Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Pizza
you will need:
4 slices bacon, thick cut
1 apple thinly sliced
4 cups butternut squash diced
2 sweet onion cut thin
1/2 Adobo chili, minced
2 T honey
1 t chili powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t cumin
1 T butter
6 oz cheddar sharp cheddar cheese grated
Trader Joes rectangle pizza flatbread
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.*
In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, cinnamon, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Spread the veggies out in a single layer on one or two baking sheets. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over the veggies and toss well to coat. Roast until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring the veggies halfway through. Remove and set aside.
While the veggies roast, caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and then add the butter. Add the onions and cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. At this point you want to slowly add the cider, let it cook into the onions, add more and let it cook some more. Do this until the 1 cup of cider is gone or the onions are caramelized to your liking and the cider has evaporated.
In a bowl whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, chipotle chile pepper in adobo, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, cumin and a good pinch of salt + pepper.
Place your pizza crust onto a baking sheet and spread the chipotle olive oil mixture over the crust. Add the caramelized onions and half the roasted butternut squash. You may not want to use all onions if you feel like there is just too many. I used probably about 3/4 of the onions. Add the cheddar cheese and then the sliced apples and remaining butternut.
Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and gooey.
adapted from Half Baked Harvest
I love to host little gatherings at house all year but as we come up to the holiday’s my hostess vibes go into full gear. I used to be a really anxious hostess. I would worry about everyone having a good time, was the food good, does the house smell nice etc. etc. Over the years, I’ve honed some tips on how to be a chill hostess and ensure that not only your guests feel special and taken care of but you have a great time too.
Pick a theme- a theme can really help with all aspects of party prep. You can get your table layout designed with decor, decide on florals if any, work out your playlist and create your menu based off the vibe of your theme. This doesn’t have to be elaborate but something that sets the tone for you and your guests.
Add some charm- now that you have a loose theme worked out, you can add little accents to your meal and table to make your guests feel extra special. I love using name tags for each guest. You can get really creative with these sweet touches from wood etched to hand written. Cloth napkins and your nicer dish ware show that you have given the setting extra thought. Florals are always a lovely touch. I like to keep my florals low and scattered to keep cross table conversation easy.
Prep before hand- I love getting my table all situated and set up in advance to see what I’m missing or be able to play with the design a bit before hand. I pull out the appropriate serve ware based on my menu so I can have everything cleaned and ready to go. This also goes for the menu. I plan everything out in detail a couple days before hand so I have plenty of time do the shopping and food prep ahead of time. I’m still working on perfecting my cooking times but practice makes perfect right?!
Libations and Apps-I feel like cocktails and appetizers are the kick off to any party. I like guests to have something yummy to snack on right away and be able to fill their cup with something festive. You can never go wrong with a fall inspired spiked punch or sangria and a yummy rustic charcuterie. Make sure to keep a little something for every pallet at fingers reach.
Set the mood with a great playlist- the tone of any gathering is immediately set by the music. If you want a more energetic vibe get something tuned up that is poppy and fun. For a more laid back feel, find tunes that feel more relaxed and serene. Keep in my tunes with profanity. Some tracks have some sneaky lyrics that may make guests feel uncomfortable and may not be great for little ears.
We have some major growing girls up in our house! I feel like I’m feeding these two constantly! I thought I get smart this school year and get ahead of grab and go snacks. First on that list by popular demand was our Chocolate chip peanut butter protein balls. They are the BEST! The girls get a good solid dose of protein with all super healthy ingredients sneakily tucked in. #momwin!! These are our favorite after school snacks and afternoon treat for mommy! They are decadent!
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Protein Balls recipe
1 cup oats
2/3 cup organic coconut flakes
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed ( we’ve used whole flaxseed and it’s totally fine)
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( could also swap for dried fruit)
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbs chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl thoroughly with spatula. Once mixed, scoop about a T size amount and form a ball. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. They might fall a part a bit at this point but it’s okay. Refrigerate for approximately an hour to firm up. Keep refrigerated!
