I have a few fun pictures to share today of a little makeover we did to create a playroom nook for Jane off of our kitchen! There is a small room off of our kitchen that we originally used as a breakfast nook when we first moved in and over the few years that we’ve lived here it’s evolved into a sitting room, a space for me to shoot recipes (most of my cookbook was shot on the floor of this room!), and now recently into a play space for Jane. The play area came about after we finished redoing our living room — I loved how the space looked and wanted to reduce the toy clutter in the room. Jane also needed a spot to play that was scaled for her, and we set out to create a little spot off the kitchen that could be her own.  read more

We had the best family getaway up in New Hampshire this past weekend — we went camping! Well, let’s call it what it really was: glamping. I couldn’t wait to get home and post these pictures because it was such an amazing time, and because I got a ton of questions about the experience from my posts on instagram. I’m sharing tons of snaps from our little adventure, more about the campsite at Huttopia, and how we did it with a toddler in tow! read more

I had a giant craving for a taco salad this week, and got to work on creating the very best version I could dream up. I remember my mom making taco salad when were kids, and she would give us a scoop of tortilla chips that we could crunch up on our plates before adding toppings (which was mostly just cheese and meat as a kid, right?). My version has a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of color — ground beef with black beans and corn, yellow rice and crispy lettuce, tomatoes, olives and scallions, big slices of ripe avocado, and of course some cheese and tortilla crisps. I finished the salad off with a homemade honey lime vinaigrette; it’s easy to make in a small mason jar! Add in all of the ingredients and give it a vigorous shake before dressing your salad — and save the extra in the mason jar for taco salad leftovers for lunch the next day. Get the full recipe below: read more

Please note: This post was created in partnership with Christmas Tree Shops®andThat!. All opinions and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!

I recently had a chat with someone about our favorite seasons. My response was very specific – I love the first part of fall the best. Fall in New England has two distinct parts to me. That first part when school starts but the weather is still a little bit warm, and the days aren’t yet too short, and there is an abundance of beautiful colors in the trees and at the market. Then the second part is November, where it’s freezing and dark and we’re really just counting down until spring again! I do love those first fall days though, and can’t think of a better reason to savor those early warm autumn nights than with a pretty harvest-themed dinner party. read more

I love putting together a festive looking table for meals with family and friends. It’s something I love to do so much, I might even call it a full-on hobby. When I post pictures of these entertaining spreads, people often say that they love the idea of a tablescape, but don’t want all of the fuss and expense that comes with setting a fancy table. Well, my favorite way to do it is with a few a little tricks that make it inexpensive and easy — and I thought I’d share a few of my tried and true methods with you today so you can recreate it at home on a budget!  read more

The most frequent question I get asked by readers is what do I feed Jane at mealtime? All us moms are in the same boat –toddlers are complex, finicky little creatures and feeding them things they’ll actually eat can take a whole lot of energy and creativity! For the most part, Jane is a great eater; she tries lots of things and enjoys a good variety of foods. We’re very consistent with breakfast – she eats eggs and a smoothie everyday. For dinner, she will generally eat a broken-down version of what the adults are having. read more

Grilled pizza is a weekend staple at our house, the perfect Friday night treat! We mix up the toppings each week with leftovers from the fridge — it’s a great way to use up extra veggies and other ingredients. My most recent grilled pizza experiment used up the end of a batch of my hidden-veggie bolognese sauce. It’s a heart meaty sauce that I pack with carrots and spinach — a perfect way to sneak veggies into toddler meals! It made for a super tasty pizza, and the best part is that a big batch of this sauce will get you a few meals. I use it on pizza, on pasta, in casseroles and even freeze the leftovers to save for future dishes! Get the recipe below.  PS: there is a whole chapter dedicated to grilled pizzas in my new book with recipes for homemade pizza dough, a simple tomato sauce, my favorite pizza seasoning, and lots of grilled pizza combinations — pre-order it here!  read more

With the last few days of August here, everyone seems to be talking about the end of summer. Yes, school is starting and a few leaves have started to drop off the trees in our yard. The weather is still warm though, and I’m determined to stretch out our summer days for long as we can. I keep reminding people that the official first day of Fall isn’t until the end of September; let September have it’s summer days too! One way I’m keeping the season alive is with a bit more al fresco dining — I’ll do it every chance I can get until the temperatures drop — and pulling together festive summer tabletops with my favorite color scheme: blue and white. read more

I usually share my download posts at the end of each week, but this one got pushed out a few days later because we snuck away for the weekend to celebrate some of our best friends getting married! It was the most beautiful weekend for a wedding, and we had a crazy amount of fun drinking and dancing and partying it up with our best buddies. It was proof that I can still party like a college girl, but also very solid proof that I recover from partying like a 30-something mom of a toddler. I’m moving a little bit slower than usual on this Monday morning; strong coffee and the promise of an early bedtime are keeping me motivated. While I recover from my bridesmaid duties, I hope you’ll enjoy my stream of consciousness on recipes, books, and the end of summer:   read more

Last week I wrote a big blog post about my favorite cookbooks that I use for dinner inspiration — especially when I’m in a dinner-planning rut. I heard from so many readers that they were often in a similar spot, uninspired and stumped about what to make for dinner. More than that, everyone seems to be looking for ideas that quick and easy because dinner time can be downright hectic (we have our fair share of toddler meltdowns right before dinnertime too!). I decided to dig into my recipe archives this week and pull out over 20 of my tried-and-true dinner ideas that I lean on when I need to get something tasty on the table after work. I hope this list helps make planning dinner a little bit easier this week!  read more