Best of the Season

At the end of each season, we take a look back and highlight our favorite posts. See previous Seasonal Bests here.

I don’t know about you, but for me fall seemed to creep along during September and October, and then November passed in a flash! I can’t believe that Monday will be December. I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s making it seem different this year, it probably most definitely has something to do with Little A being old enough to start enjoying the magic. Anyway, while we’re excited to jump into winter with both feet, we also love taking a moment to look back and relish all things fall.

Best of Main Dishes


  • Sarah’s pick : I’m a big fan of Katie’s Roasted Root & Squash Soup for three reasons.  First, it is a dish that spans two seasons and can easily be modified to include whatever roots and squash you have on hand.  Second, it is packed with veggies and can be vegan if you leave out the cheese garnish.  Third, it is a great recipe for a beginner cook.  No tricky steps or hard to find ingredients in this dish.
  • Katie’s pick : Sarah’s Thanksgiving Inspired Tapas! Every time I look at that post, I wish I were a guest at the table. It’s a perfect twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and looks delicious. And I have to admit that I usually shy away from tapas restaurants because I assume that I’m going to leave hungry, so I really like the idea of serving tapas at home, and know that I won’t be craving more because the leftovers are in the fridge.

Best of Desserts


  • Sarah’s pick : I’m in love with the mini no bake pumpkin pies.  They’re creamy and chewy and they are packed with protein.  I’m not going to pretend that I always eat healthy desserts, but these pumpkin pies are my new favorites.
  • Katie’s pick : I’ll take a good apple crisp any day, especially one with cranberries! And yes, I’m totally cheating, because this should be in the “Best of Breakfasts” category for me.

Best of Alcoholic Drinks


  • Sarah’s pick : Katie served me my first Apple Sidecar and I remember taking a nap immediately afterwards.  This time I took her advice and added a big chunk of ice to my drink. Delicious and festive, this apple sidecar deserves a spot on your holiday cocktail menu.
  • Katie’s pick : It’s been a long time since I had an Appletini, but Sarah’s post took me right back to a bar in Philly where we would get cheap appletinis at happy hour. I’m sure they have nothing on Sarah’s well-garnished drink. I’ll just add it to the growing list of post-baby drinks!

Best of Non-Alcoholic Drinks


  • Sarah’s pick : There was no contest here, Kate’s Sparkling Cider Mocktails are by far the best non-alcoholic drink of the season.  I wish I had a little crew of kids to serve up these special drinks to.  I know they would really appreciate them.  I always loved Shirley Temples growing up, but they’re no comparison to these special sparkling holiday mocktails. Without any kiddos around, I make these mocktails during the middle of the day as motivation to keep editing and accomplishing menial tasks around the house.
  • Katie’s pick : I’m eyeing Sarah’s Fresh Apple, Carrot, Ginger Juice. That sweet and spicy combination, just seems so perfectly refreshing at any time of year, but especially have a good fall hike… and really, really miss when Sarah and her juicer lived with us!

Best of Cheese


  • Sarah’s pick : My favorite was the first cheese we featured, Nut Crusted Brie. I love the gooey baked cheese along with the crunch of the nuts.
  • Katie’s pick : Brie with Truffle Honey. I want to eat it every day.

Best of Crafts

  • Sarah’s pick : I loved looking back at the craft category and seeing how many natural crafts we made this fall.  I enjoyed making the leaf garland and outdoor twig wreath, but my favorite has to be Kate’s dried fruit garland.  I just love the look of sliced oranges and apples, if you haven’t made it yet, turn on that oven!
  • Katie’s pick : I had as much fun making the witch window silhouette as I did seeing it every night in our window. I also think it’s a project that was worth the time and effort, because we should be able to reuse it for years to come.

Best of Style


  • Sarah’s pick : We don’t do many fashion features on Seasoned, but I do give glimpses of my daily threads.  I’m loving these dressed yet comfortable pixie pants that I picked up at Old Navy.
  • Katie’s pick : Admittedly most days you’ll find me in yoga pants, but when I do get dressed to leave the house, I’m wearing some version of my Fall Favorites. So maybe I’m picking it not necessarily because it’s the best style, but because it’s my perfect fall wardrobe, and it never gets old.

