Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to handle picky eaters--Why I only make ONE meal

I have a great mom. She is a phenomenal cook. Growing up she always made practically everything from scratch! I loved it and learned a lot from her. There are four kids in our family. Our taste buds are very similar, but they weren't always. Sometimes we were picky. Being the great mom she was, my mom made accommodations--sometimes she left out ingredients if one sibling didn't like them, sometimes she made two meals. It was fine. She didn't mind. But slowly things started to get out of control. Family recipes were forever changed to exclude tomatoes because 1 person didn't like them. If we ever got fast food, it wasn't uncommon to see her drive to 3 different places to satisfy her picky children.

Then I grew up. I got married. I had a baby. I have another baby on the way. I began thinking of how I wanted our family unit to be; how I wanted family meals to go. I imagine us sitting at the table together, at the same time, eating the same thing.

I love to cook. I put a lot of effort into each meal I make. But just because I enjoy making good food does not mean I want to spend my entire day in the kitchen making a different meal for everyone. If that's something you don't mind, then more power to you, but for me, it takes time away that I'd rather spend talking to my husband or playing with my kids. This is one reason I refuse to make more than ONE meal for dinner, lunch, or breakfast.

Reason two: picky eaters are the worst to invite over. It is a NIGHTMARE to cook for them. Anything one person likes, the next person does not. One person likes sweets, one person can't stand them, one person hates this, the other person loves it. It is so difficult. For Christmas brunch I made French Toast, a Breakfast Casserole, Sweet Rolls, and Bacon to try and please every palate at my in laws, but still one person will always go without and not touch a single thing. My husband has asked me to make his parents Mexican food, but I am like what would I make? One person won't eat it unless it's pork, the other won't eat pork. It's impossible. It's frustrating. It's something I don't want my kids to be. I want them to able to be anyone's dinner guest and enjoy what was prepared. 

While my son is only 18 months, I have been pretty successful thus far. How? I don't force him to eat anything, but I don't shelter him from certain foods. Some parents will keep spicy foods away from their child thinking they won't like them. I don't. David is offered EVERYTHING we eat. And what is the result? I have a child that eats & LOVES EVERYTHING. He will even eat salsa plain! He will eat enchiladas, he will eat tamales, he even eats popcorn with hot sauce on it (like his mom). He eats mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chicken, ham, beef, cheese (even goat cheese), any fruit. Honestly, any food you can think of he will eat! It has made life so easy. 


how we get our toddler to eat almost anything! 9 steps to dealing with picky eaters!

Here is how we made the UN-pickiest eater:


1. Don't give up if they don't like it the first time.


  • Sometimes, a child will decide they love something the first time they try it, but if they don't, try again later. A child needs to be presented to a food as many as 15-20 times before they learn to eat it. Also, even if they love it the first time, it doesn't mean they will want it every time.

2. Don't force them to eat something, but encourage them to smell, lick or taste the new food.


3. Let them have seconds & thirds of what they like, even if they ignore the rest.


4. Avoid preparing special meals for your child. Give them what everyone else is eating. 


5. Don't bribe.

  • I've heard stories where a parent will tell their kid they can have a cookie if they finish their plate. I've heard stories where the kid has grown so accustomed to this, that they actually begin a meal by asking how many bites they need to take to have dessert! For us, dessert isn't conditional. David doesn't have to eat a certain amount to have some. Because we haven't restricted him, there have been times where he actually has turned down sweets to be able to have more of the heartier meal. 

6. Frequently offer new foods.


7. Involve kids in the cooking process.

  • We loved helping our mom in the kitchen. We were more likely to try a new food if we helped prepare it. David is this way too. He is young, but I have always had him in the kitchen with me when I cook. He's my helper. He's typically sitting in his high chair, but I show him what I'm doing every step of the way. He will even make yummy noises as I cook. I'm not sure how much he internalizes when I involve him in the cooking process, but I do know that the meals he is involved in, he asks for seconds, thirds, and sometimes even fourths!

