Happy Halloween! October has flown by! Why do these months seem to end so quickly and a new one begins just as fast? When I looked back though on some of the memories we created, it was really one great month.

From weekends watching football, stopping to smell (read: take pictures of) beautiful flowers, to romping through a pumpkin patch, we ended the month with a weekend away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy the giggles and joyous squeals of the little ones among the sounds of cicadas and crickets.

Fall Family Pics

The kiddos are excited to go trick-or-treating – it’ll be fun to see them all dressed up in their costumes. Of course I don’t think my littlest one knows just what’s going on, but he’ll have a good time walking the neighborhood either way. A great way to bring in the beautiful crisp fall air for November!

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This time of year just calls for warm, hearty soup… and I certainly don’t discriminate. Whether beef stew, vegetable minestrone or homemade tomato basil, you really can’t go wrong. I love making a big batch and throwing it in the freezer to warm up on a whim — and most soups can be made in one big pot, which makes clean up super easy. Ahhhh, soup season.

So to kick things off, I tried my hand at roasted butternut squash soup earlier this week. I love me some squash and instead of laboring over a giant squash from the store that requires some strength and sweat to cut into pieces, I often opt for the already cubed butternut squash from CostCo… it takes SO MUCH TIME out of your prep! I added fresh herbs and some crispy bacon and it was seriously husband approved.

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Ingredients:
– 2 lbs of cubed butternut squash
– 1 sweet onion
– 1.5 tablespoons of butter
– 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth
– 1 3/4 cups of water
– 1 tablespoon of salt
– Fresh sprigs of thyme
– Thick-cut bacon
– Sour cream
– Black pepper

Directions:
In a large pot, melt your butter over medium heat. Drop in your sweet onion, chopped. Let the onions soften in the butter until they become somewhat translucent in color, then add in your butternut squash, chicken broth, water, salt and the leaves of 3 sprigs of thyme. I find that using fresh herbs really makes all the difference, especially in the cold winter months where herbs like thyme really warm up these kinds of dishes. Let the mixture simmer on medium to high heat for about 25-30 minutes.

In a cast iron skillet, crisp up 5-8 pieces of thick-cut bacon. Set aside and blot with a paper towel to remove any excess grease. Once it’s cooled, tear into bite-size pieces.

When your soup has simmered long enough, you’ll want to mix either in a food processor or with an immersion hand blender. It will have a creamy, silky texture. Spoon into individual bowls, top with a dollop of cooled sour cream, freshly ground black pepper and your crispy bacon. Enjoy!

(Yields approximately 10 servings.)

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Oh hi friends, remember me? I’ve been a little bit of a crazy person over the last week and finally feel like I’m recuperating and back to myself. Last week was easily one of the most hectic yet most rewarding experiences of my career. I had the chance of a lifetime, really, and all of the blood, sweat and yes, a few tears, paid off when the big day came to life.

And of course, that meant next to little sleep, overflowing coffee, countless missed meals, sore feet, anxiety and some delirious hours. But then we celebrated with champagne, happy tears and giant smiles — and that made those late nights and early mornings all worth it. Best. Feeling. Ever.

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I rounded out the week with a friend’s gorgeous wedding in the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by twinkling lights and delicious BBQ. We partied hard, into the morning hours… and it was perfect. I even got to hang with my baby brother who came in all the way from California! I’d say it was certainly the cherry on top of my already incredible week.

Now it’s back to the grind. Time to reshift my focus and catch up. I have exciting plans for this upcoming weekend and it’s all about checking a big item off my bucket list — eek, I can’t wait! For now, I head into Monday with these 3 goals at the top of this week’s to-do list. What are you conquering this week? Make it great, loves!

1.) Spend quality time each day with my husband.
2.) Workout at least 4 days this week.
3.) Meal plan and eat well — no more junk food!

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