During the fall, I love to incorporate anything apple or pumpkin into my life. Honestly…ANYTHING…I have apple blossom hand soap at my kitchen sink, my pumpkin pie candle burns every night after the kids are asleep – its kind of ridiculous. I knew that I wanted to share my favorite fall dips featuring….Apple and Pumpkin flavors! The timing worked out perfectly, because I brought this dish to a friend’s house last night. A couple of people there were asking for the recipe, so, why not make it easy and share it with everyone. I like to have easy recipes ready to go for the fall, because I find that we are invited to a lot of gatherings between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and football Sundays. These two fall dips have quickly gone to the top of my list as “must makes” as they are a hit with all age groups and of course, super easy to make. I like to make both dips together for the perfect fall flavors combo. As you can see in the picture - I serve both dips with nilla wafers, and apples.
I originally received this recipe after my Sister-In-Law made this for our annual fall barbecue and had everyone there asking for the recipe! Honestly, people have RSVP-ed, and in the same email, asked if the pumpkin dip would be there. It is THAT good.
Blend the cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth; I usually use my stand mixer – it ensures everything is blended well.
Blend in pumpkin, and then the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Ah yes, the perfect spices of the season.
Chill for at least 1 hour.
Caramel Apple Dip
This dip I found on Cooks.Com forever ago, and it has been in my “favorites” folder ever since – yes..this was even before Pinterest! I like to think of this as the non-messy way of getting the caramel apple taste.
Whew! We have made it through month one as being parents of three. I am going to be honest – if you asked me pre-baby if I could have confidently made that statement,I would have been doubtful. Things are definitely crazy, but becoming more manageable everyday. Most importantly, our little girl is healthy and mostly content. She is also pretty darn adorable…here is my favorite picture from her newborn photo shoot:
Some teeny tiny issues occurred over the last month like some bleeding from her belly button which was quickly resolved, or a big sister who chose to be a dog when she didn’t feel like she was getting enough attention ( check out the post Lucy the Dog for more on that fun!). They were small hiccups though, so I am considering us very very lucky. This time around we did not have one of those magic babies who sleeps through the night at one month – so this lady is still getting up 1-2 times a night. We have gotten some 6-7 hour stretches though, which have been quite amazing when they hit!
While I feel like we know what we are doing this time, and my first time mother worries are non-existent, the challenges are more around things like – we have to be at school by 9 (10 minutes away)- the baby decides she wants to eat at 8:00…and not stop for about 40 minutes, putting a bit of stress on getting everyone out the door on time! There is also the frustration that things can go from perfection to $hit show in a manner of seconds. Dinner can be prepped, all kids are content, I am able to start the relaxing task of folding laundry….and then the baby has an “out of diaper”, decides she needs to eat because she is absolutely starving, son decides he is hungry and needs dinner now , and my middle daughter decides that this is the perfect moment to go on the potty even though we have tried unsuccessfully to encourage her to do so for a week and the doorbell or phone will ring, and I look/sound like a crazed lady. No planning or prep can take away those moments either, I have tried to accept.
All in all, we are making it through ok, and my kids are always loving on their sister, and I am feeling blessed.
One of my readers who is expecting her first child asked me to share my favorite baby things. I feel like this time around, I have a some very simple needs – I also have really everything from my first son, so if there is something better out there, my wallet and I don’t need to know
Here is my top 5 List of the baby must haves this time around:
1. Baby Feed App- With my son, I had a breastfeeding “spot” where I had a notebook where I tracked all the baby’s feedings, diapers, etc. This time, I feed the baby in the car, the floor of the playroom, at a friend’s house (but still not in public, because I just have never been able to…) – I track the times on my phone, because I rarely remember the times. let alone how things are going over multiple days!
2. The snap n go – this remains to be my everywhere stroller while the baby is still in the car seat. I have the Bob which I use for fast paced walks, but the snap n go is always in my car, and I love that it doesn’t take up a ton of room in my always full car!
3. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets – I have always sworn by these blankets, and they are not failing me now! In the middle of the night, who wants to worry about swaddling a baby? Really, at any time, I can barely do it. Life is made so easy by velcro in the right spots. My mom loves these as well, and sometimes you just need to count on someone else to put the baby to bed. 4. The Medela Pump in Stylehas lasted me through multiple children as well, and it is already well in use this time. I am pumping to allow others to give the baby bottles, and also to start stocking up my freezer supply. This pump has been the best for me, and everyone I have recommended it to has done well with it as well.
5. A Full Freezer – Not surprising, right? But, I don’t want to deal with picking food up, delivery people, large grocery shopping trips, or meal prep. My prep in this area, pre-baby, quite simply, has been amazing. I am always thanking the Dana of the past for delicious breakfast, lunches, and dinners So check out the Freezer Friday series on here…and cook up as many meals as your freezer will hold.