8. If you have a toddler, let them feed themselves.

  • David's grandparents will oftentimes not feed David because they think he doesn't want the food. But that's not the case. He says no because he doesn't want to be fed like a baby. He is very independent at this age and wants to do it himself. When he's at home we put him in the high chair with his food and a fork or spoon & let him do his thing. Yes he gets messy, but he eats til he's full and is developing those motor skills which is another plus.
why we let him feed himself- dealing with picky eaters

9. Don't be a picky eater.

  • Kids learn by example. If you're a picky eater, they are more likely to be picky as well. It's funny. I actually noticed this the other day. David LOVES eating beans & eggs with tortillas and so do I. But, as much as he loves it, if I'm not eating it with him, he will hardly touch it. This goes with any food. If we are eating it, he LOVES it and asks for more, but if it's something we won't touch neither will he.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Pizza Party Checklist!

We are coming really close to Christmas, it is freaking me out! This month just flew by! I was really excited to start all sorts of new traditions this holiday season, but unfortunately we are still in the "spend Christmas with the in-laws" phase of our marriage which often means succumbing to their traditions instead of our own.. but I somehow managed to convince everyone to make our pizza for Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning I am bringing those sweet rolls I mentioned earlier. So the new traditions live on!

For today's post I thought I would explain how to make a pizza/throw a DIY Pizza Party since it has been on my mind as I plan for Christmas Eve.

host a pizza party! Making your own pizza is so fun & easy! Plus, you can add whatever toppings you want! This is a new family tradition for us!

Pizza Party Must Haves:


- dough (we use pre-made from Winco, I know Sprouts also sells pizza dough and I'm sure a few others do too)


- cornmeal to roll your dough out on (NOT flour; flour will make your crust tough)

- marinara sauce. We love using tomato paste because you can really control the water content so you don't end up with a soggy pizza--plus! the tomato flavor is very strong, which we love. We usually add olive oil til we get the desired consistency & season with basil, garlic, salt & oregano.

- toppings

  • meats: pepperoni, ham, sausage, chicken, bacon
  • veggies: mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, onions, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, banana peppers, jalapenos
  • fruit: pineapple
  • cheese: mozzarella
- drinks! We are going with Martinelli's (it's our go-to drink for holidays/special occasions)
- dessert: try a pizookie to fit the theme!! We go with classic chocolate chip, but you could really do any cookie. In fact, a peanut butter pizookie with vanilla ice cream sounds AMAZING right now! (Not sure how to make one? Check out my easy step-by-step guide)

easy pizookie dessert for a pizza party


Even if you're not throwing a pizza party, here is a servings guide I made for large get togethers!

how much food to serve at a party





Monday, December 14, 2015

Best Holiday Candy Recipes


Today's post is all about candy. If you read my Christmas Traditions post, then you know I am wanting to make some great treats this month, so I thought I would look around for a little holiday candy inspiration before I got started =)

Check out these 10 delicious candies I found below!

our new christmas tradition is to make Christmas candy- these are the best, easy candy recipes for Christmas, Valentines, Anniversaries, etc


Chocolate Buttercream Candy from Chocolate Candy Mall

chocolate buttercream candy-christmas candy

I love this! They list 3 different recipes (2 classic buttercreams & one with cream cheese!) PLUS, they tell you how to add flavors to create different variations, like raspberry buttercream, etc.

Coconut Buttercream Christmas Candies from examiner.com

coconut buttercream candy-christmas candy

Obviously, I love buttercreams. So of course, I needed to include another variation. These look & sound delicious!

Cookie Dough Buttercream Candies from Sugar Spun Run

cookie dough buttercream candy-christmas candy


This will be the last of the buttercreams, I promise! But how delicious does this sound?

Nutter Butter Truffles from Like Mother Like Daugther

nutter butter truffles-christmas candy


Most people do the standard chocolate truffles, so I am all for this "different" type of truffle!

Scotcheroos Millionare Nuggets from Oh, sweet basil

scotcheroos nuggets -christmas candy

I love scotcheroos! They are one of my favorites. I love this idea of making them bite-sized! Perfect for holiday get togethers!

