Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

Tuesday, September 30

A Weekend in Pictures

I feel like every weekend I try to soak up as much time with husband and E as I possibly can. The weeks are usually pretty hectic with work schedules, making dinner and bedtimes, so carefree time together is so precious to me. We spent the weekend at home, simultaneously saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall. We dined al fresco on our patio, sipped on white sangria, swayed in the hammock swings and talked about history, science and upcoming adventures. We stayed in our pajamas a little longer, left the beds unmade and made paleo waffles (as has become our weekend custom), and played in the dirt. We went for a long walk on the wooded trails and dreamed of all kinds of things.

I wish weekends could last forever. 

Sunday, September 28

Fall Colors + Front Porches

I mentioned last week that I wanted to spend some time cleaning and updating our outdoor spaces to bring a bit of fall, and this weekend I was able to do just that! My dear mama came over on Friday to lend me a hand (I'd be lost without that woman. #thankGodformoms, can I get an amen?) and we set to work arranging mums, scavenging for branches and doing some good old fashion piddling. (That's Southern for rearranging/decorating if you're stumped.) I am beyond pleased with the simple, rustic result and the red, orange and purple hues of the coming season. Elliot and I spent the majority of Saturday on the porch swing enjoying the breeze.

A quick tip about the mums that my wise mama passed down to me: leave them in their plastic containers instead of actually planting them in pots! You can surround them with dirt (see the pot to the right of the front door) or just place in a larger container. They will be fine for the month or so that they are out on the porch, then I will plant them in a flower bed beneath Elliot's window. The ones from the past two years have come back and are flourishing!

Happy porch weather!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Friday, September 26

Hello Weekend 01

Oh hello weekend, it's good to see you.

I am off work today (praise!) so we are spending some extra time at home in our pajamas. We had a lot of early mornings this week -- out of the house by 6am -- so I feel like little bit needs some time to roll around and play at home. (And so do I!) Also, I have decided that there is nothing cuter in this world that babes in footie pajamas. 

A few things for your weekend:

I'm in LOVE with these leather plant hangers.
In keeping with a plant theme, these fall flowers are gorgeous. I'm particularly smitten with the arrangement in the test tubes, naturally.
Also, gilded terracotta pots because, hello!
My fall wardrobe will consist of leggings, long sweaters & sweatshirts, topknots & boots.
Who wants to buy me this bag for my birthday? ;) Or this one, I'm not picky. Ha!
Elliot's favorite hymns are It is well with my soul and How great thou art, so he loves this song.

Happy weekend.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Tuesday, September 23

A Weekend in Pictures

This past weekend went by in a blur of laughter and stories, baby smiles and squeals, so much good food, two parties for two sweet babes, porch swings, and wonderful moments with friends. 
So so good.

{high school buddies + our friends amazing new home. hello! that wall!}

{#reallife: pjs, an unmade bed & no makeup}

{obligatory first birthday cupcake face!}


copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Monday, September 22

Roasted Winter Squash + Onions*

*Alternative titles include The Easiest Recipe Ever and My New Favorite Side Dish for Every Meal, Including Breakfast

I've been trying really hard lately to increase my vegetable intake, which for me pretty much means adding something green to breakfast. Lunch and dinner are pretty easy to get the veggies in since we usually do salads or soup for lunch and meat + veggies or a one pot dish for dinner. So, on my last trip to the farmer's market I picked up a couple winter squash on sale with the intention of doing something with them for breakfast. Then, the weekend got busier than expected, the tiny being in our lives required more attention than usual & I ran out of time for food prep. BUT, the result was pretty stellar. 

You will need:
one medium acorn squash
one small to medium delica (kabocha) squash
1/2 or so red onion
olive oil
salt + pepper + garlic

How to:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the squash and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds, then cut into chunks or quarters or slices, whatever suits your fancy! Cut your red onion in to triangle size chunks. Add all vegetables to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil (about 2T). Toss, then sprinkle with salt + pepper + garlic.
(I don't measure these things, sorry! But really who has time to measure when your six month old is barreling head first through the living room in pursuit of everything that is not a toy and immediately putting said items into his mouth?!)
Roast for about 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Cool for 15 minutes and eat! Or place in the fridge and reheat in a toaster oven or on the stove as a quick and delicious side for any meal.

These were just the ones that I found at the market, but you could use any winter squash - acorn, delicata, autumn cup, butternut. The flavors are great, and the squash is super filling. Win, win!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Sunday, September 21

September Whole30 Meal Plan // Week 4

Week four!

How are you feeling? I'm going to be totally honest here and tell you that I ended my Whole30 early*. I didn't cheat, slip up, or break the rules, either. I made a conscious, adult decision to eat some chicken and potatoes that had been cooked in peanut oil and some vegetable soup that contained corn. The decisions I made aren't that terrible, but they will definitely require me to restart my Whole30. 

