Wednesday, September 23, 2020

9 Boho Dresses I Love for Fall


9 Boho Dresses I Love for Fall
1. Rose Print Maxi Dress ($168)   |    2. Black Tiered Midi Dress ($118)   |   3. Floral Babydoll Dress ($148)   |   4. Brown Floral Maxi Dress ($168)   |   5. Navy Floral Maxi Dress ($168)  |   6. Pink Velvet Midi Dress ($198)   |   7. Black and White Floral Tiered Maxi ($228)   |   8. Corduroy Tiered Midi Dress ($168)   |   9. Wine Tunic Dress ($198)


I have sort of a summer uniform that consists of one of two looks. The first is cut off denim shorts, a band tee or tank, and a kimono. The other is one of a dozen floral boho dresses. (I joke to my other 40-something friends that I dress like a 22 year old going to Coachella. Age is just a number and all that, right?) Anyway, once fall arrives, I usually get sad, because my summer dresses become too lightweight for the weather, and all of my fall dresses are solid and just, well, uninspiring. So this fall, I decided I'm going to treat myself to a nice, high quality autumn dress or two that will specifically work for the cooler months. And these are some of my favorites. I'm especially leaving toward #1 or #3. I'll share what I end up getting over in my Instagram Stories soon.


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Monday, September 21, 2020

Apple Picking


Chicago Apple Picking

I usually reserve posts focused on our everyday life as a family for Instagram, and use this space to offer you guys more useful content (ya know, recipes, home improvement tips, etc.). But we had so much fun picking apples last week that I wanted to share here too. I mean let's face it, fall and Halloween and all the goodness that comes with this season are going to be different and scaled back this year, so maybe sharing these moments of 'normalcy' will bring a hint of joy to our cold, weary, pandemic-depressed souls. (Never claimed not to be dramatic.)

Chicago Apple Picking
Chicago Apple Picking
Chicago Apple Picking

We usually opt for an orchard that is about 20 minutes away, but that one is only open on the weekends which makes for a very crowded experience, and crowds during Covid aren't our jam. So we ended up driving quite a bit further this year, and went on a Tuesday after school. We ended up practically having the place to ourselves which was perfect. It was a little early in the season for apples, but we discovered a variety that is close to Honeycrisp (our favorite), and mostly picked those. We also picked up some cider doughnuts, caramel apples, and kettle corn in the orchard's shop, which was a terrible idea for me (sorry, sugar fast) but made the kids oh so happy.

Chicago Apple Picking
Chicago Apple Picking

Coincidentally, today is the last official day of summer, which bums me right out, but looking at these photos inspires me to really try to make fall the best it can possibly be this year. 



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Thursday, September 17, 2020

6 Tips For Better Snacking


6 Tips For Better Snacking
This post is in partnership with Simple Mills.

If you have kids (aka eating machines), or are just the average busy person in today's world, you can probably relate to my ongoing snacking dilemmas. What snacks can I keep on hand that don't require a lot of prep work? What snacks can I buy that we'll all like? What snacks can we also easily take on the go? And most of all, how can we snack in ways that are better for us? I've really made an effort over the last month or so to find solutions for my snacking woes, and today I thought I'd share some of the things that are working for us.

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

1. Plan.
I am not a meal planner. It is not my thing. But I have become a snack planner. I don't mean creating a color coded daily snack chart, but I do mean planning for easy grab-and-go snacks that you know will get eaten, making a list of them, and stocking up for a couple of weeks. We try to opt for fruits, veggies, yogurt, and wholesome crunchy snacks like Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies that I can pick up at Meijer. (Speaking of Meijer, make sure to take advantage of this amazing deal they're offering.)

2. Go for crunch.
Everyone in our house agrees that a crunchy snack is more satisfying. Our current favorites for the perfect crunch are fresh carrot sticks and Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies, which are made from whole food ingredients, with nothing artificial. I always pick up a package or three when I'm getting groceries at Meijer, which makes the kids (and us!) very happy. The Almond Flour Crackers are super delicious snack crackers made with a wholesome blend of almond flour, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. They're a great source of vitamin E and contain 3 grams of protein per serving. Perfect right out of the box. Simple Mills Crunchy Cookies also provide a yummy crunch and are perfect for when we have a sweet tooth. Crafted from plant-powered, nutrient-dense ingredients, they're just the right amount of sweet, thanks to natural coconut sugar.  

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

3. Read the labels.
I've always been a label reader (thanks mom!), but I still need to be reminded sometimes. Always check out the ingredients, and opt for snacks that are made with whole foods and free from anything artificial.

4. Choose convenient.
I admittedly get big ideas in my head of Pinterest-worthy snacks that will ultimately take a whole lot of ingredients and time I don't have. When I attempt this, I end up with uneaten food. I've found that opting for convenient snacks is more realistic and much easier on all of us, and better for when we're on-the-go. Berries that can be eaten right from the container, string cheese or cheese sticks, and Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies, which are nutrient-dense and made with whole foods, are our go-tos. 

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

5. Be mindful.
We're all guilty (at least in this house), of mindlessly munching on snacks while we're watching movies or looking at our devices, which can lead to overindulgence. I've found that when we're more aware of why we're actually snacking, it leads to better snacking habits. We talk to the kids (and remind ourselves) about listening to our body's hunger cues, and when we really are hungry for a snack, to choose better-for-you options. And if we are watching a show or looking at our phones, we portion onto a bowl or plate. 

6. Listen to your body.
A nutritionist friend gave me that advice and you guys, they are words to live by. For real. If you're hungry for a snack, eat one, but pay attention to when you feel full. If you're bored and just feel like eating, try drinking a glass of water, or just nibble on a few crackers (Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers to the rescue again!). If you crave something unhealthy, try eating a better-for-you version and see if that satisfies. This is a great life lesson to teach your kids as well!

6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking
6 Tips For Better Snacking

I hope these tips prove helpful for those of you looking to improve your snacking habits. They've been very helpful for us! And if you haven't tried Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies yet, I highly recommend grabbing some at your local Meijer. They are our absolute favorite snacks right now. Make sure to take advantage of this incredible deal too.




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Monday, September 14, 2020

Sweet Corn with Chili and Orange Hoisin Glaze


Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze

One of the things that I love most about summer is sweet corn on the cob. So as sweet corn season (and summer itself, boohoo) comes to an end, I find myself grabbing it from a local farm as often as possible knowing that it will soon be gone.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat sweet corn, with a unique twist. You may even remember me sharing it here a few years ago. I've since tweaked a few things with the recipe and now I officially declare it end-of-summer sweet corn perfection. I hope you love it as much as we do. 

Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze
Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze

Sweet Corn with Chili and Orange Hoisin Glaze  

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
6 ears sweet corn, husked
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce  
1 teaspoon chili oil (red pepper flakes work too!) 
5-6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat your grill to medium high. In a small bowl, combine Hoisin sauce, chili oil or red pepper flakes, melted butter, and grated orange rind, and mix well. Grill corn for about 3 minutes, turn, and grill another 2-3 minutes. Use a brush to coat corn with glaze, and continue to grill for another 5-7 minutes, brushing with the glaze every couple of minutes. Remove corn from grill, brush with glaze, and top with chopped cilantro.  

Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze
Grilled Corn with Orange Hoisin and Chili Glaze

Savor that sweet corn, friends. I know I will be, 'til summer's bitter end. 

 


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