Best of Potions

  • Sarah’s pick : Even though this potion was a tiny bit smelly, I enjoyed making my own pore strips.  Super duper cheap and really easy too.
  • Katie’s pick : I’m going with the Dandruff Shampoo because it was so stinking easy to make, and it worked!

Best of Nature


  • Sarah’s pick : Can I cheat and mention two posts? First, I loved researching and writing about the Boulder Flat Irons Hike almost as much as I enjoyed the trek itself.  It is so much easier to take photos and really enjoy the landscape when you don’t have a crazy hound dog along for the walk. Second, I had a great time making the photograph and turning it into a quote celebrating the Autumnal Equinox.  Celebrating natural holidays is very important to me so spending time outside this year and creating this image was my way of thanking the earth.
  • Katie’s pick : I found Sarah’s Tips for Taking Fantastic Fall Photos to be so helpful. It’s not specifically a nature post, but it’s the type of post that inspires me to get out there and enjoy nature a bit more, even if it is through the lens of my camera.

Best of Around Town


  • Sarah’s pick : While this better suits the category Best of Around the World, I had a great time revisiting Thailand for this Bangkok City Guide.
  • Katie’s pick : I loved our visit to the local Kombucha brewer. Getting the chance to taste-test so many flavors at once was a great exploratory mission. I now know that I love so many flavors beyond my old stand-by. And it was awesome to discover this Boulder gem with Sarah.

Any favorite posts that you didn’t see on the list? Let us know in the comments 🙂


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Give Thanks


Thanksgiving is a great reminder to be grateful for our daily joys and all that we have, even when sometimes that feels like not enough.  Today everything we have is plenty. Tomorrow we will have enough too.  Be thankful for it all and spread around the excess today and every day.

If you are here in the U.S., how are you spending your holiday?  I’m hitting the gym with my best friend and then we are going to a Friendsgiving where we will stuff ourselves silly.  Last night we prepped some potato stuffing, peanut butter pie and a pumpkin roll, except it turned out more like a pumpkin blob.  Sometimes life doesn’t pan out the way you expected, but practice thanks anyway 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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No Bake Mini Pumpkin Pies {Vegan + Gluten Free}

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Thanksgiving is a time of indulgence and as much as I love to nibble on holiday goodies, I hate the guilt that comes along with it. There is no reason you can’t make a concerted effort to eat clean, whole foods during the holidays.  In some cases it takes a little bit more effort, but with these mini no-bake pumpkin pies, it takes considerably less!  Pumpkin pie has been my favorite Thanksgiving dessert for as long as I can remember and while I love the original, I’m cheating on it with this new no bake, vegan and gluten free alternative.

This recipe substitutes out the eggs, half and half, butter and sugar for nuts, raisins, and natural sweeteners.  It’s also a recipe that can be made a day or two ahead of time so that you have more time to relax with your friends and family.  While it’s not technically raw because the pumpkin puree is cooked, this recipe doesn’t require any baking, which is pretty handy since your oven will probably be busy with other delicious eats.  Join me in feeling great about this year’s holiday dessert choices; your guests and your waistline will thank you.


 Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 4 cups raisins
  • Pinch of salt

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • pinch of salt

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 The how:

  • Pulverize 4 cups walnuts in food processor or high powered blender.  Add 4 cups of raisins and blend until they combine with the walnuts and form a dough.
  • Grease two 12 count muffin tins with coconut oil.
  • Firmly press dough into each cup (about a half inch) and sprinkle each with a tiny bit of salt. Place in the freezer.
  • After 2 hours run a butter knife around each muffin tin and pop the crusts out so that they’ll be easier to remove when the pies are completely finished.
  • Blend the pumpkin puree, cashews, melted coconut oil and maple syrup until combined. While blending, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, all spice and salt. If you like your pumpkin a little sweeter, feel free to add more maple syrup.  (The consistency should be nice and creamy, if it’s a little thick, add some coconut oil, if it seems runny, add some cashews. If you followed the recipe exactly, it will be just right.)
  • Spoon a dollop of topping onto each frozen crust. However the filling settles is how it will freeze so take the time to smooth or swirl it, whatever you prefer. Allow the pies about two hours to freeze.
  • Remove them from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Use a butter knife to easily pop them out of the tins. Top with a piece of walnut if you wish.
 *Recipe makes 24 individual sized pumpkin pies.