Nonetheless, we are still following the meal plans since we eat 99% paleo anyway!

Happy Whole30.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

*In an effort to prevent any hateful comments, I made this decision because I was totally overwhelmed, my husband was out of town, my poor child was teething and tired, and I had absolutely zero meal prep done. I also had no time to do any meal prep, so I ate what I had access to. Sometimes something just has to give, know what I mean?

Saturday, September 20

Welcome Fall

Like so many others of you, fall is my absolute favorite season. Changing leaves, camping trips, the smell of campfires, mine and husband's birthdays, apples, pears & pumpkins, the promise of the holiday season and sweet memories made with family. In just a couple weeks October will be here - my favorite month - with so much to look forward to!

{Isn't this gorgeous? I can has this please? via}

We really want to make the most of this season and start traditions to share with little E. With the mornings and evening bringing cooler weather, I am absolutely itching to get outside, play in the dirt and climb some mountains! Here is our bucket list of sorts for this fall season:

1 - Annual camping trip to Standing Indian Mountain, complete with a sunrise hike, campfire s'mores, a visit from my family, and birthday carrot cake (GF!).

2 - Make homemade apple cider and drink it on the porch in the afternoon. The setting sun makes the trees taller than normal and backlights the leaves with a lovely golden glow.

3 - Take as many Sunday afternoon walks as possible, ideally on the nearby hiking trails.

4 - Finally make it to the north Georgia apple orchard and do some apple picking. Also, stop by a roadside stand and pick up some pumpkins and squash for Thanksgiving decorations.

5 - Revamp our porch and back patio: add some colorful mums, finish the wooden bench we started making, spray paint the porch swing, add some twinkle lights.

6 - Crunch leaves with little Elliot :)

Some other fall favorites & paleoish treats:

-- Geometric painted pumpkins
-- Would LOVE for our patio to look similar to this.
-- Love this mix of plants for our front porch.
 -- A paleo ginger chai latte (I'd add almond milk & forgo the ice)
-- A Salted Nutella Latte (use almond milk & Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter or make your own)
-- Delicious Roasted garlic & parsnip soup
-- Seriously loving scarves (always) and mixed neutrals for fall.
-- Also this hoodie, please (ahem, my birthday is just around the corner...)

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Wednesday, September 17

Elliot West // Six Months

You guys, my baby boy is six months old today.
I just need to let that sink in.

 He is sleeping peacefully in his crib in his room and will {hopefully} not wake up to eat until around 3am. Gone are the days of feeding every two or three hours, of hourly diaper changes. But also, gone are the days of tiny, incoherent squeals, the days of tiny fingers and toes and blonde fuzz in place of hair, of him sleeping peacefully between us. My boy is so strong and handsome and growing like a weed. He sleeps in the most insane positions and flips from front to back to front all night long. He is so loving, fun and laid back, he smiles and laughs so much! He scoots his way across the floor to get to my slippers, a toy or Sambo - he will be crawling so soon. He loves when I sing to him at night. He looks up at me with the sweetest expression and often reaches out his little hand to touch my face and my heart simultaneously melts and soars. It's hard to remember just how tiny and fragile he was. And part of me misses those precious early days, but part of me is so excited for all the things our future holds. Motherhood truly is bittersweet.

Happy six months bean.
I would always choose you to be mine.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Monday, September 15

Monday Musings

I received my Young Living oils over the weekend, and I am already loving using the diffuser with Thieves oil. It smells like Christmas - clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon.

 I've also used the Peace & Calming as a post-bath time foot rub for Elliot and diffused it along with lavender in his room at the end of the day. This oil smells so relaxing -patchouli and blue tansy with slightly sweet citrus undertones. Love me some patchouli.

I personally have been using Stress-Away daily on my wrists and neck. Love the roller ball attachment! And the smell is heavenly - cedarwood, vanilla and lavender, oh my!

A few other things:

Love these boots, which I ordered in black on major sale. Hoping they work!

My sister-in-law graciously gave us their old sectional, and we love it! We are making the trek to Ikea next weekend to get some pillow covers that will match our current furniture. I'm thinking these for the larger pillows and two of these for accents.

I'm excited for my girlfriends that are expecting in December and March, so I am taking mental notes of things that I thought were helpful after having E. Most of the items are on this baby-centered list and this mama-centered list

I'm so excited for cooler weather. We spent some time on Sunday in north Georgia and needed long sleeves! Can't wait to make this pumpkin bread, take Elliot on our annual camping trip to Standing Indian, and carve pumpkins. We are also tentatively planning a fall get together for some friends.

