Tomorrow is the first day of fall, so I thought I would share our fall bucket list. The crisp, cool air is so refreshing after a blazing summer, and I always feel renewed and ready to conquer my to-do list and try new activities. With a toddler running around, I’m finding more and more excitement in fall and the upcoming holidays this year.
One thing I do not think I will ever master is baking cakes. I can’t tell you how many cakes I have tried to make, and how many of them have turned out bad. Okay I can… all of them! The taste of this was wasn’t terrible, but of course I underestimated the amount of powdered sugar I would need for icing and ran out midway through icing it. So I decided to go for the ‘naked cake’ look ;). I think i’ll outsource the cake next time, ha.I just knew she was going to dive into her cake, and love it. But she hated it!! She took a bite and spit it out. This is her saying “all done!”Sweater: Tobi, c/o | Piper’s dress: Cat and Jack | Piper’s sweater: Cat and Jack
I’m finally getting around to sharing pictures from Piper’s first birthday party. I had so much fun putting together her party, and loved celebrating our girl alongside close friends and family. She was born the week of Thanksgiving, so I had plans to go for a ‘fall theme,’ but we didn’t get a chance to celebrate until the following week, due to the holidays. So instead, I went for a ‘wintry’ theme. I didn’t want it to turn into a Christmas theme, so I opted for pinks, golds, and greenery.
I will always jump at a chance to match with my little girl, and of course couldn’t miss an opportunity on her birthday ;). I fell in love with this little pink tutu dress for Piper. Babies in tutus…I’ll never get enough! I wore this sweater from Tobi to match her, and to go along with the pink theme.
It was a special day for our special girl. Happy Birthday, Piper Rose! You are our bright ray of sunshine, and we love you so much!!
My favorite way to do date night these days, is at home, glass of wine in hand and a full cheese platter spread in front of us…and maybe some pajama pants on too ;). For one of our nights in Florida recently, we did just that! We watched the sun set while snacking on grapes and sipping on wine, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. We finished off the evening by pulling out the laptop and catching up on our netflix shows together.
Even when we go out for our dinner, I’ll often prefer tapas over a formal entree. When we have date night at home, we love to create our own tapas or cheese platter spread. Whether it’s an evening in or if you’re having guests over and entertaining this holiday season, here are some tips to create the ultimate cheese platter that is sure to be a hit with your guests..
1 | Choose from a variety of cheeses. A good rule of thumb is to choose something soft, hard, blue, and a spread. My favorites right now are the pesto gouda from Trader Joe’s, colby jack, and Trader Joe’s blueberry goat cheese. If you’re going to be adventurous with a cheese like pesto gouda, it’s always a good idea to have a ‘safe’ option as well.
2 | Select the bread. You can choose crusty bread, like slices of a baguette, or simple water crackers to maximize the flavor of the cheese. I love to opt for pita chips or whole wheat crackers.
3 | Add some fruit. Cheese is pretty dense and filling, so it’s good to pair it with something light, like fruit. Grapes and strawberries are my go to! Dried fruit like apricots are another great choice.
4| Pick something crunchy. A basic trail mix is a great option to include, or if you are like me and are haunted by your never satisfied sweet tooth, you can choose something sweet like chocolate covered almonds.
5 | Don’t forget the extras. Grilled or pickled veggies are a great compliment to a cheese platter, as well as cured meats, such as salami, ham, or sausage.
One thing I feel really passionate about, especially as our family grows, is gathering around the table for meals. We live in such a fast-paced world where we want everything to be instant or quick. I myself am so guilty of this – there was one day that I think I ate every meal in the car. Even though the temptation is hard to resist, I think it is so important to make time for each other, connecting around the table. Below are a few of my reasons why….
#1 | Eat Mindfully
As a dietitian, one of the main things I stress to my clients is mindful eating. It’s so easy to eat that entire bag of chips or one (or five) too many oreos sitting in front of the TV or while doing some other activity. And then, after all is said and done, we still don’t feel satisfied and might not even remember eating it all! If you’re going to splurge or have a snack, really enjoy it. I always suggest sitting down at the table and putting your freshly baked cookies on your favorite plate, lighting a candle, and maybe playing some calming music. I assure you, after being present with your food and thinking about what you are eating, you will leave the moment feeling fully satisfied and less likely to do any emotional or bored eating later.
#2 | Connect with Loved Ones
I’m definitely that wife that likes to text my husband all day every day. Even though I’m sure he loves it ;), some days are super busy and we don’t get to connect at all until getting home at night. Eating a meal together, without re-runs of the office joining us, allows us to hear about each other’s day and really care for one another.
#3 | Relieve Stress
When I’m able to really connect with my husband at the end of a long day, and share my hopes and fears and worries and joys, I leave the dinner table feeling much more at peace. Sometimes all it takes is talking through things and saying them out loud to solve them.
#4 | Try New Recipes
I have always been an advocate for trying new foods and recipes. When I go to a restaurant, I hardly ever order the same thing twice, and when I cook at home, I hardly ever repeat recipes. There’s so many awesome recipes out there to try so why not try them!? OK, OK, Unless you really love a recipe … I do make this vegetarian chili often.
#5 | Cheap Date Night
I think a candlelit dinner at home can be just as romantic as a fancy dinner out…especially if you’re on a budget! Some of my favorite memories with Scofield involve making dinner together and then sitting down to eat with back ground music and a candle and having a little makeshift date night. I have a feeling with a baby coming that we will be doing that much more often…