Vacation Meal Plan!

healthy-vacation-meal-planWe came home from a great little getaway to a sleepy little beach town. The whole trip was unplugged (more on that another day… so embarrassingly hard), and we stayed mostly inside due to rainy weather. As much as that may sound like a bore, it was incredible and connecting. All the cozying, cuddling, dance parties, board games, reading, yoga, and homemade food (mostly ;)) we could manage.

Our kids drank it up. Once the twitch to check my phone dissipated, I did too.

I have lots about this trip to share, but today I wanted to give you a little mini meal plan for easy, wholesome, vacation eats. This trip was easy on the prep front, full of healthy food we bought already prepared, and mixed with enough homemade to make it all feel really right for our family.

Dinner (at arrival):  Snack plate! I raided Costco for easy, whole food choices. We had apples, almond butter, guac cups, hummus cups (the new kirkland brand organic have an amazingly short ingredient list!), GF crackers and some veggie chips. It was a light dinner but worked well for our snacky kids.

**Note** My kids aren’t super adventurous eaters. A big reason I meal plan is to keep our meals at least somewhat similar to at home. They eat really well at home, but at restaurants they rely on gluten/processed kid menu picks, that also cause big problems in behavior and how their bodies feel. Choosing to put in a little extra work to avoid eating out helped not only our budget, but our vacation to actually be far less stressful!


{contains affiliate links for your convenience}

Breakfast:  We pan cooked bacon and eggs for everyone, easy and quick! I bought russet potatoes I had cooked at home (in the Instant Pot! I do this often to make breakfasts and lunches easier. I cook 5 russets and 6 sweet potatoes, steam for 10min, and they’re perfect!) and just chopped them up and sautéd in left over bacon fat. These were served with some fruit, and gluten free toast. It was a huge breakfast and kept us going strong for a long time! img_1305

Lunch: We had a late lunch of extra potatoes, peanut butter and jelly on GF bread (my favorite is the gluten free white bread made by Franz at Costco). It was just a scrounge meal since our breakfast was huge and dinner would be large and early too (some family came out to meet us to share a meal at our vacation spot!).

Dinner: For dinner we grilled (benefits of staying in a house! yeah!) big steaks, and marinated balsamic chicken. Making dressings and marinades, and bringing pre-cooked foods, will shorten all your meal making and help it to still feel like a vacation! I bought some organic already cooked beets at Costco and used those, green apples, and cucumber to toss together an easy salad. Using some of the reserved balsamic marinade from the chicken to have as dressing for our salad also added to speedy prep time. This hearty meat and salad dinner set us up for a fun dessert…


While we were planning our trip, I asked my girls what a fun dessert treat would be for them. My oldest had the brilliant idea of fondu! Not only is it a blast, and has unending options, it’s interactive and can be kept relatively healthy! If you regard chocolate as healthy (I do). It’s also an easy one to pack! Melting chocolate is easy, traveling with an iced cake… is not.


I melted chocolate chips with coconut oil and we had apples, mixed fruit, and gluten free pretzels for dipping (or spearing!). If you have littler kids, provide them a ramekin of their own chocolate for dipping. It helps with mess, provides more fun, and is a little less…. germ ridden (ha! only my kids? Fingers DID end up in the pot).


Breakfast: The following morning was our last there, so I knew we would be doing cleaning/packing and lamenting leaving.  I left it all up to pre-prep and easy. My husband and  kid’s had some left over steak, steak and eggs followed up by Trader Joe’s gluten free frozen waffles. I just had waffles and fruit.



Also, obviously, coffee. I ground up enough for a few days and brought my homemade pumpkin spice syrup along with some coconut cream. It made for indulgent, sweet, Fall coffee to enjoy with a stormy beach view. Basically, perfection.

Quick Tips:

Bring you staples: What do you make your kids when they are hungry between meals? For us it’s fruit and nut butter, sausage, or eggs.  So I brought a ton of all of that. I could easily have cobbled together three more meals just with the easy staples we had on hand!

Shop smart on pre-made food: Coscto has great easy options with hummus cups, guac cups, already cooked beets, and Trader Joe’s has riced broccoli or cauliflower, and my big concession was gluten free frozen waffles (not the best choice, but a fun treat on vacation!). Read ingredient lists. There are so many out there that are short and only whole food filled, just as there are lots out there with crazy preservatives. Read well!

