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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Five on Friday | National Coffee Day

The last Friday in September…where has the time gone! I’m so excited to bring on the fall activities. I am joining April, Christina, and Natasha for their 5 on Friday link up!

one | As if being Friday wasn’t exciting enough, today is National Coffee Day! You know I will be celebrating ALL. DAY. LONG.

two | Speaking of coffee, I checked one thing off my bucket list! I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every year I have to be festive and every year I feel like its not my thing. But I ordered it with only half of the flavor pumps and it was way better!

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three | I got those olive leggings from target a couple weeks ago and I LOVE them! High waisted, stretchy, and perfect for fall. They had a few other styles and I think I’ve gotta head back. They were on sale at the time, I’m not sure if they still are.

four | Sharon (from MamaChitChat) and I got to have the most fun experience over the weekend and I cannot wait to tell you all about it! I love going to the Stonehaus!

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five|Next week, the first Thursday of the month Sharon and I will be hosting our third month of our color inspiration link up! We would love you to participate and share!! Can’t wait to share all things black for October. You can check out August and September.

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Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend welcoming October!

xoxo

Whitney

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

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Fall Bucket List

It’s Fall you guys! The decor is coming out, the temperatures have been in the 70s-80s here in Southern California (which is a sad excuse for fall – I know) and I’ve got all the fall spice diffuser blends going! Autumn is in the air! Now that the girls are getting older, I am so excited to start incorporating some more seasonal traditions and to experience their joy! I put together a little Fall Bucket List and I thought I would share some memories from past Fall experiences to kick off the season!

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one| Last years fall photos were such a good memory. Aubrey was crazy, but Blake was just old enough to be aware of what was going on and they turned out really cute!

|if you missed it, I wrote a post about choosing outfits for family photos here|

two| Camping. Although we go camping throughout the whole year, we save some spots just for fall and we love it!

three| Visiting the Pumpkin Patch – Field trips, with friends, with family…basically any reason to go to the farm!

four| Annual walk to dinner with friends and trick or treat! Aubrey’s first Halloween we started a tradition with my Mom Squad where we walk to dinner close by our neighborhood and then trick or treat our way back home. Such a fun night!

five| Wear festive jammies. Who doesn’t love a cute set of jammies for the holiday?!

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I cannot wait for all of the memories to be made this year! Hope this first week of Fall has treated you well! Cheers to pumpkin spice lattes and boots!

xoxo

Whitney

p.s. Next Thursday join Sharon and I for our THIRD edition of our monthly link up! We’d love to have you!

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Five on Friday | Kicking the Cold Bug

Fall is officially on the horizon – our house was hit by our first cold. Poor Blake was the first to get it and my husband was the next. I’m usually so much better about prepping our immune systems but I got lazy – and here we are! You better bet I’m pulling out all the stops for Aubrey and I so we can avoid it and get the other two healthy ASAP!

In light of the coming seasons, my Five on Friday is dedicated to ways we are staying on top of our wellness using essential oils. I’ve mentioned here and there that our family uses oils in our home, but this is a little more in depth! If you’ve been curious about oils or have your starter kit and want to expand to more this will be great! You can also read a little more about oils by going to the “Essential Oils” tab in my top menu! There is a general overview and information about joining me also! You can also follow along with my oily Instagram for more tips and tricks!

one | I spent an afternoon this week refilling all of our roller ball bottles with immunity boosting blends that we put on the bottoms of our feet each morning (& night now that we need some extra help). Our most used oil this time of year is Thieves and I can’t tell you enough about its benefits!

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two | Ningxia Red is boost of antioxidant power! Just what out bodies need right now! If I was a quick boost I drink it straight, but lately I’ve been adding a bit of sparkling water and either a drop of Lime Vitality or Grapefruit Vitality! Such a yummy afternoon pick me up! Aubrey’s been having it this week too…I just water hers down a bit so it isn’t as full flavor for her and she loves it and calls it her “vitamin juice”, haha.