See that? Easy as pie. Now go pop these in the freezer so you have something to nibble on during the parade tomorrow 🙂



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Elving : Part 1

Ok, after I hit publish on this post, my attention will turn back to Thanksgiving (at least until Thursday!), but today we thought it would be fun to jump ahead and give you a sneak peek of the Christmas crafting that’s begun in our house. Somewhere along the way, Calder and I started referring to this as “elving” ~ sneaking away to my craft room to either work on Christmas presents or decorations. Today is labeled “Part 1” because I’m sure this will be the first of many elving posts from the Seasoned sisters!

On Friday, I shared a picture of one of the Alex-friendly ornaments for the tree. Along with the filled balls, I’m also sewing a few simple felt ornaments. I have to admit that I really leaned on Pinterest for ideas this year, getting my inspiration for the ornaments from photos I saw while browsing pins and then just putting my own spin on them.


Another Pinterest-inspired project is going to come from the white trees and ribbon of moss in the photo below. This little project surprise is something that’s so simple, and I’ve wanted to make it for years. So I may be a little too excited that it’s finally happening.


Then, there’s my impulse buy of yarn last weekend that is turning into some fun red and white stockings for our house. I saw the yarn in Michaels, and knew it was bulky enough to knit up quickly, but I didn’t want to commit to knitting the stockings if it turned out to take longer than I expected (there are too many other little elving balls in the air to add a big unexpected knitting one!). I picked up two skeins, and they made one cute stocking. When I went back to the store for more yarn, I discovered that the white was out of stock in most stores and online (it’s a holiday made-for-tv tragedy in the making!). After calling a few more stores, I found some in stock and bought enough of both colors to make the remaining two stockings for this year and to add another to our mantel for next year… maybe I went a bit overboard and bought enough to knit stockings for every possible future family member, including future pets.


I’ve mentioned our local apothecary a few times. I love that place, and it’s quickly becoming my number one elving resource this year. I stopped in this week to pick up oils, herbs, and other ingredients to make a few different gifts for giving. These are my top secret projects that I’ll be so excited to share come January when the gifts are all finally opened.

liveseasoned_fall2014_xmas_crafts1_wm So that’s just a snippet of what’s going on around here. What doesn’t come through in this post is that I may have already started playing my Pandora Christmas station and downing glasses of eggnog nonstop whenever crafting… I promised myself that I would hold off until Thanksgiving, but the mood struck when the elving started.

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Two Bits

Each Friday we share some tidbits from our week.  We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

Katie here:


I know that Sarah’s been busy all week with a photo shoot, so of course the Friday post is late when left in my hands. And me? I’ve been busy all week with the general busy-ness of life – doctor’s appointments, dog sitting, haircuts, generally rough stuff :). But I was lucky enough to sneak in a few moments of Christmas planning here and there. I tested out a few methods for making some toddler-safe tree ornaments (that’s a work-in-progress shot above). And I was finally able to take that lip balm course at the local apothecary. It was so good! I made lip balm before, but it was nice to get the informed and tested tricks from someone who has a lot more practice. We also learned some simple and natural techniques for adding color to our balms and for making glosses too. I’m so excited to try making a batch for holiday giving!

Sarah here:


What a week! I cooked up a storm, which I’ll be sharing this week and I went on a work trip to Charlotte.  Lately I had been feeling uninspired in the kitchen. I realized that was because I wasn’t spending much time in there.  I would make a quick dish, something unsatisfying and then feel bummed about it.  This past week I spent a few hours cooking up new recipes and creating different spice blends and it felt so therapeutic.  I guess I just had to get back on the horse. Yehawwww, get ready for some tasty dishes this week and this winter 🙂 Pictured above are grilled pork skewers with a warm marinade including nutmeg, cayenne, cinnamon, lemon juice and much more.

