagine it’s what a normal Saturday would have looked like for us if we lived there. We got to be guests at Logan’s (my nephew) 5th Birthday party, grabbed lunch and bubble tea at Hanco’s in Park Slope, walked through the prettiest parts of Prospect Park, played at a splash pad and then stopped at an Italian Ice truck before walking home. It was a good day.

A kid party complete with balloons, cupcakes, popcorn served in lunch bags and quirky games? Yes please! Ha! But on a more serious side, everyone who lives far away from family probably understands just how special it was that we were able to attend Logan’s 5th bday celebration. Just thinking about it makes my heart burst again.

(LOVE YOU NEW YORKERS SO MUCH!)

Next stop was Hanco’s for Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea — our first bubble teas to be specific! I slurped up mine but the kids were not fans. Just look at Tilly’s confused face :)

Next stop was Prospect Park for a walk, picnic and playtime at the splash pad.

(My little brother and Espen! Family is just so sweet.)

Last stop was for Italian Ice on our way home.

Anyone else starting to feel hungry?

A little Pokemon Go on the ride home!

So proud of my little subway pros and loved watching them take care of their cousin like they would (or even more so) their own siblings.

I have always loved looking through “old” pictures and this time was no different. Kinda left me feeling homesick for family and adventure and time together. Daydreaming about our next vacation… hopefully with all 7 of us!

Where do you guys like to travel with your family?

xo, Rae

0

5 WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY

I mentioned in my email blast last week (if you didn’t get it, click here to sign up!) that we’ve had some sick kids at home and with it, a few Doctor visits (can home visits become a thing again, please!?), sleepless nights and exhausting days. On top of the sickies and the usual family life grind, I was also juggling graphic design projects for clients, Johan was getting our rental home ready for new tenants, it’s Birthday month for Ozzie, Tilly and me (!!!) and we’ve been in the middle of an extended family situation that’s not necessarily bad but takes up our time and energy.

Added stress or not, a normal day with kids can turn into a s*it show in a hurry. Thankfully there are always ways to turn things around and I’ve been getting a lot of practice lately using them! Haha! Thought I’d share a quick list with you guys and hope they help in someway!

10 EASY WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY:

  1. Switch up your routine — pack up the kids after school/naps so you can all enjoy snack and homework time (for the bigs) or books and puzzles (for the littles) somewhere other than the kitchen counter. Another couple examples: 1. Do tubbies and pj’s before dinner and have a pajama party while you eat 2. Bundle up and read bedtime stories on the front porch or in front of the fire place instead of your usual spot.
  2. Break a rule — that’s what they are for anyways, right?! My kids would say, “Dad always breaks the rules, but he says only the dumb ones!” haha! Anyway, we’re pretty strict on everyone sitting down to eat dinner together (or at least whoever is at home) without tech or the TV, but after a particularly insane day last week I had the kids get their jammies on before dinner, we put blankets down on the family room floor and then we all sat and ate pizza and applesauce while watching a Halloween movie that was on Disney. Nothing all that original or special but it sure felt extra fun and put everyone in a good mood.
  3. Make a silly rule  this get’s everyone distracted! A few ideas: 1. no utensils allowed at dinner 2. you have to sing or whisper everything you say 3. do 5 jumping jacks every time you hear the word _________ (then say that word often!) 4. Give everyone their own balloon and tell them they have to keep it in the air or stuck between their knees (so they waddle like a penguin) 5. No walking allowed! Try “figure skating” instead. Give each kid two dryer sheets or dry washcloths to glide around on.
  4. Adjust expectations — This just goes with the territory!
  5. Do something the easy way — Grab pizza instead of cooking dinner, skip story time for a show on the iPad, ask for help, pick your battles, etc.
  6. Ask everyone what they are grateful for — Gratitude changes the conversation and perspective. Another good question to ask is, “How do you want to feel at the end of the day?”
  7. Change the atmosphere — dim the lights, light a candle, get out the essential oils if you have them, play some music, practice mindfulness with some yoga poses or a guided meditation (checkout Cosmic Kids Yoga or GoNoodle), etc.
  8. Dance parties are always a good idea!
  9. Get some fresh air and go for a walk.
  10. Get out of the house — head to the Target dollar isle, a friend’s house, the park or just out for a drive!

I hope these help in some way. Motherhood is the best thing ever but also so hard and exhausting and the thing I love most about the motherhood community is knowing I’m not alone in the good, bad and ugly that comes with it :)

Happy Monday! Feeling especially thankful for a fresh new week and healthier kids!

xo, Rae

PS – my side striped pants are on sale at J.Crew for $32. They’re kind of a mix between joggers and leggings (i.e. not the best fitting), but are perfect for around the house or running errands and I love them! Thinking about getting the navy pair too.

 

5

MINI MAKERS: HALLOWEEN TREAT POPPERS

You guys ready for the cutest little Halloween craft eva?

I made these Halloween candy poppers (for lack of a better word because they don’t actually pop!?) with Tilly who is the goodie bag giving queen — she loves putting together little treats to give her friends whether there is a reason or not and I fully support it. Makes my heart melt! Plus I think we could all benefit from spreading a little extra love and fun with everything going on in the world.

Here’s how we made them…

YOU’LL NEED:

  • t.p. rolls (or poster board cut to size)*
  • craft paint
  • paint brushes
  • cellophane wrap (found by the gift wrap)
  • tape (scotch or washi)
  • twine
  • scissors (if you have pinking shears they’re fun to trim the cellophane ends with!)
  • candy and halloween knick-knacks

I do realize not everyone hoards t.p. rolls like I do (the kids’ classrooms often need them), but you could substitute by cutting up a paper towel roll or pieces of poster board.