One last thing, which I am adding to the list because it is incredibly important, and I am finally understanding this time around…
The ability to say YES to help – this has always been very very hard for me…I had the kids, I shouldn’t need help to raise them…right? Um no…I have realized this time, that there are a lot of people who are offering help who mean it. I am also not a failure of a mother if I say yes to someone taking the kids to play while I take a nap, or saying yes to someone making a meal for our family. I have been grateful to have quite a bit of help this time, and it really has made some days a lot easier!
All in all, I would say it was a pretty successful first month!!
Would any other momma’s out there have some essential gear to recommend for the early months?
Disclosure: I received the VTech product, information, and the additional gift pack for an MMB reader have been provided by VTech
I have searched for one of the interactive stuffed animals for my daughter. After visiting her friend’s house, she was completely obsessed with a singing stuffed animal, and started bringing each of her stuffed toys to me, and asking me to make the little guys sing. Ah, to be 2 1/2 again and think that mommy has the magic to make that happen, right?!? I was excited to hear about the new toy from VTech- Cora the Smart Cub. Not only does Cora play songs, but after a quick set up online (super intuitive for mom and dad!) she will tell stories (including your child’s name and favorite things!), play nap time/bedtime music, and Cora’s internal clock allows her to interact during your child’s regular routine. Seriously – this gal has an internal clock…how cool is that? Even more cool though is that she will turn off on her own if your child is not using her, so she does not scare the daylights out of parents at random times. This factor is VERY important to me with all toys. Clearly she really is Cora the Smart Cub.
The ages which Cora is supposed to be for are 6 months through 3 years old. I am going to be honest – my son is interested when my 2 1/2-year-old is playing with her, and I think that the new baby will be loving her up pretty soon as well (especially the music part!). She is super cute as well – pink, cuddly, with a heart that lights up, and icons on her which are easy to follow. I also was impressed that she is only $19.99
We are loving Cora in our house – and with today’s giveaway, you can enter to win one too Fill out the rafflecopter entry below!
Sauces are one of the easiest things to make, freeze, and reheat. Let’s be honest though – how many times can you have tomato sauce? Today’s Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a great variation, and I found that it tastes very similar to a Vodka sauce…but the difference is I can make this one successfully I have made the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with both sausage and chicken, and it is delicious both ways. If I make with sausage, I will brown it, and include it with the frozen sauce, chicken, I will make the day of serving.
I know I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It has made me realize that my house is a poorly decorated mess, I don’t have a mantle display which changes with the seasons, and my outfits rarely have matching jewelry, shoes, purses, and hair accessory (really – who does their hair perfectly ALL the time?!). I was talking to a friend who is getting married recently about all this, and her comment to me was “you have no idea what Pinterest has done to weddings.” Oh my, I can’t even IMAGINE! I remember when I was planning my wedding six years ago, I was overwhelmed…today, I would be totally screwed.
In July, attended the wedding of one of my husband’s close friends. One of those weddings you knew you were going to be attending years ago, because the couple seemed to fit together so well. The wedding was filled with so many perfect details, you couldn’t help but feel like the bride just shared her heart with us so much on that day. Being massively pregnant and completely sober (which is a slightly rare occurrence for me at a wedding), I feel like I got to enjoy all of her details. I was kind of obsessed with everything at the wedding and freakishly was walking around the reception before people arrived, snapping pictures. Why not, right? I thought it would be fun to step out of mom-land today and celebrate weddings instead. I am so grateful that the bride let me share her day, and hope she enjoys looking at some of the pictures again (this is a small excerpt of my album of over 100 pics – told you…freak). Here are some of my favorite details from the day:
Really – who doesn’t love adorable dogs?Add in a tie and leashes that match the wedding decor, and everyone was in love with these little guys
LOVED this idea to have old keys with everyone’s name and table assignment – perfect way to welcome people!
The couple hung pictures of their family member’s weddings on a picket fence – such a great way to display pictures. If you saw my recent post about my daughter’s room redo – you know I love using those picket fences!
Okay, so they didn’t bring in the Moose head, but check out the initials hanging from the Moose? I loved how they put that big old guy to work during the wedding.
The centerpieces for the tables were so unique, and so so pretty when they were lit up. I loved how the couple “named” the tables as well. Hubby and I did a similar idea as well….we picked places which were meaningful to us from our relationship (maybe our wedding could have survived Pinterest??)
This was one of my favorite pieces from the wedding…and luckily it was a favor, so I now have two in my house! The groom (yes, only the groom could do this…) – cut up pieces of branches with a chainsaw into coaster size pieces…he then took an iron brand, put it in the fire, and branded each of the coasters with a bison and the word love. Yes…you read that right…chainsaws, iron brands..all capped with a little love. These were absolutely awesome though!
Have you been to any weddings lately that have had amazing details? Anything from your own wedding to share?
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