Treat Wisely: I struggle with wanting vacations to be one treat after another. That can mean that I buy ice-cream, cookies, super sweet coffee additions, and bars of chocolate for after bedtime. I always end up feeling awful at the end! Instead this time we planned a fancy and indulgent dessert, brought pumpkin spice, and maple syrup, that was it. No after bedtime treats, no extra temptations. It worked really well for us, and made the home transition far less bumpy that typical post vacation!

Fall Style, Prana Review

I always stock the girls up on new leggings, a pair of fresh boots, and a new sweater for Fall. This year, Prana and Sweat Pink spoiled me with the same kind of gift. I am so excited to add both of these pieces to my wardrobe, and happy to share about them with you! If you are a fan use the code PFS16PHFT at checkout to receive an extra 15% off until October 31!

Prana clothes have long been on my list of favorites. I’ve always loved their organic cotton, and ethically made workout wear but didn’t know much about their casual, daytime clothes. But as my life goal is to basically always be in pants I could do yoga in, because . . . comfort; these fit the bill! I wear yoga pants or tights and dresses about 90% of the time, jeans are not typically my first choice.

But I chose the Kara jeans because they have a lot of stretch, and are versatile (can be rolled up, or are perfect for tucking into boots). They are a medium rise but have a thick waist band so they don’t feel low or like I can’t squat/run/bend/chase kiddos comfortably. They come in a ton of colors and now I’m wanting to buy some of the bright red ones! This hunter green was my selection because I’m a big fan of chambray tops and often struggle with what to pair them with, because a Texas Tuxedo isn’t quite my jam. These worked perfectly.

I sized up after reading their size chart but could have easily grabbed my typical size and felt great in them (these ones have quite a bit of room in them), they have a lot of stretch and are super long (made to roll) so if you are long legged they would work well for you too. I’ve been pretty blown away looking through the #PrAnaFallStyle hashtag on IG and seeing how well these jeans work on a large range of body types. I often struggle with jeans because my waist is a couple sizes smaller than my thighs, but these were an easy fit and a true to size fit (but I did feel that their size chart was a little off, likely because these have quite a lot of stretch, so I want them to fit more snug).

Prana, and Sweat Pink were also kind enough to send over a sweater. This was, obviously, right up my alley and easy for me to adopt into my wardrobe and NEVER WANT TO TAKE OFF!


The cut, the seams, and the color… YES. This is the Mattea Sweater and is made of recycled wool, and is such a perfect weight. I worried it might be too thick, but it’s not at all. It’s soft, not stiff, fully lined so not itchy at all, and so cozy. I’m wearing a medium here and other than the sleeves being a bit long, it’s a great fit all the way through and I love where it hits on my hips.

And, obviously, I put the jeans to the test.


They passed with flying colors. Thanks again to Prana and Sweat Pink for these awesome pieces to add to my wardrobe, they will be in the rotation for years to come.

Winter Running Essentials

We’ve been doing a nice share of cold weather running lately, and I’ve been slowly growing a little collection of chilly temp approved running wears. This list is full of the stuff I love to wear (no affiliation with any brand) and works well for me. We run around 3-5 miles, and I often go on run/walk workouts with my gal friends and our kiddos all bundled in strollers. So these clothes have been put through the lunge/squat/snag a snack paces and have come out the other side as great! My budget is pretty limited so I have been scouring around for cheaper versions that still work (think: Old Navy, H&M, Costco instead of Lulu, Athleta, and Lucy) but I have no doubt that buying some great products from those brands would mean have running clothes that will last several years as opposed to only a few. But, right now, it’s worth it to find some cozy wears that don’t break my bank.