While we aren’t super big Halloween people, we do love a goof family costume! We vote every year on what to be. We try and keep it fun and always throw daddy under the bus!
and this year we have a good one in store! The girls voted in July and now it’s just between what Erik and I are going to be. Going to be a fun!
With school back in full swing, our schedule get’s more packed by the second. We need simple, cute hair styles to get us out the door looking great with little effort. Here are some of our fave go to looks for all things hair cute.
This style is so simple! You part the hair on the side. The start rolling a 2 inch section away from the face tightly until you reach nape of neck. Pin and repeat on the other side. Secure the rolls with a rubber band. Tuck under the remaining hair to create a little bun. Add a fun scarf tie or a scrunchie to hide the rubber band. This style is great for dirty hair!
French braid pony tail:
This is exactly as the title says. Start by brushing all hair back. Then start an inside out french braid ( instead of sections going over each other these sections go under) Stop braid at crown of head. Sweep the rest of the hair up to meet braid and make a pony tail. Secure hair with a rubber band. Pancake or fluff the braid by gently tugging each loop out to make a thicker look. Add favorite scrunchie or bow.
Headbanded side bun:
We love a good head band moment in our house! They handle a world of weird hair days with one simple step. This look is easy peasy. Part hair and brush smooth. Top with favorite headband. Then brush all hair smooth to side and secure into a pony tail under the ear at neck. Twist ponytail and wrap into a bun. Secure with pins. This looks is ideal for dirty hair or bad hair days.
With shorter hair a top knot really isn’t as easy. This cute half up style is still out of the face but give that perky cheerleader vide. Sweep hair towards top of head starting at the ears. Brush top section and secure with a rubber band. Loop the pony tail section under to create little tucked under bun. Secure with cute bow or scarf to match outfit and give flair.
It’s been almost a year since we got our trailer and we have sure made the most of it! We love trying new places and have found some really great spots! I’ve rounded up some of our trips so far including our favorite features and day trips to our notes on what to expect when visiting.
Chula Vista KOA
We really like the Chula Vista KOA! It was packed with fun amenities like a blob ( huge bouncy pad), beautiful brand new showers, bathrooms and pool, rock climbing wall, restaurant and tons of kids activities. It super close to the USS Midway which was a fascinating day trip for all of us. We also stumbled into the absolute best mexican restaurant we have ever eaten at called La Puerta. Don’t pass up the best margarita ever called “ Whole Lotta Love”. We visited it in the winter so it was chilly but I can imagine how packed with fun it would be in the summer months. Never the less we had a great time and would absolutely visit again
This ranch style campground was a fun departure for us from our regular type of camping. If you are looking for a super simple, no fluff, ranch style camping trip this is your place. We were excited to try out some horse back riding and live on the ranch. The website is bit misleading on this place though. While we did have a good time we found some things that we learned quickly to pay attention too. Everything is very relaxed and simple. The grounds are great with teepees, horses and farm animal friends. The restaurant is open only by reservation the day before at 3:00 so make sure you are on the ball otherwise there is no food available outside of a small very simple ranch store or what you packed. We happened to get the memo right as we pulled in about dinner that night so we got lucky with a huge bbq dinner. There is no fluff at this place! Also, they will say there is wifi but there really isn’t. Not a big deal but worth knowing. The facilities are a bit older but still did the trick. The main take away was to ask a lot of questions when you can because there aren’t a lot of staff around and not a lot of info. Once you get the details you are good to go though for a fun cowboy time. If you want to take a break from the horses you can take a fun day trip in to Solvang. We visited Ostrich land, had some breakfast and shopping in town and checked out the Motorcycle Museum for daddy.
