Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Party!

we held a first ever halloween party at our house on friday for the kids!
harper has reached the age where activities like this bring her so much excitement and fun. tanner was along for the ride and had fun too, but harper understood alllll that was going on and the anticipation working up to the party was so big for her.
I tell ya, holidays just keep getting BETTER the more kids we have and as they reach new ages and stages. 
I've never been one to celebrate christmas until thanksgiving passes, but because of these kiddos and how fun it all is, we might jump ship a little sooner this year ;)
...but first... HALLOWEEN!
this party was so fun to put together. and it really was pretty quick + simple too.
we started the party with pumpkin painting for the 'older' kids. I say older loosely because it's referring to the five 3-year-olds :) who really aren't that old at all!
then a little pin the nose on the pumpkin!
for food:: I made a couple snacks/treats, we had pizza delivered, and a few friends brought a goody along with them too!
...and then some little goody bags to send home with our friends!
♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
we're so looking forward to some good trick or treating tomorrow night and ready to throw those costumes back on! if it were up to these kids of ours, they'd be in their costumes every day + night.

happy halloween, friends!!
can't wait to see everyone's costumes and enjoy the excitement of this holiday!


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

OUR TABLE || favorite fall recipes

ever since the temperatures dropped a bit & fall rolled around, the amount of weekly meal planning and cooking in the kitchen I've been doing has increased so much more. it seems to be that the busyness from summer died down a bit and I now have time for it again :) anddd we aren't spending almost every evening out on the back deck bbqing like we had been.
it feels sooo good to be cooking yummy things!

I've shared a handful of things I've made recently on my insta stories and have gotten lots of questions for the recipes! so I thought I'd just make this post real quick and throw in a few of the ones I've been asked about!
I'll start with the most recent one I made just the night before last for when our weekly bible study friends came over & it's so appropriate for the season... cream cheese pumpkin roll!!

PUMPKIN ROLL || I can't take any credit for the recipe other than a good pinterest/google search. this isn't any secret family recipe... just good ol' ;) I have this saved to my pinterest board to keep for reference when I need it.
...and here's the direct link to it! :)
Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
SIMPLE APPLE CRISP || a favorite here that my mom started making YEARS ago. and seriously the easiest apple crisp EVER! and the BEST too!
this is a pampered chef recipe. who remember's pampered chef parties!??
my mom held them at our house allll the time when I was growing up and we fell in love with some of their recipes and have made them our 'regulars'. and this apple crisp is certainly one fo them!
Quick Apple Crisp:
5 granny smith apples (though I usually do 6)
1 package yellow cake mix (yep! easy peasy right there!)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 chopped nuts (I always leave this one out)

:: preheat oven to 350*.
:: peel, core, slice apples, and cut them in half. if you don't have one of these, you NEED one!
:: place apples in a deep 9x13 baking dish
:: combine cake mix, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and nuts (if you choose), until crumbly.
:: sprinkle mixture over prepared apples
:: bake 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender.
:: serve warm + top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you'll be in heaven! :)
HOMEMADE MAC+CHEESE || this is one I kinda just 'toss' together, but I'm gonna attempt to nail it down to an actual(ish) recipe :) my measurements aren't really 'measurements' though so forgive me!
if you've never had homemade mac+cheese, you are missing out! it's nearly just as simple as boxed, and is soooo delish!!
Homemade Mac+Cheese:
 1/2 box of elbow macaroni noodles
1 egg
couple tbsp butter
couple splashes of milk
couple handfuls shredded cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
couple tbsp olive oil

:: cook noodles as directed on package + drain + return to pot on stovetop
:: stir in one whisked egg, the butter, and milk
:: add in shredded cheese. add in what you need to get the amount of cheesy-ness you desire! :)
:: combine + stir until all your cheese is melted (I sometimes will turn the burner on low as I'm doing this)
:: we like ours topped with breadcrumbs, so I combine those with olive oil, and then sprinkle on top after pouring the mac + cheese mixture into a baking dish. crumbled bacon on top would also be sooo good!
:: to brown the top up a little, I put the pan in the oven under broil for just a couple minutes

so yum! and perfect fo accompany dinner or even for a weekend lunch!