Crockpot Candy from The Slow Roasted Italian

chocolate covered peanuts- crockpot candy-christmas candy


Chocolate covered peanuts are my downfall. I tend to justify them too, I mean, they are slightly healthy right? I'm basically just eating peanuts...covered in chocolate...

English Toffee from Living on a Dime

english toffee- no thermometer required-christmas candy


Not only is this toffee recipe only 4 ingredients, but it also does NOT require a candy thermometer. Definite winner!

Pretzel Rolo Turtles from Like Mother Like Daughter

pretzel rolo turtles- easy christmas candy


Chocolate turtles remind me a lot of Christmas, so they had to make the list! This recipe looks way too easy too, which is always a plus!

Fantasy Fudge from Kraft

fantasy fudge- easy christmas candy



This is my personal go-to recipe for fudge. It is so quick & tastes great every time!

Disneyland Chocolate Caramel Marshmallows by A Pumpkin & a Princess

disneyland chocolate caramel marshmallows- easy christmas candy

Basically, bite-sized rocky road candy--how perfect!


I hope you all enjoyed this post! These candies, in my opinion, are a little different from the typical holiday treats. I normally see a ton of fudge, but I'm loving the variety I've come across lately, I will definitely be making most, if not all, of these in the next couple weeks!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

21 week pregnancy update

We have made it past the half way point! I have procrastinated finding a new doctor since the move a month ago and really need to get that done--especially since I am overdue for my 20 week ultrasound! Anyway..

21 week pregnancy update

Stats so far:


Weeks: 21
Gender: It's a girl!!!!!
Weight Gain: 6 pounds
Stretch Marks: 0
Symptoms: Lack of appetite, bloating,
Cravings: Pineapple and oranges. Any fruit really.
Missing: Energy. Sleeping on stomach, Having a bra that fits properly (I gain weight in my breasts)
Exercise: Cardio 3 times a week for 45 minutes and free weights so far only 2-3 times per week. I'd love to up it.
Diet: We were on vacation last week and so we ate out a ton. I definitely feel like I gained a lot more weight than necessary. Hopefully it mellows out as I get back to my normal eating habits.

Last week we were on vacation so I ate a lot more than normal & didn't exercise, because of that I gained like 4 pounds very quickly. I think that as I get back to my normal diet & exercise routine, my weight gain should slow for the next week or 2 and I'll mainly just maintain the weight. We will see..

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

Being a relatively new family, we are always looking for new, fun, & hassle free traditions to start. When you come together with your husband in marriage you both bring different family traditions, which can be fun unless they clash/take place the same day & then you have to either meet in the middle or form completely different ones.

I got pretty lucky because both my husband and I have very few traditions even during the Christmas season. Which means, we pretty much have free reign to start whatever tradition we feel like!

Tons of great Christmas traditions for families! Especially the one for when you get the tree! So stress-free!


I have been researching and found/thought up these Christmas traditions that seem fun and are also hassle free!

Month Long:


  • 25 days of Christmas book-a-thon. Read a different Christmas book every night before bed starting December first.
  • Friday night Christmas movies.
  • Drive around & look at Christmas lights. Google to find out if your city puts on a light show, & definitely go to that! They are so fun to see!
  • Early Christmas brunch with grandparents. This is from my family. We always celebrated Christmas early with my grandma. It was nice because then on Christmas day we were able to just lounge around all day in our PJ's. I love a good lazy day!
  • Snowy Chocolate Pine cones. We're not big gingerbread fans, so these pine cones are a fun alternative.
  • Write a letter to Santa. Take it one step further & receive a letter BACK from the North Pole! (http://www.santaclaushouse.com/santaletteronly.asp) 
  • Advent Calendar with thankfuls. We always did the typical chocolate a day advent calendar, but wouldn't it be nice if to get a candy you had to do more than just wait a day? We are all about expressing gratitude this year, so we are saying one new thing we are thankful for each day til Christmas.
  • Make Christmas candy.
  • Host a cookie exchange.
  • Send out Christmas cards.
  • Make Tamales. This is our weekend-before-Christmas tradition. Plus they make great gifts! My favorite are Cinnamon Raisin Tamales! Sooo delicious! If you are interested, let me know in the comments and I'll post a recipe. I would love an excuse to make them a little early this year ;)

The Day you decorate the tree:

  • Go out to eat! We like to make whole day of it. And quite frankly, after spending a couple hours picking out, setting up, and decorating a tree I am not in the mood to cook a gourmet meal as well. We either do Chinese take out, or a Japanese style Tepanyaki restaurant. I couldn't tell you why-- it's just tradition!
  • Make hot cocoa.
  • Listen to Christmas music while decorating.


