Friday Favorites (October 23, 2020)

This time next week, we’ll all be in the Halloween spirit, although that will look different in many ways this year. I’m curious to know: what are YOUR plans for celebrating Halloween this year? If you have kiddos, will you be trick-or-treating with them, or is your family or neighborhood taking a different approach?

Speaking of Halloween…last week I made Maggie a jack-o-lantern quesadilla for dinner recently (after being inspired by a friend’s Instagram post), and it was 1) easy and 2) a big hit! (Confession: I’ve been hesitant to try the whole “making food cute” thing because I worry Maggie will start to expect or request it often, BUT I was so glad I did it and will keep doing things like that from time to time. They’re fun!)

And while we’re on the topic of food, I have a couple of new-to-me recipes to share with you! One, like the quesadilla, also involves cheese. Well…”cheese,” that is!

-If you’ve been a curiouser & curiouser reader for a while first of all, THANK YOU!! It means so much! It also might mean that you’ve heard me talk about The Colorful Kitchen quite a lot. We LOVE this vegan blog and Ilene’s two cookbooks at our house (she was even a recent podcast guest), and after giving her Sweet Potato and Kale Mac N’ Cheese a try recently, I know it will be something we’ll add to our rotation. It was SO creamy and tasty without a hint of real cheese and loaded with veggies. (I used the Banza shells for ours. Yum!)

-If you’re like me, you start craving all things apples and cinnamon this time of year. Sure, pumpkin stuff is great, but apples are my favorite fall produce, to be sure, and there’s nothing like a hot apple crisp topped with cold ice cream or cool whipped cream to round out a perfect fall meal. If you’re an apple lover, too, you have to give this Minimalist Baker apple crisp recipe a try. It’s called The Best Vegan Apple Crisp, and they just might be right…

-Oh, and speaking of apples and cinnamon…this is not at all a complicated “recipe,” but for breakfast lately I’ve been really loving the combination of steel cut oats (just plain) alongside this homemade applesauce (which I intentionally kept really chunky rather than smooth). Serve warm (duh) and your day will start with a bowl full of fall! (I like to make big portions of both so it takes just a couple of minutes to heat in the morning.)

-Last food-related thing for today’s post (and this one’s for the pumpkin lovers): have you ever made a homemade pumpkin spice latte? This one from Simply Real Health incorporates real pumpkin, some key spices, coffee or tea (of course), and just a touch of patience. (WORTH IT, by the way.) Not only will your end result be a better-for-you PSL, but your kitchen will also smell divine.

If you also have a toddler at home, you just have to check out The Bubble Rap! This adorably catchy song and video was shared with me by our family friend Kathryn, and we’ve been watching it a ton lately. Kevin made the good point that it’s very Flight of the Conchords-like (and I LOVE me some Flight of the Conchords). (Dang it — now I miss Bret and Jemaine!)

Another toddler fave at our house recently has been this Melissa & Doug Disney Responsibility Chart. You can customize the responsibilities for your kiddo and then each day they place magnets beside the things they successfully completed. Some of Maggie’s responsibilities include bringing her dishes to the sink (something she’s gotten SO good at since we implemented this chart), getting dressed each day, and not whining. It’s been such a big hit! (P.S. We got this chart on Amazon, and you can check out a few of our other Amazon toddler favorites here! The PJs I linked recently are so great I ended up getting her two pairs!)

-Here’s my last favorite for this week: Have you tried adding a few drops of essential oil to your shower yet? It’s an amazing way to have a tiny little spa moment incorporated into your day, and you can rotate out the oils based on your mood, etc. I especially love using lavender! Just start the water in your shower, drop 2-3 drops of oil directly into the shower, and breathe deeply and relax. Ahhhh!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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