weekly menu schedule

i used to cook meals like a machine. i loved watching food network and duplicating what i saw or learning new skills - it was almost like an addiction. i was gaining this great knowledge that was going to better the lives of my family.. but then i stopped. life happened and i stopped. i no longer found joy in the process. i found myself completely dreading dinner time every single night because i had no energy left to think of a meal let alone make it. needless to say we had a solid year of not so good for you food. a lot of mac and cheese & frozen pizzas. i'm not proud of it but it's the truth.

this summer i put my foot down and knew we needed that to stop. i wanted to bring back real meals & a love for cooking. i needed to love my kitchen again. what i came up with was a weekly menu schedule with themes for each night. it has helped so much. obviously we alter it depending what might look good at the grocery store or what's on sale - but having somewhere to begin has made all. the. difference. it's a super simple schedule with a theme for each night of the week and it's incredibly flexible. the kids have even picked up on it and like having an idea of what to expect for dinner. sometimes they even throw out ideas or remind me of meals they really liked from previous weeks.


pumpkin picking

pumpkin picking is something i look forward to every year - but for some reason we always end up putting it off until the last minute. it's one of those things that starts at the top of the to do list and then slowly moves down until we say, 'we'll do it next weekend.' we finally got there this past weekend basically because we couldn't put it off anymore since halloween is already somehow on saturday!?

we've gone pumpkin picking at the same farm every year for the past 6 years! i can't even believe it's already been that long. when we moved into our first home we found this farm and the tradition began. the kids know exactly where we are the second we pull into the parking lot and i love that! i had a similar experience as a kid but the farm was down the street from my home so i spent a lot more time there throughout the year - i love hearing them get excited talking about what kind of pumpkin they hope to find and there are even goats, pigs, bunnies etc. there to feed & pet. always something the kids look forward to!

this year i really tried to be more thoughtful about the pictures i snapped instead of just thinking every moment needed to be captured. something i have been trying to do lately is be more present with my family. when i look back i have a million pictures from the pumpkin patch year to year but i don't want to only remember looking at the screen/through the lens - i want to really truly remember the look on zachary's face when he found the perfect pumpkin or the squeal adilyn made when she saw 'the most adorable little pumpkin in the world.' so we didn't leave the pumpkin patch with 800 pictures but we did leave with a handful of great ones and more actual memories.


asheville - weekend getaway

we have been wanting to go to asheville since we've lived here (8+ years) and finally made it there last weekend. it was so worth the wait but i really wish we would have made it there sooner. we had a blast and i'm pretty sure it was one of those weekends that as a kid you'll always remember which makes this momma heart happy.

asheville is incredibly dog friendly which made the trip even easier! we brought both our furry babies along for the fun - they even came out for brunch haha - it was so nice to not have to board them for the weekend. everywhere we went with them they were getting treats left and right and meeting friends on every street.

the main event of our quick weekend trip was zip lining! we went to a course made for kids 10 and under. there's a weight minimum that both zach and adie met and cy and i were able to zipline on the same course with them. i can't lie - i wasn't sure how it would go exactly but all those questions/fears quickly faded once we started. it was awesome! the kids were already asking when we could go back before we were even done haha.

we spent the rest of the weekend eating great food and exploring the city. we're already planning to go back soon. i even brought my actual camera with me instead of only using our phones for pictures.. with that being said - here's a little photo dump of our adventures..

a little tic-tac-toe at brunch:


apple cookies | morgan's kitchen

apples are so good right now.

fall apples can't be beat.
one thing we like to do with apples any time of year is make 'apple cookies'.
click here to see how we make them :)

what are your favorite ways to eat apples?


what i'm loving.. in the kitchen

i fell out of love with my kitchen for a little while. after my mom died i just kind of stopped doing anything extra.. for a solid 2 years i went through my days doing the minimum in the kitchen. i also gained 30 lbs. in the spring of this year and all through the summer i made it a priority goal to fall back in love with my kitchen not just for my family & my poor poor waistline, but also because i know my mom would be disappointed with me. so now i have been looking at the kitchen as a place where i can do good for us & be in spirit with my mom.


pb&'j' waffles | morgan's kitchen

looking for a healthy breakfast option that's quick but still filling?
these pb&'j' waffles are a hit in our home!

click here to see how easy they are!

what are some of your favorite on the run go to breakfasts?


homemade play dough

homemade play dough is a long time favorite of mine. i have vivid memories of my mom making it in our kitchen and giving each ball a different color and scent for my brother and i to play with. getting to do the same for my kids makes my heart happy and i hope they grow up to have similar memories because mine are truly treasured. 


what i'm loving.. life long loves.

getting back into the swing of blogging and having an outlet for my rambles is toward the top of the things i've been loving lately. i just have to remember to keep this place low stress & low priority. when it becomes any more than that it ends up on a different list.. haha.

three things i've always loved and been a collector of through the years are school supplies, shoes & taking pictures. it's very very hard for me to resist when i see perfect things from any of these categories.