Christmas Eve:


  • Game Night! I've seen a lot of posts with all sorts of fun Minute to Win It game night ideas. They look like a ton of fun & plus it'll wear kids out which is perfect before Santa comes ;) If you do invite people over for games, keep it simple and follow it up with the next tradition:
  • Pizza on Christmas Eve. this is my husband's family's ONE Christmas tradition. We will keep it alive, but modify it by making our pizzas (w/store-bought dough-Winco sells great pizza dough!)
  • Pre-make dough for Christmas morning sweet rolls. This really doesn't take long, I typically do this while everyone watches a Christmas movie. Takes like a half hour max.
  • Make cookies for Santa. We are trying a new cut out cookie recipe this year. I will link it here the 2nd week in December if it's a success.

Christmas Day:

  • Put sweet rolls and a breakfast casserole in oven so it can cook while everyone opens presents, then enjoy a delicious (no fuss) Christmas morning feast!
  • Make a special dinner. We like to do Mexican food. For special occasions I will either make carnitas or chicken empanadas.
  • Read the Nativity Story.

There you have it! 20+ Christmas Traditions that we love! It may seem like a lot, but they really aren't too stressful and help you get the most out of the holiday season. I LOVE December because it really is soo family focused! I wish we had traditions like these year-round! (maybe we'll start some ;)

Let me know some of your favorite family traditions below!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers

Christmas is soo close! We are so excited to be starting traditions with our little family. David is only 16 months so he won't really remember much of what we are doing now, but I still think it's important for US to get in the habit of these traditions.

One of these traditions is, of course, Santa Claus. There are a lot of people I know who are anti-Santa Claus (including my mother-in-law). Their viewpoint is usually one of two things, (1) it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas and/or (2) they feel like they are telling a lie and prefer honesty.

I disagree. I think it only takes away from the meaning of Christmas if you let it, by having Santa Claus take it's place, BUT adding Santa Claus in addition does no harm (in my opinion). Also, I don't feel it is a lie. I think it will teach them to believe in things that seem impossible and even intangible-- that concept of faith in things we can't see is an important & difficult one to understand. I also want my children to stay innocent. It may sound silly, but I think a belief in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus will keep them from growing up too fast!

Plus, I was never mad at my mom for carrying on this tradition. I never called her a liar. I remember, my mom even used to tell me that if you had the hiccups it meant you were growing! No where have I ever seen proof of that--it was probably a lie.. but I'm not mad, I just look back at it and laugh.

And my last argument in support of Santa Claus is that it is fun. It's just fun for kids and parents alike.

So here is a list of stocking stuffer ideas that Santa may or may not be choosing from this year for our cute toddler!

Great list of stocking stuffers for toddlers! Christmas stocking stuffers


  1. Crayola Bath Dropz 
  2. Munchkin Five Sea Squirts 
  3. Munchkin Wind Up Swimming Penguin Bath Toy 
  4. ALEX Toys Rub a Dub Star Crayon 
  5. Munchkin Caterpillar Spillers Stacking Cups 
  6. Toysmith 5" Turbo Buggy Pull Back Race Car 
  7. Hot Wheels, Vehicle Bundle of 4  
  8. Costume Jewelry (Santa probably won't choose this one for our son, but he might for our future daughter in a few years)
  9. Kazoo 
  10. Playgo Mystic Rainmaker Rattle 
  11. Harmonica 
  12. Crayola Washable Finger Paints 
  13. COSMOS ® LED flash light up Spike Ball
  14. Flow N' Fill Spout
  15. Fruit (banana, apple, orange)
  16. Individual sized cereal boxes
  17. Goldfish Crackers
  18. Small stuffed animals
  19. New binky/pacifier
  20. Bubble bath

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pregnancy Update 18 weeks!