BANANA BREAD || this one I have shared before! and HERE is my recipe to the BEST banana bread I've EVER had!
though call me bias! ;)

there ya go, friends!!
any questions on any of them, feel free to ask :)
also would LOVE to know some of your favorite things to make during this time of year!


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Monday, October 10, 2016

a little weekend recap

how is it already nearing the middle of October!??
we're headed for a little getaway next week to the sunshine in Palm Desert, CA and I can't wait! it will be Tanner's first flight(!!), and Harper's first flight where we've had to buy her her own seat. we're spending the week down there with Tyler, Angela, and baby Lleyton. we are so looking forward to a week getaway while enjoying some relaxation. hopefully we'll be able to find the relaxation we're looking for while also caring for three kiddos ages two and under! but pool time, sunshine, and no laundry calling my name will alone be enough to make me jump for joy!
we were (and still are) all about potty time in our house this weekend. we started Harper with potty training on Saturday, and I'm happy to say it is going SO well!! (when time allows, I'll get to a 'what worked for us' post) :) we're on day three and I'm so proud of how she's doing. we've yet to leave the house and I'm still not quite comfortable with an outing yet. it will come. if not sooner, we'll at least be forced out when we go to Harper's kindermusik class on friday. as a mama, it's a little nerve wracking to think of going out with an (almost!) three month old and a newly potty trained two year old all on my own. 

we hosted supper club at our house last night. it was SO good so get together with our supper club group. when we started supper club not quite a year ago, between us five couples, we had only two kiddos (harper + aubrey). now we're up to FIVE with one more babe who will be joining the group in March! we're multiplying like bunny rabbits!!
well it was a good, relaxed, and yet busy weekend over here. the sun is now shinning this Monday afternoon and it feels so good! not that we're much able to enjoy it since our days are revolving around the potty :) but it's still so nice to see blue skies! it's the kind of Fall I like. cool-ish air and the sun shinning!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015


We had such a great Thanksgiving with family, friends, and all the delicious food you could imagine! Just what Thanksgiving should be.
We started the weekend with a 13.5 hour (normally 12 hour) road trip to Pocatello, ID. Ugh!
This time of year is not in our favor when driving. Although I LOVE the snow, traveling in it is
a bit unpleasant. But we made it safe and sound!
We had a fun few days seeing our loved ones who we miss so much. 
As you can see, Harper and little miss Sutton (who is shockingly a month older than Harper) were the cutest being reunited!
It still amazes me that my best friend, Brittney :) and I had our baby girls just one month apart!
A lunch date with Rachel and baby Alice to our favorite spot was a must!
Though we froze our buns off (no joke - it was 20 degrees out), it was so fun taking Harper to the Christmas lights parade downtown!

This little is a trooper and did such a good job traveling long distance in the car!!
We now have the Christmas decorations out and the tree is up. We are ready for the best time of the year!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas FOLLOWS Thanksgiving

I've always been 'that' person.
I've had a rule.  No celebrating Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving. No Christmas music. No Christmas decorations. No Christmas festivities. (I'm sounding a lot like scrooge...) Until that Friday after. Because we need to honor Thanksgiving and not blow right on past it to get to the Christmas holiday! And as soon as Thanksgiving passes, it is 100% Christmas season! Cheers! Right??!
...Well all that being said. I've felt that way And now my foot is in my mouth.
Having a child who is excited about all things.. I now get it. Her joy and the way she lights up makes for me to wish this time of year would never come to an end.
Bring on Christmas and let's embrace it all as 'the holiday season' :)
A couple weekends ago I was getting the itch to put up our tree and Christmas decorations (but I didn't).
Since we are hosting Friendsgiving this year it was imperative that I leave the fall decor up just a little bit longer :) BUT come Monday (Friendsgiving is this Sunday) fall is coming down and Santa's workshop will be taking place over here before we book it to Idaho for Thanksgiving!
And on that note... g i f t s. I would like to just burry my head in the sand on this one. I haven't bought one single Christmas gift. Nope. Not one. And we're looking at only five more weeks 'til Christmas Eve! With lots of festivities and major 'to-do lists' crammed on in there as well.
So this is another reason as to why I'm jumping on the 'start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving is over' bandwagon! I'm just running out of time :)
I can't be the only one right?! I know so many feel so strongly about how the holidays are celebrated.
Christmas FOLLOWS Thanksgiving. It's just the HOLIDAY SEASON!