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Prep a workspace and paint a solid color over the t.p. rolls. The lighter colors worked best for step 2. Let dry. (I did this part before getting any kids involved)
  2. Paint designs as desired over dried paint. Let dry.
  3. Fill with candy and little toys.
  4. Cut cellophane pieces big enough to wrap around t.p. rolls a couple times and wide enough to gather at the ends.
  5. Wrap cut cellophane around t.p. rolls and tape in place. Use twine to gather on each side. Trim ends and you’re done!

I found most of the goodies at Target, but the pencils were too long to fit it :(

The kids think these are pretty great and are lobbying to make enough for all of their classmates (3 classrooms = a butt load of candy “poppers” to make). Just not sure I have the patience to manage the painting, stuffing and wrapping. LOL.

We’ll see!!?!

Who would you (and your kids) give some to?

xo, Rae

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA CARBONARA + 12 OCTOBER DINNERS

I may not be 100% ready to say goodbye to the summer heat and sunshine, but am fully ready to embrace all the yummy fall flavors and scents. Last night I made butternut squash pasta carbonara, a family favorite (6 out of 7 of us anyway!) this time of year, and wanted to share the recipe with you along with a list of other dinner ideas. My hope is that the list below helps inspire and make October meal planning a cinch!

Warm and cozy fall comfort foods, here we come!

PASTA CARBONARA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE, takes 45 mins + serves 4-6

You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash, about 1 small squash
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dried or fresh sage, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or more to taste)
  • 1-14oz can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (1/2 + 1/2 or whole milk)
  • 8 (or more slices) of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 16oz. pasta of choice (linguini pictured)

Here’s How:

  1. Chop squash (here’s a handy video), onion and garlic and cook noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining and set aside (for sauce if needed). Cook bacon as desired and set aside.
  2. To make the sauce, heat oil in a large stockpot and add squash, onion and garlic. Add sage (optional), salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a light boil for another 10 minutes. Stir in cream and remove from heat. Use an emersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools– so handy for soups and sauces and easy to clean!!!) to cream sauce or use a regular blender (just be sure to only fill 1/2 way when working with hot liquids so may need to blend in batches). If needed, add more chicken stock or pasta water to thin sauce.
  3. In the large stockpot, toss together noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Dish onto plates and top with bacon and parmesan.

So goooooood!

Anytime red sauce or pesto are involved my pasta of choice is usually penne so it’s easier and less messy for the kids to eat, but this butternut sauce is the perfect color and consistency for slurping, twirling and finger eating!

A list of 12 dinners that will be on rotation at our house this October below…

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN OCTOBER

EASY

MAKE AHEAD 

30-45 MINS

(*perfect for halloween!)

What’s your favorite fall dinner?

Feeling so much better today…. thanks for all the well wishes! You guys are the best!

xo, Rae

 

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2

OCTOBER BUCKET LIST

Pretty certain September couldn’t have gone any quicker… Can you guys believe it’s October 2nd!? I’ve been feeling under the weather the last few days so haven’t kicked the month off like I’d hoped — even asked the kids to watch Hocus Pocus with me yesterday but they opted for Cars instead — Anyways, a good to do list always makes me feel better.

After chatting with the kids, here’s what made our October list:

ONE | try a new pumpkin recipe. We’ve been making our go-to pumpkin dishes, in the form of pancakes and bread, non-stop since fall started but I think it’s time we try a new one. Maybe pumpkin cheese cake? If you have any suggestions please share!

TWO | make a list of fall + Halloween movies to choose from on movie nights. It can be challenging to get everyone to agree on a move, but having a theme or list to help narrow things down always helps! Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, and Hotel Transylvania will probably make the list for the whole fam bam and You’ve Got Mail, Gremlins, Stepmom, The Blind Side + Dan in Real Life are all good ones for nights it’s just Johan and I or the older kids. What’s your favorite fall or Halloween movie?

THREE | visit the pumpkin patch. Probably the easiest thing to check off our list!

FOUR | help the kids make Halloween-ish goodie bags for their friends. A must for just about every holiday and Tilly’s favorite thing to do on an almost daily basis.

FIVE | plan a fall bike ride + picnic. The weather (i.e. rain) might make this one a challenge, but it never hurts to try!

SIX | go boo-ing. One of our traditions. Shared a printable and more info HERE if you want to add it to your October lineup!?

SEVEN | make our front porch pretty (+) spooky. Never got around to doing much with our front porch over the summer but want to make sure it’s ready to welcome fall guests and trick-or-treaters.  I’ve been on the lookout for outdoor lanterns to group with pumpkins and mums if anyone has a source to share?

EIGHT | dance to Monster Mash. Would be fun to put together a Halloween playlist too!

NINE | go apple picking! Can’t beat homemade apple sauce warmed up and sprinkled with cinnamon.

TEN | donate new or gently used blankets, coats and boots. The amount of need in our community, country and world right now has been overwhelming to say the least but it’s always good to remember that every little bit helps. If you are wondering how to get in touch with the right charity try asking friends, neighbors and local churches for ideas!

BONUS | plan a road trip or weekend getaway. Between sports and Birthdays our calendar is looking very full on the weekends so didn’t want to set us up for failure, but also love getting away in the fall and didn’t want to leave it completely off our list. We’ll see if we can actually pull it off! :)

I know some of these are no-brainers, but hope they are helpful in someway. Would love to hear what’s on your list this month!?

Now I’m off to take a dose of DayQuil and make a grocery run!

xo, Rae

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