A buff! Charlie and I snagged these to wear for our Half Marathon after my brother heartily recommended them (he is a crazy marathoner). You can wear it as a headband (and covers your ears in the cold! SO important!). But what really sold us is that it can be pulled wide over your whole/head and ears and fit underneath (safely) your bike helmet. Since Charlie is a bike commuter this sold him on the kinda higher price! These are often on sale, and I have my eye on one of the fleece ones! Available HEREcn6704117

This top is an Old Navy find that I got a few years ago (I have black!) the finger holes sold me. It’s a perfect layering piece and works great as a top layer in the spring (with a tank underneath) and as a bottom one in the winter. I’ve been wearing this with a little (super nice jacket my Mom got me at Lucy years ago) jacket over the top and always end up in just this piece about half way through the run. I bought mine about a size to big and I actually love how it kind of skims instead of clings and covers my knuckles in the cold. Available HEREhmprod

I’ve been looking for long running tights for quite awhile. The ones I really love are too pricey for me. But these ones are REALLY awesome for a super great deal! They are a little higher waisted and have a nice thick elastic band in them to stays up, tight, and even has a little draw string for extra support. The pocket in the back is large enough for keys but too small for a phone, and the breathable knee backs are awesome and didn’t seem to takeaway from the warmth factor! Available HERE350-100131299-847__1

I just bought these a couple days ago and they are AMAZING. I wouldn’t include them except that I just finished up an icy run and these were awesome and a few other runner buddies have vouched for them too. Bonus? They have little leather technology deals on the finger/thumb so you can access your phone without taking them off. This is paramount if you are an over poster who likes to take pictures of errything on your run… just me? Oh well. Available HERE.

I’ve yet to find the perfect socks, and I’ve been stocking up on good thick headbands so that I can use my buff around my neck… because, brrrrrrr!!!

Me and my super fierce Runner Bud! 1184788_10101108130888870_1660521026272073305_n

long weekend love.

We’ve been living this weekend, and it feels good and slow and bright and just right. And there are still a couple days left. I’m so full.







And eating well. Those quiches, yes. Forever and always.


So, yeah, my blog is pretty much becoming a chronicle of my ever changing hair and home. But, that’s just where I’m at!  Lots of home DIY, fun hair changes, and the daily grind of kiddos. I really couldn’t be happier, things feel really good right now. And I am feeling that readiness for Fall, routine, coziness, nesting, and all things pumpkin. And this hair, this feels like I’m ushering in Fall in a big way.





I feel cozy, fresh, and best of all; Just like myself again.

Bucket List Blonde

I come from blonde roots. My Mom is a blonde, my sister is, and all the nieces and nephews are little toe heads. I’ve always been dark haired. I would have been named Robin had I followed in all the blonde footsteps before me, but I came out with gorilla levels of nearly black hair, and so my sister got her way and I was named Autumn.

As long as I can remember I’ve wondered what it’s like to be blonde, could I pull it off? Would it be too weird? And… would it be more fun?

This past month has been a weird one, full of joy and fun but also transitions and tiredness, settling into our home and trying to find the groove we fit into. And in all that tumult and the dust settling around huge life changes I felt that itch. The one for a Big Change. It was this or a tattoo, so I figured it was time to scratch one off the list and just go for it.

I am so glad I did.




I still feel a little like I am wearing a disguise but the strangest side effect is that I feel about 100X more confident and like such a girl! I’m getting dressed, grinning from ear to ear, and kinda feel like I’m walking on air. Being Blonde will be a short season for me, but one I can already tell I am going to adore. Cue the CHORUS: ” I ennnnnjoy being a girrrrl!”


