Friday Favorites

The weather is finally giving us teases of fall in So Cal and for some reason, fall brings out my desire for cooking and baking! I’m sharing a few of my recent favorites this week!

Pizza Night

This isn’t really a recipe, it’s pretty much just already made for you items put together to make something yummy! If you haven’t tried the pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, you’re missing out! Already made dough in the refridgerated section makes it super easy to roll out and add toppings. We love the herb crust, and I got the plain one for the girls. I grabbed the container of pizza sauce, some shredded mozzerella, pepperoni, canadian bacon, tomatoes, basil, and the frozen pineapple tidbits and voila! Pizza night!

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Spooky Chocolate Chip Cookies

A festive treat that everyone loves are these spider chocolate chip cookies! They are basic cookies with a few details added to make them spooky. Melted chocolate chips in a ziplock bag (tip: use a freezer bag so it is a little thicker. I started with a basic sandwich baggy and the seam popped!) make it easy to pipe on legs to the chips to make them look like spiders.

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Bone Broth

There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup in the fall and winter months! This year, I’ve been so inspired by Teri from No Crumbs Left and Alex from The Defined Dish  I made my first batch of bone broth. You can check out Teri and Alex’s blog posts for all of the benefits to your health and differences between regular broth and bone broth, but I can tell you my house smelled AMAZING all day and it just elevated the taste of my chicken noodle soup! As I used whole roasted chickens from the market or we bbq’d or baked chicken, I was freezing the bones.  I saved carrot peels and tops and the bottoms and tops of celery, too! When I was ready, I added it all plus a halved onion, some whole peppercorns and a splash of apple cider vinegar to a stock pot and filled it with water until it was all just covered. I brought it to a boil and then lowered to a simmer for 12 hours! Teri and Alex sometimes do their’s for 24 hours, but I wanted to use mine for dinner that night. If you want more cooking inspiration, I linked their Instagram accounts. They cook mostly Whole30/Paleo but do incorporate some non-compliant foods. They make eating healthy look DELICIOUS!

Pasta Salad

This may seem like a summer side, but here in So Cal, its sweater weather in the morning and pool weather by the afternoon. Clearly the weather can’t make up it’s mind, and I can’t either. A super easy but delicious way to get in some veggies and impress your friends at a bbq – this pasta salad will please them all with chunks of cheese and spiral noodles!

  • box of pasta, cooked according to directions and rinsed under cool water
  • cherry tomatoes, halved (1) 
  • English cucumber, diced (1)
  • bell peppers, diced (2)
  • broccoli, cut into bit sized pieces (1 small head)
  • Colby jack cheese, diced (1/2 small block)
  • Italian dressing, made per the directions on the seasoning packet (I do extra red wine vinegar and less oil)

Toss it all together and chill until serve time. I found that some extra dressing was perfect for guests to add if they preferred.

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Hope you found some inspiration for cooking this weekend!

Have a great Friday!

Whitney

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The Last 90 Days

Life lately can only be described as a transition period.  Transition to Autumn, transitioning to a new pre-school year, transitioning to life without naps for my oldest, and transitioning my mind set to want MORE! More joy, more intention, more patience, more love, and a more healthful way of living. Usually the beginning of a year is what ignites a motivation for change, but for the past two years I’ve looked to Rachel Hollis instead of the calendar! If you don’t know @msrachelhollis, you’ve gotta look her up! A lifestyle website, New York Times Bestselling book, and never ending motivation via the RISE and RISE Together Podcasts. Not to mention live events that help you reach for personal growth. I’ve followed her for a couple of years and I can just feel that now is the time I follow through to do the work.

|Photos from the RISE Conference in LA, April 2018|

The Last 90 Days is an idea that instead of letting yourself steadily decline and slip up in the way you’re living for the last few months of the year (cough. I see you holiday treats. cough.), you use it to kickstart the “new year mentality”.

What if you committed to living your last 90 days of this year as hard as you are committing to live the first 30 days of the new year? What if, instead of a downhill slide into 2019, you are ramping up?!” – Rachel Hollis

Rachel has created somewhat of a challenge you can sign up to be apart of to receive motivating emails and be apart of a community to keep you accountable. She challenges you to participate in the “Five to Thrive”.

  1. Get up one hour earlier (or carve out any hour that works in your day) and use that time for yourself
  2. Workout for at least 30 minutes each day
  3. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day
  4. Give up one category of food you KNOW you shouldn’t be consuming
  5. Write down 10 things each day that you’re grateful for

Some things that I am looking forward to? Having an hour to myself to drink coffee, intentionally plan my day, and work on my blog. Enjoying exercise again. I used to love the feeling of a good workout. Getting back into it takes some push, but I know I’ll start to live for those endorphins again! Living my day looking for gratitude! If I know at the end of the day I’m going to write down what I’ve been grateful for, I’ll be looking for positivity throughout my day!

What doesn’t sound so exciting? Giving up a category of food. This. This is for some reason, the most difficult for me to have self control over. But just like Rachel so often says, once I decide on what I’m giving up – I have to keep that promise to myself! I am worth it. You are worth it. WE are worth it!