I am 18 (18 1/2) weeks! This baby is finally starting to kick. I felt her for the first time last weekend! It is finally starting to feel a little more real, although I am not really showing much at all (yet).

Stats so far:


Weeks: 18.5
Gender: It's a girl!!!!!
Weight Gain: 2.5 pounds
Stretch Marks: 0
Symptoms: Lack of appetite, bloating 
Cravings: Mexican Food, mainly chilaquiles (found this recipe on Pinterest, soo good!) Also, asparagus, fruit, and last week I was craving salt & vinegar chips pretty badly. I ate them 3 days in a row! They still sound good, but I don't want them as desperately as I did last week.
Missing: Energy. There are so many things I want to do in a day (mainly work out) but I have been soo tired!
Exercise: Cardio 3 times a week for a half hour and free weights so far only 2-3 times per week. I'd love to up it.
Diet: Fairly normal, minus the 3 days of salt & vinegar chips. I have been trying to incorporate more salads and have made a kale smoothie a few different mornings. I just feel like I need more veggies, so I am working on it!

All in all I am pretty happy. I am worried about weight gain, because although I haven't gained much & am not in maternity clothes yet, I am almost at the half way point so I know it's just a matter of time before the weight gain starts to pile on. When I was pregnant with David I gained a little over 45 pounds! Healthy weight gain when you start at an average weight, is between 25-30. That is my goal. Since my weight is finally starting to go up, I am just making sure I keep exercising (which I didn't do with my first pregnancy) and incorporate veggies. I am also trying to keep junk food to a minimum & am paying attention to hunger cues. I am a huge lover of food and tend to overeat during pregnancy when I think something tastes good. I want to make sure I am only eating when I am actually hungry. 

I am hoping this strategy pays off and makes for a smooth post-partum recovery! Wish me luck!

My next update (with picture) will be at 20 weeks, although it could very well end up being at 21 weeks because we will be out of town that first week in December. But I will keep you all posted!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide

We are having two Thanksgivings this year! You heard me right, TWO! Why? Because it sounded like a good idea.

When you're fairly new in your marriage, holidays are typically spent alternating between in-laws. So for example, last year Thanksgiving was with my mom, so this year it is with Scott's family. While it is great to spend time with family, we have been wanting to do a Thanksgiving on our own.

Well, my brother & his wife are coming into town the weekend before Thanksgiving to visit us and to meet my sister's new baby. This gave us a great idea! Why not do a mini-Thanksgiving for the 6 of us? (well technically 8, but the babies won't eat much).

For some people the idea of two Thanksgivings is a little much. It's stressful, expensive, etc. But for us the second one we won't have much to do, other than maybe bring a dessert, and the first pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving will be more of a very casual potluck style version with a bunch of twenty-somethings that just so happen to be family. Plus, we get free reign on the food we serve! We won't be held back by tradition where you make the same exact thing every year, because this is a first time event.

For the last week or so, my sister & I have been searching Pinterest for some great Thanksgiving recipes and this is the menu we've come up with!

Main Course:

Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide


Side Dishes:

Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide



Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide


Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide


Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide


Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide


Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide



Crescent Rolls by Pillsbury


Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide


Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide



Dessert:

Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide



Pecan Pie by Sara Lee ( yes, not homemade)


Pumpkin Pie by Costco
(we really can't make everything from scratch now can we?)

Drinks:


Martinellis Sparkling Cider 
(3 packs sold at Costco)




This is our pre-Thanksgiving menu thus far. I know some of you may be thinking we are missing a couple of KEY Thanksgiving dishes. Maybe some sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce or some stuffing, for example? Nope. Like I said earlier, we are not going to feel obligated to make something because of tradition. 

My sister & I are the main cooks of this little shindig, and we just are not huge fans of those things. But that's the beauty of a potluck style Thanksgiving. If one of our 8 wants something not on the menu, they can easy make it & bring it. We won't be offended ;)

We do however, want to add something to the dessert menu that includes chocolate. So let us know some of your favorite chocolate desserts in the comments below (and some of your favorite non-desserts as well ;)

Thanks for stopping by & Happy Thanksgiving!!