One of the highest priorities on my list right now... To find new family stockings for us! I never got one for Harper last year so it's time we all upgrade :) These ones are really speaking to me. #christmashearteyes

Happy Holidays!!


Monday, November 2, 2015


Hasn't been my favorite of holidays over the past few years.. I mean, adults dressing up is (kinda) fun, BUT now Halloween with a one year old makes the holiday SO FUN!!
Last year was fun dressing up our little 3 month old as a mouse, but we didn't go trick-or-treating and she of course didn't have a clue as to what was even going on :) BUT this year! She still may not have known what was really going on, but all that mattered was that it was F U N!! And she knew it! Although her facial expression here doesn't quite show her excitement ;)
I think this will start to be a favorite holiday for me. Seeing the joy and excitement it brought to my sweet Harper - I could let her wear costumes + eat candy every day! I won't. But I could ;)
Pre-Halloween I was a little nervous as to how she would handle wearing her costume. I was feeling pretty certain that she wouldn't want the hood anywhere near her head. But boy am I glad I was wrong. So wrong! This girl absolutely LOVED wearing her costume!
Friday night the Y held a 'Harvest Fest' that we took Harper to. Numerous different booths with activities for the kids (Harper was still a bit too young to participate) but it was fun walking her around. She enjoyed some good ol' 'people watching' since there were characters of all sorts wandering the gym :)
On Halloween day we went with some friends of ours to take our girls out for some trick-or-treating to some of the local businesses downtown. Not too long before we went out it was complete down poor raining. It was still raining when we first started, but about half way though it let up and Harper was able to get down and walk the street. She got a hang of things quickly! She would walk herself over to where the other kids were so that she too could have some of what they were getting :)
Ladybug Harper + Monkey Aubrey
Once we were done gathering our treats we headed back to Jacob & Kaylani's for some food + relaxation + and of course story time!
Doesn't Brandon look good with two on his lap ;)
I made this Halloween candy bark and it was TOO good + TOO easy to eat! Like we really needed any more sweets...
The recipe is here.
...and like I said, she loves her costume. s t i l l wanting to wear it the day AFTER Halloween.
But with how cute she looks in it, I just can't resist it either :)
We had a great Halloween + now looking forward to the holidays ahead of us!


Friday, October 30, 2015


Hip hip hooray! It's here! Halloween marks the first holiday into the 'holiday season'!
Two of my favorite things about the holiday season are food and fun festivities. And I love even more when the two are combined!
So here we have it. With today being Halloween Eve, what better time to share this festive Halloween snack mix concoction that of course too can be nibbled upon all Fall. Mmm... Mmm... Good!!
Muddy Buddies - recipe here
Cinnamon Life
Whole Grain Goldfish
Peanut M&Ms
Reese's Pieces
Candy Corn (of course!)

The sweet and salty combination is calling your name!
I mean it sure did call mine because this mix is now g o n e. Yep. Time to make a second batch :)

I'm so excited for this weekend and all of the fun that is to come! Costumes, candy, and good friends. 
Happy Friday + Happy Halloween {Eve}!!