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three | Sleep! Sleep is what we all desire around here and when we are kicking a bug or trying to stay healthy I try to get myself and give the girls as much as possible! We start our bedtime routine a bit earlier and I diffuse at their naps too (sometime I don’t always do). Out of the bath, we use the Seedlings Baby Lotion and it has the most amazing calming scent for the girls! (We also put the Immunity roller on the bottoms of their feet or along Aubrey’s spine for an extra boost) Peace & Calming blended with orange helps us wind down while we read books and I’ll talk about their bedtime, diffuser blend next!

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four | At bedtime while dad reads books with the girls, I fill their humidifiers (if they do have the sniffles) and their diffusers. At the moment we are loving oils from the KidScents line! Snifflease is perfect help support their little noses! I’ll add a couple of drops of that with a drop of lavender for a great sleepy time blend! Or for Aubrey who is staying healthy, I’m using Sleepyize with a drop of Cedarwood. LOVE!

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five | Clean clean clean! Even at 2.5 and 13 months, my girls put EVERYTHING in their mouths still! Blake is still exploring and Aubrey uses her mouth as a tool if she needs an extra hand. I use my Thieves Cleaner on just about everything! If they’ve been playing with a few specific things for the majority of the day I try to clean those that night, and I do an all over toy wipe down every few days when they’re sick or every few weeks normally! Also laundry. I feel like Blake’s sheets get all sorts of snot on them, so I’ve been washing them every other day and adding a couple of drops of Thieves oil into the load!

Hope you guys have a happy and healthy friYAY and a wonderful weekend!

BONUS: If you’ve been interested in essential oils or this just intrigued you and you’re ready to jump in, email me and mention this blog post. I’ll get you all joined up on our team with exclusive access to our wonderful support system and a FREE bottle of Thieves  Household Cleaner!

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xoxo

Whitney

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

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Five on Friday

Five on Friday is a fun link up I’ve been following and participating in for years with AprilChristina, and Natasha. I love rounding up the week with 5 things I did/loved/wore/etc. What’s on your mind before this weekend starts?

one | The progress of my office organization project is moving along! Last weekend I ventured into The Container Store for the first time and my mind was blown! (If you follow me on Instagram you experienced my overwhelm in my stories!) This color coding, organizing, paper loving mama was in heaven! Did I mention I got to go solo?! I’m so close to feeling “done” – but are we ever actually done? I don’t think so! Here’s a little peek at the before, during, and after!

 

 

two | We had a mega play date at a friends house on Wednesday and it really brought my attention how high strung I am. What if Aubrey forgets to use the potty? OMG Blake is eating chalk. Did Aubrey just hit someone?! She’s going to get sand everywhere. Did she just dump sand on him?! Making sure my child behaves at home is a full time job. Bringing my circus to someone else’s house opens a whole other can of worms! What have I learned? Kids will be kids, wherever you are. All I can do is prep her (“Remember when you’re playing with your friends to use your words and you can always ask an adult for help.”), and try to relax! Play dates are for moms too, right?! It was so nice to see our school friends and it got me excited for our fall schedule! What’s your favorite part of a play date? Mine is the mimosas 😉

 

 

three | August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and its bittersweet over here. I’ve been either pregnant or breastfeeding (or both!) for the last 3 years and this special season in our lives is coming to a close. Our journey has been a roller coaster but full of memories I’ll always treasure! Weaning Blake from nursing is both necessary for my sanity but difficult. Cheers to all the mama’s out there doing their best for their babes!

four | Is there anything cuter than matching jammies on babies?! I couldn’t resist capturing the 3 minutes of sweetness this morning before the day gets crazy! These cute footies are Carters.

 

five | I went to Marshalls yesterday and definitely got the urge for all things fall! Falling leaves, cozy sweaters, and…oh wait. I live in Southern California. Unfortunately plaid pillows and leaf wreaths will be where it’s at. I’m on the hunt for one more navy pillow, but burlap, navy and orange are going to be my home inspiration for fall!

Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend!

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!