How to nurse in a dress!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for ages! I’ve only come across a few dresses I can’t nurse in, but generally I’ve found there are tricks and ways to nurse in virtually any dress.
Here are my tricks when looking at dresses during shopping trips, and a few cheap items you can add to your wardrobe to make the dresses you already have work!
Photo on 12-5-13 at 4.06 PM #7
{how most of this post was written; while nursing, in a dress.}
Number ONE tip: TRY IT OUT. Don’t look at a dress and think “I could never nurse in that.”  When you are in the dressing room and you try on a dress, any dress! Give popping your boob out the top a go. It sounds weird, because it kind of is, but you would be surprised! Pull the dress neckline gently forward as far as you can, hike it up short short in the back, (it won’t matter, you’ll be sitting when you nurse!) and try to nurse. I guarantee you will be shocked! You would be surprised how much ‘give’ there is to this material if you just give nursing in it a shot, I’ve been shocked many, many times by what is ‘nursable’ even though it isn’t a traditionally stretchy feeling material. For example…
{however, this dress is also a nice one to wear with leggings or jeggings to nurse. Because of the nipped in elastic waist it can almost act as a cover/tent feeling when I nurse by pulling it up, no need for any tank to cover my stomach. Like here!}
The dress doesn’t have much stretch to it at all, but when I pull the dress forward a bit around my neckline before I sit down it raises it up (short!) in the back (but who cares?! I’m sitting!) and gives me enough space to be able to pop my boob out the top and easily nurse in it. Sames goes for this dress;
And this one too;
And here I am nursing in that dress;
Or this dress, below, it is jean material! But if I pull the neckline down and bend over a bit then I can get my boob out and easily nurse (and discreetly with a scarf or in the sling) even though there is almost no give to the high’ish neckline.
Brings me to another tip; SCARVES. Nursing is a time to invest in many, many (like, you can’t have too many and I need ten more), light weight infinity scarves. I was gifted (thanks Mom!) one I adore and it was under $20 and from Brass Plum at Nordstroms (pictured above) and I use that one, and a few others to act as a nursing cover for me when I nurse in a dress. If you are going over the top and are well endowed you will be showing a lot of skin, and if that’s not your thing then using a scarf to help bring a little coverage is easy and still stylish. I like the infinity scarves best because I don’t have to take them off/rearrange it at all I just pull it over and down a bit, not over babies head, just over my exposed skin (like above!). (here is a link to the winter version of my springy one!)
As you can see, I wear scarves with my dresses a Lot;
And, nursing in the dress pictured above;
If high necked and shortish; then add a stretchy little mini skirt underneath to make it easy to lift your dress up as you would any shirt. This skirt cost me $3 on clearance and they always have them in stock and it works really well to add a thick/cozy and non slippy layer to make nursing more discreet and easy!
382775_899499094700_433472_nHere it is making nursing easy and giving a little extra length to my (suddenly short!) dress with my little 17 weeks bump!
And, finally, the obvious tips;
JERSEY. My sister is rolling her eyes right now, but really! There are lots of cute jersey dresses out there and they make nursing so.easy. and when you wash and dry they lose any sort of neck slack you created. Here are some of my easy to nurse in dresses. I look for a nice mid thigh length (I wear leggings under often and then can just lift up, or I use my skirt trick), a fitted silhouette, and not too low of a neckline.
And, also, button down dresses (lots of vintage dresses with that style!) or wrap dresses will forever be nursing friendly. Especially if paired with a light scarf.
Any other tips you seasoned nursers have? I’m wrapping this up more quickly than I planned I have to get back to nursing my around-the-clock-hungry baby!
Here’s my shopping list!
1: Ikat (with black black tights and high high heels this would be an easy way to make a jersey dress holiday party ready!
00065139-012. Poetic Shift– This with jeggings and heels, or yellow tights and a mini underneath (this would be a drop the belt and lift the dress kinda nurser) would also be great for a fun friends holiday party or a date day!
3. Darling Stripes – this one looks perfect because it gives the little waist but without a side zip! So again this with a mini underneath, or with leggings would be another great holiday look!
00073721-044. Lace Fit and Flare – I’m just kidding. I don’t think I could nurse in this, though I’m up for the challenge. I just want it so bad to wear on a date!
{no affiliate links or compensation, I really do just troll F21 and Nordies too much}

Dressember 2013

I decided to full force jump into Dressember this year, I’ve done it in the past as a fun “get dressed!” inspiration but never fully committed. This year the terms of Dressember changed, the goal no long just to ‘wear a dress’ but so much bigger than that.

To make a change. To raise awareness.

{from }

“What began in 2009 as a quirky style challenge with a clever name spread like wildfire. Put simply, Dressember is a month of wearing dresses. At its core, Dressember is a celebration of femininity and beauty. It has created a community the globe of like-minded individuals who would not have otherwise ever come in contact with one another.

In 2013, Dressember took on new meaning: opposing human trafficking by aligning with International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights organization that works to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. Now, those who participate in Dressember are also seeking to raise awareness and funds for IJM’s work to continue. The heart of Dressember is freedom– that every woman, man, and child has the right to be free to live a vibrant life.”