Pinterest Inspired Thanksgiving meal guide












Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thanksgiving Must Haves

It is snowing for the first time this winter here in Utah and it is sticking! I was born & raised in Southern California & normally hate the cold winters, but for some reason I am happy about this crazy weather day. Maybe it's because I am reminded of how close all the holidays really are.

Speaking of holidays, I read a lot of blogs and for some reason I haven't seen any posts about Thanksgiving! It's like everyone got too excited about Christmas and just skipped right over it! Don't worry you guys, I may have posted a Christmas ornament tutorial yesterday, but I have not forgotten about our country's lovely food centered holiday! (Sure it's about more than just food, but what is a Thanksgiving without turkey?!)

The other night I actually had a dream we were hosting Thanksgiving & were completely unprepared. All we had made was the turkey. I was scrambling to make some last minute mashed potatoes--without gravy =(  as everyone was walking in the door! Oh, what a nightmare!

Don't catch yourselves unprepared, Check out these 8 Thanksgiving Must Haves!

Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!



Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!


How great is this OXO Good Grips Poultry Lifter?! I've always used a combination of forks & tongs to move a whole chicken/turkey and it's always a nightmare! For how cheap this is, it's definitely worth it!

Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!

For some reason, no one ever has these, but really how smart is the Godinger Ceramic Double Warmer Chafing Dish with Serving Stand? It's not even half as expensive as some of those electric warming dishes, but still keeps your food warm & looks nice.


Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!

A lot of people like to bust out the "good" china for holidays, and I agree. Definitely a great idea when you have a SMALL family gathering, but if you're hosting a large family get together, I'd opt for Reflections Plastic Silverware, 160 Pieces. It looks nice and it's less clean up. We hosted a family brunch the other day with only 10 people, but we definitely did disposable plates & silverware. No one will be offended, so why not make your life easier?

Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!

A good roasting pan is essential for Turkey Day, but we live on one income over here so I'm not about to spend over $100 on one, which is why I like the Cuisinart Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster with Rack. It's got great reviews and is half the price of most.

If that's still a little out of budget you can either use one of your cooling racks & stick that in the pan or crumple up some sheets of aluminum foil & put them in the bottom of the pan to lift that turkey!

Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!

Most people have a turkey baster, we actually didn't. I think it got thrown out in the move? So I actually went and purchased this one, OXO Good Grips Angled Turkey Baster with Cleaning Brush, because it was the only one they had. I was actually pretty surprised at how much I liked it. 

First off it comes with a cleaning brush that reaches all the way in there, but also, it has a little plastic stand attached (see in picture above) that lets it rest on the counter with the tip pointed up so you don't get drippings everywhere. Such a basic item, but I love it more than ones I've had in the past.

Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!


For reasons that should be obvious, a Top Chef 2-Piece Carving Set makes the list of Thanksgiving Must-Haves!

Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!


So I actually saw one of these at Costco the other day, but couldn't see find the price. Crockpot's always get me excited for some reason. I love the idea of the Crock-Pot Hook Up Connectable Entertaining System because you can have multiple going at once and doesn't take up as much space as a bunch of separate crock pots. I imagine putting a breakfast casserole or overnight french toast in there to make it so I don't have to cook breakfast Thanksgiving morning on top of everything else!


Be prepared this Thanksgiving & check out these Thanksgiving Day essentials!


Okay, so while this could be used for Thanksgiving, this is something I'm personally purchasing for the day after. I have always wanted a OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer (I know I'm a dork). And I was watching Chef Anne on Food Network make these delicious looking salt & vinegar chips! Ever since I've been thinking about how perfect that would be for all the leftover potatoes I always have lying around after Thanksgiving. They normally start growing roots & get thrown away, but not this year!

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season! Let me know some of your favorite essentials in the comments below! And while you're commenting, I'd love to hear a favorite Thanksgiving tradition! We are trying to implement family traditions this year since our family is growing!

Thanks for stopping by!