If you want a little of everything Bass Lake is a great option! We loved this trip! The campground is simple but has everything you would need. We chose a spot nearest to the little trail to the lake. We hiked back and fished one day and it was a fun little adventure. The facilities are super clean and updated. The huge pine trees make for a perfect backdrop to your trip! So gorgeous! We ventured into the little town ( 2 minute drive) to grab our boat rentals. We rented a speed boat one day and then a pontoon another. We loved our lake days. We found a little cove where the girls could rock jump and swing from a giant rope swing into the water. We added a tube both days onto our rentals and whipped them around the lake. For lunch, we highly recommend Ducey’s! The food was amazing and they had a great selection! You can also hang out at the marina restaurant with live music, food and cocktails. We were disappointed by the food but the vibe was fun and laid back. The lake is within 30 minutes of Yosemite National Park. The park is super busy in the summer time so be prepared for some crowds. There is nothing more specatular then the waterfalls and natural beauty of Yosemite. We visited the park a couple years back and documented the fun with a fun recap video!A note that we made for last time is to make sure we where or bring our swim suits to take a dip in the river. Also, we were bummed to miss the window for tube rentals to float the river. Next time, we will bring our own and get our float on. Also, make sure to bring snacks or lunch with you when visiting the park. It’s soooo busy that getting into any restaurant is crazy hard. A riverside snack, with toes in the water would have been divine! Overall this was a super fun trip that we would for sure take again!
Newport Dunes never disappoints! We have visited many times and always have a blast! Regardless of it being pretty pricey to stay it really is worth it for a quick trip! The pool is great and always clean. They have tons of daily kids activities for all ages including nightly Movie nights under the stars. The store is fully stocked with anything you could ever need including super cute sweats and swimsuits if needed. Our girls lose their mind for the inflatable water park. For a cost of $18 for 2 hours, the kids can party out in the lagoon on massive inflatables and jungle gym. They love it so much! We also love how accessible this campground is to yummy OC restaurants and fun things to do. You can bike really anywhere, grab a mouth water piece of pizza from St. Pepperoni’s, a Balboa Bar from Marine on Balboa Island, catch some chic shopping in Lido Village or just stay on the grounds for some relaxation!
Okay girls! Here are my best of the best beauty picks from the Nordstrom Sale. I have some major, well used, faves in this batch. Hands down my most used product is the best self tanner. This one is a jumbo size which is a major steal for the size! It’s 3 times a much as usual for $6 more! Seriously the most gorgeous tan every time! My most coveted devices ( here and here ) that I may just have to pull the trigger on finally and lastly my most used device. I’ve also included my most used makeup products ( here and here ) to master my favorite 5 minute face. I also included some of my hair favorites ( here and here) both for myself and for my work kit.
Alrighty guys! I’ve gathered up my favorite picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale which is by far the biggest sale of the year. These items will go fast! You can shop them all if you have Early Access. Early Access is shoppable when you have a Norstrom card. This really is such a perfect time to scoop up your staple pieces for the fall season. I’ve broken down each category of clothing. All my absolute faves in each category from head to toe in clothing including my favorite leopard pieces of the season.
Coats and Jackets:
Pants and denim:
Best of Leopard:
One shoulder striped one piece suit, Wide brimmed straw hat, Navy blue jumpsuit, White linen romper, Blue striped maxi dress, American flag knit sweater, Belted white dress, Red Polka dot sundress, Striped scarf scrunch, Straw tote, Ruffled blue sundress, Knotted blue tank, Red linen jumpsuit, Strapless striped one piece, White tie up linen dress, Nautical striped shorts
Is there really any gift we can give mom that expresses our love and appreciation for her? I have rounded up my favorite things that make my mama life so great. The little luxuries plus the things that made it onto my list this year as a little man treat!
Joe Malone scent, Gardening tote basket, Monogrammed overnighter bag, Straw crossbody bag, Seersucker sundress, Floral robe, Essential oil diffuser, Mama ring, Striped pjs, Gwenyth Paltrow cookbook, Hydroflask, Floral gardening gloves, Bamboo earrings, Juicer, Striped outdoor dining set, Camera, Initial necklace, Custom family illustration, Jade roller, UGG white sneakers, Cut flower book, Floral drink dispenser, Pom and striped blue throw blanket, Barefoot Dreams plush robe
Easter brunch is a must in our Easter plans and I keep our menu easy breezy so we can just enjoy the day! Something that is never not on our table is my “fancy salad”. Really any salad that has more than a couple ingredients is dubbed a fancy salad in my book but this one is so delish and my go to.