1463927_10100726142242180_1361731703_n{two of dressembers smaller statured participants}

I decided to participate because this is a cause that is important. Overwhelming. And heartbreaking. I look at my two girls and know that we know wealth, safety, security, warmth, and a life without fear in a way that many women, children, and men couldn’t begin to dream of. Today my girls donned dresses, not because they know or understand this cause, but because ” We can help other people with a dress!” and Nolie’s words ring true.

Raise a voice! Give a dollar (or, you know, a hundred!)! Participate, tell your friends and family, ask them to donate. Save up some change, forgo fancy syrup in your holiday drink (or don’t, because it’s delish and you can probably afford $4 for coffee and $5 for an amazing cause!), give a little to help a lot.

collagedressember{dressember day 2} follow along on instagram #dressember2013

In 2011 alone, IJM partnered with local authorities to rescue more than 1,600 children, women and men from sex trafficking, forced labor slavery and other violent oppression, and helped put more than 100 slave-owners, traffickers and rapists behind bars.

Today, over 27 million men, women, and children are trapped in slavery. That’s more people than the entire course of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The mission of Dressember is to put a stop to one of the greatest social injustices of our time. Dressember participants wear dresses every day during the month of December to celebrate the freedom of beauty and femininity that they’re allowed, and to raise awareness and funds on behalf of those who aren’t free to live vibrant, autonomous lives. One hundred percent of the funds raised during Dressember will go directly to International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that has worked tirelessly for over 15 years to bring rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and violent oppression. Together, we can make a lasting global impact.


{day one}

Please consider donating to this cause, and it isn’t too late to participate! There are a whole lotta dress filled days left in December! Here is my IMJ account that is easy to donate through, or you can donate through as well.

Getting Dressed!

So, I’ve been getting dressed! Preschool has made my getting dressed record take a hit (when did 9am become so early?). But for parties, family dates, and Saturday my amount of ‘real clothes’ wearing has been sky high. Here are a few of the documented wears.


I’m peplum obsessed.

top: target

jeans: H&M

shoes: gapIMG_3997

Dress: Forever 21

leggings: Nordstroms (gift from my mom)

Shoes: Forever 21


And this outfit is blurry, but the event was document worthy- WE WENT ON A DATE!

shirt: Romy (heyo- peplum!)

jeans: H&M, I pretty much only wear the $10 denim from there. They fit well, don’t stretch too much, are the right price for being playdoughed/painted/milk soaked all the time, and I love the super dark wash.

shoes: Forever 21IMG_6063

(ladies night!)

dress: Nordstoms (gift from my madre!)

boots: Frye (year? ten? I still love them.)

Oh fall, tis the season to wear real clothes that I love. Stay tuned, more outfits coming!

Garage Sale Season

Charlie is a hardcore garage saler. His family knows when the big sales are, what to look for, how to haggle, and when to get there. They are PRO. I am not, at all. I am picky, easily grossed out, only like a very specific look, and don’t like to haggle. But, in the 9 years we have been together we have both tempered each other and have become an unstopable garage saleing duo.

We go with a budget, cash amount, and a fairly specific list. And a lot of hand sanitizer.

My favorite thing to hunt for, other than furniture (I have a furniture buying problem, and a small budget. Match made in granny-garagesale-heaven), are homemade blankets. I don’t know how to knit or crochet and so I am totally awed by sweet hand made granny blankets. Give me a clean line, modern grey couch covered in cozy chevron striped old lady blankets any day. Swoon.

So yesterday we went to a huge sale. And I may have bought… six….

581748_10100593345487940_1960985868_n 1003870_10100594031682800_832178896_n

But, at $2 a piece! How could I not?! All that time, hands working hard, sweet concentrated work. I once knit half a scarf with my grandma and it was a huge labor of love. And it doesn’t even look that great. But I still sport it all winter because I feel so connected to her in it and proud of it. So these blankets? They must have love in each stitch. It breaks my heart to see them stacked on a table at a garage sale, after all that work and time. I want to fill them up with fort ceilings, nursing sessions, blanket cuddled reading marathons, and cozy middle of the night snuggles. They deserve it. And yes, I am anthropomorphizing knit goods. But I have two ladies who are just as blanket obsessed as I am, fall is right on the cusp, and we are all ready for some snuggling up.

We’re in love. So, knitters of the PNW, don’t fret if your blankets get tossed and relegated to the ‘giveaway’ pile. I’ll find them. And love them.