A Friendly Foodie Thanksgiving

If by "foodie" you mean a consumer of delicious food items and nothing else, then count me as such. Cooking is not one of my giftings. I wish it was. But unless a dish has under 5 main ingredients, I will neither pin nor prepare it.

Thankfully, I have dear friends with the culinary chops & ambition to take on the November issue of Bon Appetit Magazine and host the most incredible friendsgiving feast possible. Funny how one women's dream is another woman's nightmare...

If you are interested in any of the recipes mentioned, you will have to google my description of it;)

[Above: The turkey was soaked in a cider brine the day before the meal. Pieces were juicy throughout, even the lighter sections.]

Skillet cornbread with sauteed onions and apples.

My plate was also adorned with stuffing (made with olive ciabatta & sweet bread), whipped sweet potatoes (made with butter & cream cheese, garnished with pecans & blue cheese), brussel sprouts w/ bacon, and an array of veggies.

Not pictured: the chocolate Cognac pecan pie I had for dessert. OHMYGOODNESS, YUM.

Special thanks to Allison & Leslie for all of your hard work. Everything was THE BEST. You truly blessed us with this spectacular meal and we are so thankful to have you in our quiver of friends.

As always, THANK YOU for reading and a Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!! xx


Getting Organized.

Here's a little peek inside my home office! Ok, not really. But if you were to drop by our house on any given day, you will find my "work station" camped out at the end of our dining room table.

I was hoping to touch on this sort of topic during my 31 Days series, but I think we all got to see the extent of my hot mess-ness while trying to keep up with the blog challenge; publishing sub-par posts and neglecting most of my daily chores.

I am happy to report now that I actually am able to (sort of) stay on top of my housework when I am not blogging every day.

One of the things that is helping me to stay in line is keeping a house management binder. I did not invent this concept, however I was able to tailor one that is specific to our family's needs. I have sections for cleaning, cooking/ menu planning, health/ essential oils, and DIY projects. I am hoping to add some more tabs for kids activities & finances.

Here's what I reference for cleaning chores. There are dozens of these checklists available across the web, but the key is finding something that is actually feasible for you. My favorites are the Daily Quick Cleaning Checklist from Real Simple, the Weekly Checklist for House Cleaning by Household Management 101, and the Project: Organize Your ENTIRE Life Mega Cleaning Action Plan from Modern Parents Messy Kids.

I printed these out and placed in clear pocket folders so I can check off with a dry erase marker and reuse.

I also use the same clear pocket folders for my grocery shopping list. This list is also from Household Management 101 & is proving to be more efficient than the bits of paper I had been scribbling them out on.

In addition to my house management binder, I also use a good old-fashioned planner. I bought one that shows the calendar month with grand intentions to do some meal planning. Turns out, I suck at it.

A system I find a little more realistic for me is to keep my main dishes on post-it notes and place them on the calendar after a big shopping trip. This way I can easily switch them around if our plans change or we don't feel like eating that particular thing that night. This is a new system I am implementing, and so far, its helping.

So, those are just a few of the tools I have been using to better manage our home! I've definitely missed blogging since my 31 Days series ended, but I have really been enjoying a clean house. Also, knitting. It's officially the time of year to bust out the needles and bask in the stench of seasonal pine & cookie scented candles. I'm trying so hard to restrain myself from decking the halls until after Thanksgiving, but I don't know how much longer I can hold out on that...


Into the Wild

There's not enough places in Iowa like the Ledges, but we take what we can get. And the Ledges in Autumn is as beautiful as can be. Since it had been years since our last visit, we made sure to go at the height of this Fall's firey foliage. This past Saturday was the perfect day for it too with temps hovering around just right. 

When I wasn't trying to trick a toddler into looking into my general direction for a picture or shouting at her not to get too close to a drop off, I felt like I was standing at the foot of creation. Which is a good reminder for this city girl. A reminder of God's great enormity and inventiveness.

I hope you have had a chance to be still & soak up some of the beauty this season. xx


Halloween in the East Village

So, I thought I was going to take some time off from blogging for bit, but I HAD to share these pics from our trick-or-treat excursion through Des Moines' East Village. This is the way to do it, parents. That is, if you don't want copious amounts of candy stashed around your dwelling. And after trick-or-treating the last three nights in a row, well, I'm going to need to be exercising some serious self-control over the next few weeks.   

Lumberjack Dad & Snow White Ruby. 
Wayde really struggled with taking our girl out in this costume since she didn't have a black wig.

 The most handsome little lion I have ever layed eyes on. 

First stop, Eden. I caught Ruby eating the one piece of candy she had obtained up until then. 

Eden is my FAVORITE place in Des Moines to buy gifts. These The Moon & The Honey dolls are the cutest and a Bill Murray coloring book?! I mean, seriously.

We stopped into Eight Seven Central next to see some of our screenprinter / designer friends at work. 
Also, more candy. 

Someone with a big box of Scratch cupcakes came in and started handing them out. I was about to say, "Get jealous, Dena & Maren!" but they tasted like day-old's, so you girls didn't miss much. 

My friend, Allison, and her minion twins.

Um, can we talk about this shirt for a minute? I saw it through the door of Aimee and had to take a closer look. Anyone that has this movie etched into the fabric of their pre-teen existence is a kindred spirit, 
in my book. SONORA!!!!

Lastly, we got to pretend to be models at Raygun. Finally, a decent(ish) photo of the whole family! 

Hope you all had a happy & responsible Halloween. And now, that break I was itching to take. Unless this daily blogging thing is too much of a habit now;)
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