Thanksgiving is upon us! I usually forget about holidays until the week before and then I get uber excited about them.  Tomorrow I’m headed to Florida for the next ten days to help my best friend plan her wedding.  I’m so excited to chitchat and lounge and have a laid back little holiday with a sweet lady.  I’m thinking about stopping by the Everglades before I drive back home.  I’ve never been, have you?


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Pressed Leaf Garland and Place Cards


I love nothing more than bringing the outdoors in.  One day I hope I live in a mountain cottage full of fur, bones, feathers, antlers, crystals and insect specimens but until then I’ll build my collection and make leaf garland each autumn. If you follow us on Instagram you know that I tried to pick up a live praying mantis (I thought it was dead) the other day, what a shocking moment!  I actually found that big brown guy while I was collecting leaves for this project 🙂


I love projects that encourage you to go outside and walk in the woods and making leaf garland is just that.  Wander around with a shallow cardboard box or bag and collect a big old pile of freshly fallen leafs.  You want some moisture in your leaves so that they haven’t started to brown or curl just yet.  You also want to preserve the leaves so that they continue to retain some color and lay flat on your string or table.


There are several methods for preserving fall leaves.  I choose what I found to be the easiest and safest method, which is sealing them in wax paper.

  • Simply lay down a piece of material (I used an old pillow case) and tear off two pieces of wax paper.
  • Lay as many leaves as possible (without the leaves touching) between the sheets and then place the material on top as well.
  • Iron slowly and on the highest setting for a minute or two, flip the entire material, wax and leaf sandwich over and iron the other side for another minute.
  • Remove the wax paper and let it cool while you repeat the process on more leaves.  Once the wax cools, gently peel the pieces apart and release the leaves.

The leaves should be dry and coated in a very thin layer of wax.  They’re now ready to be used as escort cards or strung onto embroidery thread for garland or a table runner.


To make the garland, simply cut a length of embroidery thread, tie a knot at one end and thread the needle at the other and start stringing them up.  This is a somewhat delicate process, but it’s easy enough that you can sit and watch a show while you’re working on it.  For the best results, pierce the leaf at least an eighth of an inch in the any edges and gently move it down the thread.  As you become familiar with the fragility level of the leaf, you can pierce several at a time making the process move right along.

Making the table running is similar to making the garland, but I found it helps to work directly on the space you’ll be decorating.  As you can see, my work in progress photos were taken outside, but that was solely to photograph them in good light.  It’s a little tough to pick up a finished table runner and carry it so I recommend choose the space that you’ll decorate and making it there.  Like most crafts that we make on Seasoned, we encourage you to inject your own creativity into it; the sky is the limit.  For the green table running, I cut a long length of green embroidery floss, tied a knot and threaded a needle. I then added the leaves in a spaced out, loose and layered way.  I wanted the leaves to look like they were simply placed on the table.  I also wanted them to kind of flow or drift through the center of the table, which is why I had them pointing in different directions.  I’m very pleased with the result, too bad I’m not entertaining this year!


The escort cards and super simple to make as well.  Again, gather and preserve some colorful leaves.  Then use paint bottle with a tip or a paint marker to write each person’s name.  I propped mine up against crystals, but they look just as lovely laying flat on a cloth napkin or plate.

I had a great time making the leaf garland. I spent some time outside, had the opportunity to look closely at nature and then preserve it in my home.  It’s a free and simple craft that is great for kids too.  Iron up some leaves and let them do what they please.  How are you decorating your table for turkey day?


*Just so you know, I did press the green table runner leaves, but I didn’t press the orange and brown leaves that are hanging up and also arranged in a circle.  I kind of liked the transitional look for the hanging garland, but I didn’t want the table runner leaves to be dry and brittle.
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Roasted Root & Squash Soup

Last week Sarah shared her fantastic recipe for squash soup with a citrus zing. Then we debated: should share another soup recipe this week, especially another one that uses squash? The answer was yes, because for us, it’s most definitely soup season and squash season! I was also jumping at the bit to share this recipe before Thanksgiving because I think it could make a fantastic addition to your feast, but it’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted vegetables, turning them into a completely new dish so you’re not eating the same leftovers for days.