We get all hands on deck making our table lovely and ready for our family. The girls love to help adding their own special touches. Capri’s favorite part is to set the table and decide the napkin design. Peyton is in charge of flowers this year and she is all about it.
Kacee’s Fancy Salad
( all ingredients can be found at Trader Joes)
Green grapes halved
Grilled Chicken chopped
Candied Walnuts or fave nut
Dried cranberries or cherries
Crumbled goat cheese
Fig balsamic dressing
Assemble and enjoy!
Some other dishes that I love to whip up is a big batch of Kodiak Cakes waffles, a veggie packed frittata, bacon and a fresh fruit salad. You can’t forget the champs either! I have a variety of juices on hand for mimosas. For a kid friendly drink, we add frozen blueberries to lemonade so the kiddos feel like they are getting special treat too. The blueberries keep the lemonade cold and infuse a little blueberry flavor to the lemonade.
Nothing says Easter dressing like a floppy hat and floral dress! The girls are so ready to celebrate Easter in their sweet Spring outfits. I’ve rounded up rompers for the serious egg hunters and frilly dresses for the sweetest of Easter bunnies!
I love the smell of citrus and isn’t it just the cheeriest with it’s bright colors and fresh smell?! Nothing makes me feel more full of energy and springtime! I love hosting at our home and making things pretty for our guests. This spring I have a couple brunch gatherings I’m planning and thought a citrus inspired table would be a fresh take on this tables cape.
I started with a large floral print table cloth with multiple fresh spring colors. We have a crazy orange tree in our backyard and when the girls brought buckets full in the house the other day I got an idea to use them on our table. I love the bright orange hue and bringing the outdoors in.
For place settings, I found this soft tan straw charger which I feel like brings in an unexpected texture but still ties into the light tan flowers on the tablecloth. I always use my favorite white beaded plates and this time tucked in a bright orange napkin to introduce a splash of fun and tie in the oranges. Each setting was finished off with shimmery gold flatware and clear drinking glasses to keep things light and airy.
What’s a brunch with out the Chandon mimosa bar am I right? I love mixing and mingling out mixers and this time we are using fresh peach and cranberry juices. Don’t forget fun straws and the fruit garnishes. It’s the little touches that really make your guests feel like they are getting the extra treatment.
For our centerpiece I popped into Trader Joes to see what tickled my fancy. I knew I was using the oranges so wanted to make sure I was offsetting the colors with other options. I decided on shades of pink, yellow and whites. I hap hazardly layered the blooms in a glass pitcher to create height but also keep things full and whimsy.
I found some adorable wood wagons to fill with the oranges from our tree. The key is to leave a couple of the leaves on the stems to create a casual, effortless look. Makes it feel less cute and a bit more organic. Toss a couple oranges around the bottom of your pitcher to fill that space and bring some bright orange color into the middle of the table.
Brunch menus should be casual and absolutely easy breezy for the hostess. I love to make a big frittata filled with protein and veggies which is delish hot or cold. I plate up some fluffy waffles or pancakes for a decadent carb. Make sure to have a fresh green salad on hand and top your white serve ware with seasonal fruit. The menu is nice and balanced and a true taste bud pleaser for every guest.
You girls asked and so we delivered! We took a little poll on which place I’d do our next try on sash at and Anthro was the pick!! This week’s “What to Wear Wednesday” was taken over by a Anthopologie try on session and I found some GEMS! Anthropologie has a bit of a tricky sizing situation for me but I played a bit and figured out that really I size down on most everything. Major fake ego boost right?!! I was on the hunt for fun easy breezy outfits that are great for Spring and Summer.
Polka Swing Dot top: wearing a size 0 , Pintucked Chino Pants: wearing a size 0 ( probably could go with a 2)
Oona Utility dress: wearing a size 4
Pommed sweater top: wearing a M ( think S would be a better fit) , High Rise skinny angle jean: wearing a 27
Button front dress: wearing a 4
Chelsea romper: wearing a XS
Garden party dress: wearing a S
Harloe Belted top: wearing a size S, High rise skinny ankle jeans: wearing a size 27
Harloe belted top: wearing a size S, Oasis Striped pant: wearing a size 2