What is something you’ve thought about that you’re going to do at the New Year? What if you started now?! Think of what you can accomplish in 3 months! Join the challenge, it  starts in October. Follow along with me so we can support one another!

Here’s to the #last90days

Whitney

Life’s Essentials | Newborn Favorites

Although its been a minute since I’ve had a newborn in the house, I’m currently going through a purging phase. I have SO MUCH STUFF I’ve hidden away, or that was stored after Aubrey grew out of it and then brought back out for Blake.  Blake is now on to toddlerhood (cue the proud Mama/yet wants to keep her a baby forever tears) and it’s time to pass along the baby items. I did a couple posts a long time ago about the key things we registered for with Aubrey and our newborn faves, but now that I’ve gone through it twice, I’d love to share another perspective!

 

Newborn Favorites

 

When I was registering and looking for baby gear during my first pregnancy, I felt like I was focusing on what was new, trendy, and looked nice. Looking back, there was a few things that really ended up being worth it – but for the most part, just because its new or fancy does not mean functional! By baby #2, function wins every time!
Diaper bag | a backpack style diaper bag is just so helpful! Carrying a shoulder bag, and an infant car seat, and probably and bag or two of groceries is just a set up for disaster. My bag was constantly falling off my shoulder. I felt like I was always leaning to one side to keep it up which made carrying an awkward newborn even more uncomfortable! I invested in a Skip Hop backpack when I was pregnant with our second and I’ll never go back! Super comfortable and frees up your hands for the other 10 million things you need to carry! There are so many cute options now too!
Things for baby to go in | Lets face it, most of the time babies want to be held. But when you do get that time they’ll sleep or hang out somewhere else besides in your arms, you need somewhere to put them! We had quite a few “things for our babies to go in”, but we had the best luck with the Rock n’ Play for napping or just hanging out when they were little little! As for bed time, I loved the Halo Bassinest. I could adjust it so they were the perfect height for me to see them even while I was laying in bed! I could swivel it over when I needed to get them out, and even rock it a bit if they were fussing.
Carriers | For the times they don’t want to be put down (basically always) baby carriers saved me – especially with my second! I found that the Baby K’tan had the feeling of a wrap, but was super simple to use and I loved it when Blake was a newborn!! Once she got big enough to support herself a little better, I moved into my Beco Gemini and haven’t looked back (we are still using it at 14 months)!
Nursing | I literally felt like I was nursing the majority of the hours of my day. Along with a good Netflix series, a super long phone charger cable, and plenty of snacks I recommend a water bottle you love and an awesome nursing pillow. I tried a few, but the My Breast Friend Pillow was always the sturdiest and most helpful for me! I also loved the little pocket on the front to store my phone/water/snacks when I would get up and move.
Sleeping | Sleep is like a four letter word for my babies, but if I did have any luck it was because of swaddling and sound. We still use these sound machines to this day anywhere that they’re napping! And the Halo Sleepsack Swaddles have always been our favorites! Once they grew out of wanting to be swaddled we used the sacks without the velcro arms. Perfect to act as a blanket for them!
Newborns don’t need much – but these items definitely saved us during those crazy weeks of feeling like a mombie.  I wish you luck with your new babe if you’ve got one on the way!!
xoxo
Whitney

Workout Essentials

You heard it here first. Somehow from somewhere, I have found some motivation to get moving! I’ve been either pregnant or nursing for over 3 years now and a ‘fit pregnancy’ was never really my thing, unfortunately. I’ve always been an active person and I enjoy feeling strong and fit, it just hasn’t been my priority. It should be though. In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy! Happy people don’t go shoot their husbands [or yell at their kids so much]”.
As difficult as it is to start, once I’m going I know I’ll feel so good! I’ve invested in a few supportive, comfortable, and totally cute pieces that I know will up my workout game. If its good enough for Carrie Underwood to workout in, its good enough for me, right?!
Workout Essentials
I’ve been eyeing the CALIA by Carrie Underwood collection via Instagram and on occasion at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and finally jumped in. I got a couple different styles of sports bras, as well as a pair of leggings, and some shirts. The shirts so far have felt soft, and cool and the bras are supportive but comfortable! There are some new releases for fall so a few of the older items are on SALE!
I’ve had the Fit Bit Blaze for a couple of years but haven’t used it to its full capacity yet because, well I haven’t been working out! I’ll keep you posted on how it works out.
Water has been essential for me for a long time because I’ve been growing and feeding little humans and they require a lot from my body. I love using a glass bottle because I add essential oils to it to change things up and be more motivated to drink more! It also tastes so refreshing to have some citrus flavor!
Cool Azul will also be a new addition. I’ve made my own balms with essential oils and coconut oil for muscle support and relief, but I can’t wait to try this sports gel formulated especially for physical support.
Do you have any workout favorites that keep you motivated? I can’t wait to share my progress along the way! You can follow along with me on my Instagram and Facebook Page!
xoxo
Whitney