I made up this recipe a few years ago, and I never make it exactly the same way twice. I truly believe that anything goes when it comes to the vegetables. In this post I’m giving you an example of a typical vegetable mix in our house, but you could easily add more vegetables to the mix and subtract the ones you don’t like. The same goes for the garnish. I don’t buy anything special for the garnish and always make a point of using what I have on hand. If you do the same, I’m sure you’ll come up with some pretty surprising and delicious combinations.


Soup Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth + additional water
  • 1 medium/large butternut squash
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium/large onion
  • 2 large beets
  • 3-5 medium potatoes

Garnish Suggestions

  • beet or chard greens
  • tuffle oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • sour cream


 How To

  • Prepare the vegetables for roasting. Cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Coarsely chop the beets, potatoes, and two carrots. Place all vegetables on an oiled cooking sheet or baking pan and roast until soft (about one hour), stirring halfway through.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, dice the onion and remaining carrot and saute them in olive oil until the onions are translucent.



  •  When the vegetables are done roasting, add them to the soup pot (removing the squash from its rind) with the broth and enough water to reach the top of the vegetables. Bring this mixture to a boil and then turn down to low heat for blending.
  • Carefully puree the soup using either an immersion or upright blender. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and then you’re done!


About the Garnishes

I think garnishes add a special touch to what is otherwise a homogeneous soup (not that that’s a bad thing). As I mentioned, there’s no particular right or wrong when it comes to the garnish, but you may want to think about using things that will add a different color, texture, or flavor to the soup. I often use some cooked greens because they add both color and texture to the smooth, pureed base. I like parmesan or cheddar cheeses for their nutty taste, but the tang of yogurt or sour cream is also a great compliment to the sweet flavor of the vegetables. And, as you know, I love the taste of truffles, and a dash of truffle oil works really well on this soup.

If using greens, saute them in some olive oil to prepare them. You can do this with a touch of salt and some diced onion and/or crush garlic or garlic powder.


Alex loves this soup, I’m sure it has something to do with the sweet/savory combination from the roasted vegetables and the easy-to-eat pureed texture. I love knowing that he’s eating such a wide variety of vegetables with every bite. Oh, and I already have two quarts of this frozen for when I’m too tired to cook!

There you have it! A relatively simple soup that is so easy to prepare, packed with flavor, and with so many different veggies! Try making this for friends and family over the holiday season and I’m sure it’ll be a hit… if not, just send it to my house, I have a freezer that I’m looking to fill ;-).  
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Katie’s Pregnancy Favorites

If all goes well, we’ll be adding another little guy to the fam this spring! Of course we’re super excited, and we thought it would be fun to do a series of posts on pregnancy and baby-related products and tips that worked for me. Maybe they’ll work for you too?

First up, I wanted to share some of the products or tricks that I found useful while pregnant with A. Max, and that have proved helpful this time around too. I’ve made it a point of trying to be low maintenance when it comes to pregnancy and baby-related items, but even with a minimalist attitude, there are still some things that are worth the purchase. Below are my essentials along with some of the tips & tricks that made it easier to buy less maternity-specific stuff. To go to the product pages, you can click the numbered links below each collage or the links provided within the post’s text.

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Prenatal vitamins.

Ugg. I hate taking them every day, but am serious about doing it before, during, and after a pregnancy. Luckily I’ve found the brands that work well for me and minimize some of the negatives associated with other vitamins. I really like this multivitamin. It doesn’t have as strong as a smell as other vitamins, I never get an upset stomach with it, and generally felt healthy (although I never took another vitamin, so I don’t have a good counter example there). I also took a DHA supplement. DHA is one of the omega-3 fatty acids that’s important for brain development. Taking a prenatal DHA supplement is helpful because you won’t get as high of a dose of DHA if you take a basic omega-3 supplement. Also, while this supplement is made from fish oil, I’ve never had any issues with a fishy smell or aftertaste. I didn’t take a calcium supplement with Alex – I just tried to get plenty through my diet, but this time around I found Calcet’s lemon creamy bites, and no I’m hooked! I use them as a healthy treat when I need just a little something sweet, and I like them so much more than the other calcium chews that I took years ago but got tired of. The only thing I don’t like about these is that each chew is individually wrapped in a plastic shell – not that great for the environment, but it seems to be the key to their fresh, creamy texture. So I’ll probably be done with these after this pregnancy or this box… but I had to mention them, because if you need a calcium supplement, these are outstanding.