Happy Monday. Here's to a great week!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Saturday, September 13

September Whole30 Meal Plan // Week 3

Y'all, it's been a long week. Somehow last week carried over into this week, and come Friday I was done. And I mean DONE. My husband was out of town for a week and got home late last Saturday, so needless to say, I was stressed. Then I worked all week, had little to no time for meal prep, stressed over my teething babe, planned 898714 side projects and blog posts, and slept very little. But! There is light at the end of the tunnel. It's Saturday evening. I got all my errands taken care of yesterday and today. I am sitting on our new-to-us and comfortable-as-heaven couch and breathing in the spicy smell of Thieves oil diffusing into our living room and the relaxing scent of Stress Away on my wrists and neck. The Georgia game is on and my man is beside me. #ThankGodfor finally having some down time (and ignoring the 898713 other things on my todo list). 

But that's not what you came here for. You came here for meal plans, and you can find the meal plan for week three here and the shopping list here. Also, important note: the butternut squash soup from last week is AMAZING when topped with a little coconut milk/cream. Just sayin.

Happy Whole30ing

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Monday, September 8

Weekend Adventures // Girls Trip to PCB!

For the long Labor Day weekend, my mom, sister and I packed up our kiddos and headed south to a friend's condo on the Gulf of Mexico. Growing up, my family always went to Panama City Beach for summer vacation, so it still has a soft spot in my heart, despite some of its less desirable qualities {read: obnoxious high school/college partiers}. Since we went at the end of the season and since our condo was verrry far from the strip, it was a great place to hang out in the white sand, play in the waves and soak up some vitamin D by the pool. I really enjoyed hanging out with my nephews and chatting about their interests. My sister's oldest boy is a budding artist and told me all about the different types of pencils, coals and chalks he likes to sketch with. Her youngest told me all about what he was learning in school and about football. It was just great to be with them!

Elliot and I camped out under the umbrella on the beach and enjoyed the breeze. He also loved splashing around in the pool and dunking his older cousins. My nephews love hanging out with baby Elliot, as they call him. And they are so helpful! More than once they entertained E while I got dressed or put on makeup. It was so sweet to see the three on them playing on the floor. 

And just being with my mom and sister is restorative to my soul. I am so blessed to have them as family and to also call them my friends. It's been such a wonderful thing to share this new adventure of motherhood with both of them, but especially my sister. Talk about having a wealth of knowledge at hand - the two of them are priceless to me. 

{I am oh so smitten with this little boy, and moments such as these are priceless to me. Motherhood is a difficult journey, but one I am grateful to be on every single day.}


copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Friday, September 5

September Whole30 Meal Plan // Week 2

Week one: done!
 In my opinion, week one is the hardest. I'm not sure about you but I battled a headache the majority of the week and had some pretty good dark chocolate cravings at night. Just goes to show how powerful sugar can be! I ended up eating most of my meals off the plan that I posted because I had absolutely no time for meal prep this week. More on what to do when that happens coming in a post soon!

You can find next week's meal plan here and the shopping list here.
Also, find week one's meal plan information here.
Happy Whole30 Week 2!


copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Wednesday, September 3

Four Healthy Habits

I have read repeatedly that research shows that it takes at least thirty days of consistently doing something to create a new habit. Since we are at the the beginning of another Whole30, I decided that now would be a great time to make a few new habits. We have been doing the following things on and off for quite a long time, but I am really wanting to make them a routine. So, why not start now?

1 - Oil pulling
This is a practice I've been doing a few times a week and would like to make part of my daily routine. Oil pulling is great for oral health. It whitens teeth and helps to get rid of bacteria in the mouth. (Look mom, no cavities!) Just place about 1 tablespoonful of organic extra virgin coconut oil  in your mouth and swish around for fifteen minutes. I do this while I put on my makeup and get dressed. Then spit out in the trash can and brush your teeth as normal!
{Side note: I am also going to try my hand at making toothpaste soon, with a special ingredient!}

2 - Daily stretching and foam rolling
My body takes quite a beating on a daily basis, from carrying around my chunky monkey babe to standing/walking/bending all day at work to working out. It's important to stretch those muscles and work out any tension or tender spots. This guy has some great exercises.

3 - Ending the day with a book or scripture, not my phone:
There are many reasons that I want to make this new habit, but one of them is the interaction between the brightness of your room and your cortisol levels. The more lights, the higher your cortisol, the less easily you will fall asleep, the more insulin resistant you can become... It's a bad cycle. Also, reading before bed has been shown to improve brain function and slow degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. And finally, I want to start and end my day with the one and only thing that truly matters -- Jesus.

4 - Weekly (or more!) meditation:
Ideally I would like to find time to meditate daily, but with a five month old, a full time job and a household, that's just not practical. And instead of setting myself up with an unattainable goal, I'm starting with once a week. I'll probably find a few quite moments on Saturday or Sunday afternoon to meditate. If you have no idea how to get started with meditation (hand raised!), this site is a good place to start.

Do you have any practices that you want to make into habits?

copyright Hiking in Stilettos