Thursday, October 15, 2015


I had never been to the east coast before this trip, but man! It's gorgeous. I would recommend anyone to go if they have the opportunity. The history, picture perfect scenery, old architecture, and views. Just stunning. And to be honest pictures don't even do justice to how eye catching it all is in person. So get ready. Cause as I'm sure you can imagine... a big 'ol photo dump is making its way! 
There were times when I did soooo good at taking numerous pictures to document this trip, but then other times I was so into my surroundings and soaking it all in, that the camera went untouched. 
There were less pictures taken of us, but more of the beauty around us. Can you blame me? Just look at all the colors of those trees.  And they were even more vibrant in person.
My little brother (well in a few days he'll be 23 and he's bigger than me - so I guess he's my 'not-so-little' brother now) is in the Navy and stationed in Groton, Connecticut. Soooo the fam (me, Brandon, Harper, mom, and dad) flew in to make a trip out of a few days of leave Nickolas had. And yes, I still call him Nickolas although nearly everyone else uses 'Nick' ;) 
Being that Boston is only a couple hours away from Groton, we thought it'd be a fun place to explore and just went with it. And I'm so glad we did! Boston did not disappointed one bit! It was so fun getting the opportunity to visit. So I guess I can thank the Navy for that one ;) 
Our 6 day trip... Here we go! (day 1 + day 6 were travel, BUT to me vacation starts the minute I leave my house until the minute I step back through my front door).

Day 1:
Plane rides. Oh plane rides.
Harper has been on many, many flights since she was a newborn and has always been so good to fly with. Well of course being (almost) 15 months old, she's now more active than e v e r. and therefor this flight was more challenging than e v e r. BUT we made it through and she did nap for some of it :) and how about that long-messy-baby mullet-nap hair!
Day 2:
We started out our first day by really exploring downtown Boston with the Freedom Trail Tour. It really was the best way to start our trip and throw us right into the history of Boston. This tour takes you all through downtown Boston and highlights all of the historic significance.
The Old State House.
Massachusetts State House + Boston Common (America's oldest state park)
The views of these gorgeous buildings are just stunning, but there's nothing better than my view of this man ;)
Harper slept the e n t i r e tour, which we were A-OK with. That meant for a more peaceful enjoyment of the tour for us :)
...but once it was over and she was up, she was ready to explore! Only with her blanke in hand, of course...
That cheesy grin!
Then it was dinner at the historic Union Oyster House. Which is the oldest running, restaurant in the country.
Brandon LOVED it.
Harper, not so much.
Day 3:
We toured the USS Constitution. Which is currently the oldest active warship in America. We followed that with some shopping and dinner. Yes, we were those people and did every touisty thing we could think of. And we loved it!
Day 4:
Concord, Massachusetts.
I thought I loved Boston the most, and then we went to Concord (which is only about 15ish minutes outside of the city). Concord is where some of the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. I loved this town. They have kept it so historic and quaint. If I didn't know better, I never could've guessed that we were just minutes away from the busy, populated city of Boston. Concord was so calm and peaceful. And beautiful! I loved the old churches and houses.
I have some inner desire where I wish I lived back in those days. There's just something about that small town, less hectic of a life, feel.
It's times like this that make me have even more of a desire to slow down and simplify our life and enjoy those little things.
A day of lunch and exploring around the town :)
And look at those piggies of hers! #hearteyes
"Yes, Harper, that is a dog."
Her love for all dogs. And clearly I mean allll dogs ;)
Our walking then led us to the old battle ground where those first Revolutionary War shots where fired. What an indescribable experience to be setting foot on the exact ground where men fought and lost their lives while fighting for what mattered most.
While strolling the grounds, little miss experienced her first sucker. And that soon became a big 'ol sticky mess :)
Day 5:
Fenway Park + Boston Harbor
The oldest baseball park in America. Built in 1911.
That seems to be a trend here "..the oldest        in America.." But what would you expect, we are in Boston after all :)
Brandon + Harper (asleep yet again for an entire tour) + Nickolas (my Navy Nuke brother - so proud of him!)
The oldest seats in baseball. Think how many people have sat here since back in the early 1900s.
Our last evening in Boston ended at Boston Harbor.
It was perfect.
Perfect temperature.
Perfect scenery.
Perfect company.
Their love for each other melts my heart every day.

Day 6:
Traveling home.
No pictures were taken because I was sad to be leaving and to be honest, down right exhausted!

Thank you, Boston for creating so many lifelong memories for my family and I.
This will be a trip forever cherished and remembered.
And now back to real life of laundry, dishes, and making the bed. Ughh!