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Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese

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We try and limit our dairy intake at home since my oldest daughter has a dairy sensitivity. But the thing is she LOVES cheese, especially mac and cheese. I mean what kid doesn’t? I don’t mean the gross orange kind in a box but the kind with tons of real cheese and milk. So I had to come up with another way to get that creamy, cheesy feel without the dairy. This butternut squash creamy mac and cheese is so amazing, the entire family LOVED it which is a huge win. The butternut squash gives it that fun orange color, and the cashew cream gives it a silky creamy feel, with the nutritional yeast adding a bit of cheesiness. Give it a try friends! It’s super easy, and super yummy!

Family Hike Day

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For this week’s Mom Monday post I thought I would share some shots from our family hike this past weekend. Truth be told we don’t do this often. In fact this was our first hike with Greyson. Hiking with small kids can sound daunting but as long as you pack a few of the essentials it’s really fun. When Sarah, our intern, turned senior designer, turned friend, asked if she could take us hiking to her favorite spot I said let’s do this! We piled in the car early Saturday morning and drove up to Chantry Flats for our hike to Sturtevant Falls. We scored a parking spot, which if you don’t get there super early in the morning, can be challenging. We strapped Greyson into the Ergo, and grabbed our backpack filled with snacks and water, and headed out on the trail.  There were several parts of the trail where we found ourselves crossing little streams, hopping from rock to rock which ended up being Piper’s favorite part. Our short but beautiful hike ended at the most amazing waterfall. We stopped here for a while, had snacks, enjoyed the relaxing music of the waterfall, and took lots of photos. The weather could not have been more perfect, sunny, crisp and cool but not too cold, and the water was high from all the rain we have had recently.

Hiking used to be such a big part of my life when I lived in Utah, but since moving to California, becoming a mom, hiking is something we really hadn’t done regularly. After this past weekend, I think we might need to do this more often. Getting the kids out in nature, and exposing them to the beautiful landscape that we live in is a must. A few tips for this particular hike. The beginning part of the hike is mostly downhill, so just prepare for the tail end of your hike on the way back, a short but steep hike up. This part is paved so it’s not challenging in that regard but something to be aware of for the kids. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks. For some reason our kids were starving almost as soon as we started out. Water bottles, and if you have, waterproof comfy shoes are great to have for the stream crossings. The Ergo was key for carrying Greyson on the hike. Hope you all will get out and enjoy the outdoors, no matter where you live. It’s such a great break from the everyday hustle and bustle, and a great way to decompress.

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Mom Monday {Holiday Recap}

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Happy New Year friends. I am so excited to start this year fresh and excited. There are so many fun and new things I have planned for you this year, I can’t wait to get started. I am sure you have noticed but with 2 kids and running a business, it has become increasingly difficult for me to get to the blog daily. But I am really trying to make it a priority to share with you weekly. This may mean more posts about what’s going on with the kids, or more behind the scenes posts on what is actually going on at the studio this week, but either way I will keep doing my best to be present here and share with you. I want to let you all know how grateful I am for your loyalty and encouragement. It really means the world to me, so thank you! And on that note, I thought I would share a little glimpse into my holiday break. We spent Christmas with my family in Las Vegas, as is our annual tradition. We have a tradition of giving everyone matching pajamas on Christmas eve so that we can all be wearing them when we open presents on Christmas Morning. This tradition started innocent enough, plaid pajama pants, a nice shirt, but somehow over the years it has transformed into full blown costume pajamas. I have to admit seeing my father in law dressed as a donkey and my brother dressed as a flying squirrel, does not get old. We all have a great laugh, and my mom said she keeps wearing hers (pig) because they are so soft and warm. Who knew!?

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We went to see Santa the same day we drove to Vegas, so needless to say it was a long day, and both kids were exhausted. By the time we got to see Santa, it was just short of a disaster as you can see from the photo. But most kids cry when they sit on Santa’s lap right?

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Our New Year’s Eve was a nice quiet evening at home. I was (actually still am) nursing a cold, but I still got all dressed up. We all did! Piper had sparkling cider, and we had a mini dance party. The hubs and I enjoyed oysters and filet mignon while the kids had Kite Hill Ravioli. We like to make the night feel special with fancy food we typically don’t have, and fun music. We had a great time. What are your holiday traditions? Would love to here from you all! Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday, and welcome to 2017!

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Wish I was {Hamptons + Rosé cocktails}

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Clinging to that last feeling of summer with this post. Love love loving this house for rent in Bridgehampton. Perfect for families with kids. This outfit with that bell sleeve sweater is weekend away perfection. Pretty in love with these sandals as well. And this weekend bag, at $39, is the such a steal!

Mom Monday {A day at the ENC}

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Thanks to our very own Jane aka production princess, we visited the Environmental Nature Center over the weekend. They were having their semi-annual fair and we had a blast! From great food and coffee booths, to arts & crafts and nature walks and some really cool animals, it was a fun filled day.

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One of the highlights of our day was meeting this guy. Yes that is a wolf!! So cool.

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We saw all sorts of animals like owls & snakes. And we got to explore the butterfly house where butterflies fly around and land on your head! Throughout our nature walks there were little craft stations hidden among the trees. We stopped at a few and made all sorts of fun things, including necklaces made from real butterfly cocoons!! How cool is that? This place is always open, and its super fun for the whole family. If you are near south orange county, california, I highly recommend a visit.

***this is not a sponsored post. Just a HUGE fan of the ENC.

Mom Monday {Mother, Daily Read}

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There is definitely a lack of great mom content online with a stylish edge. When I stumbled upon Mother over the weekend I couldn’t stop reading. It’s definitely a must read for all you  moms out there. The photos are gorgeous, the content is great, and it’s completely addictive. From great profiles of stylish moms, to neighborhood profiles with family friendly activities, healthy recipe ideas and baby shower ideas. I am telling you go over there now and check it out!!

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Earth Day Festival – The Ecology Center

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We spent our Saturday at The Ecology Center, one of my favorite spots in Orange County. They were having an Earth Day Festival which was so much fun. We fed the chickens, made teepees, block printed, ate acai bowls and free Chipotle, listened to live music, made terrariums, planted squash seeds to take home, among lots of other things. We had a blast. Here are a few photos from the day. If you are local to southern California check out their events page, they have a ton of really cool activities for adults and kids and families. This is not a sponsored post, I am just a huge fan of The Ecology Center and all they do.

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Mom Monday {Family Getaway to Lake Arrowhead}

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Happy New Year friends!! Hope you all had a restful, amazing holiday break. After some time with family, and lots of lounging on the couch (nursing a cold) I am ready to get back to it. Today I am sharing with you a new family getaway destination. Piper had been asking us to take her to the snow. Something we don’t have a lot of in Southern California. So we did some research and came up with Lake Arrowhead. Less than 2 hours from south orange county it was a great destination. We drove up really early and were able to start our day with some fabulous sledding! Piper’s first time, which made it so fun. Then we toured the town of Lake Arrowhead for a bit and checked in to our room at Lake Arrowhead Resort. This is definitely a trip we will make again. I can’t wait to see it in the summer too!

Family getaway Lake Arrowhead | Wiley Valentine

 

Healthy Yummy Recipes to Try

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I have been making a really big effort to meal plan for the week. To be honest some weeks are better then others but I find the weeks that I do meal plan I end up eating yummier, more fabulous dishes. Here are a few recipes on my radar for next week.

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Brussels sprout bacon bean quesadilla with blue cheese dip

Gluten free apple & greek yogurt pancakes

Cauliflower tortillas!!

Carrot and coconut soup

Do any of you meal plan? Share your tips with us!

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