When it comes to clothes, I’m fortunate in a number of ways. First, I’m pregnant during the exact same time of year, so I’m able to use all of those maternity clothes again.  Second, I mainly work from home, and while last time I had to go in to a job, I really only saw people a couple of days a week. So, many days yoga pants and long stretchy t-shirts or tanks were enough to cover my belly and keep me comfortable. I found that many of the dresses I already owned (I love ones from Title Nine with a touch of spandex, like this) were stretchy enough to fit over my growing belly for at least the first 6-7 months of my pregnancy. I was also lucky that sweater dresses came back into fashion – so I picked up a few of the boxier ones, some tights, and my favorite boots to get me through the rest of my pregnancy – this was an especially great outfit for days I had to teach.  Once my stomach got too large for my pre-pregnancy pants, I bought four pair of maternity pants and a few shirts to go with them – that’s it!

But, even so, there are a couple of specific items that are worth sharing. This maternity tank from Target is so comfortable, and I love how long it is. Late in pregnancy, it was hard for long non-maternity tanks to stretch around my stomach, but this tank does without trouble. I still have the only one I bought, and am thinking it’s time to add a second one to my closet – they are a perfect first layer under any shirt.

As I mentioned, I bought a few maternity shirts, mainly for work days to go with the pants I picked up. I didn’t know it at the time, but there are whole lines of nursing shirts with ruched fabric around the torso – making them perfect for a growing stomach during pregnancy and a slowly shrinking one afterwards. Buy these, especially if you want to try nursing, rather than buying a maternity-only shirt (I found that the BOOB brand really held up well to the wear and tear that is nursing and carrying a little guy).

Books & Other Info

We are just over halfway through this pregnancy, and it was around this time with Little A that I was ready to start learning about labor, labor support, and breastfeeding. Along with taking a labor class, there were a few books that I found really useful.

  • The Big Book of Birth – this book is packed with useful information, so at times it can seem a bit dense, but I really loved the straightforward and concise writing. She covers basic biology of labor as well as types of medical interventions and natural methods for easing discomfort and dealing with different problems that may arise during birth. Calder didn’t read the whole book, but I marked some sections that I thought would be particularly useful for him to read before our delivery, and I think it was helpful to both of us.
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – This book focuses more on natural childbirth and methods for finding comfort and support through it. I have to admit that I didn’t read this one cover to cover like I did the Big Book of Birth, but I did find it extremely useful, and Ina May’s an expert if ever there was one.
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers – Before I had Alex, it seems like I often heard about how hard or tricky breastfeeding could be, but I knew I wanted to do it. Knowing that I didn’t want to find myself with a newborn in my hands and unsure of what to do next, I decided to read and learn about the process before having the baby. I found both Jack Newman’s book and his website to be extremely helpful for covering the basics of breastfeeding and providing many useful images and videos of successful and unsuccessful breastfeeding – so I was able to get a sense of what I should look for and red flags for when things weren’t working.

In addition to these books, Calder and I took a seven-week prenatal and labor class together. Our class covered everything from the baby’s development in utero, to the biology of labor, support for labor, types of medical interventions, caring for a newborn, etc. It was so amazing, and really helps you to work through all of that material, especially when you’re working and are so tired that you would rather crash on the couch than read a book. We had the option of taking that class or shortened version of the class over the course of a weekend. I highly recommend spreading your course out over a few weeks – there’s so much information to learn, and you may find that questions develop only after you’ve had days/weeks to think about something from class – there’s no way you and your labor partner would get as much out of a weekend course (but, if that’s all you have time for, it’s better than nothing!).

General Beauty Products

In general, I use very few beauty products, but when I do, I try to stay as chemical-free as possible. One place where that’s hard to do is with nail polish. I would skip it altogether (and that’s what I did with my first pregnancy), but this time around, my nails are really suffering from the dry air. When they are dry, they crack, peel, and just become a general mess. A coat of polish along with daily applications of cuticle oil really helps to keep them healthy. So, this time around I tried Spa Ritual’s 5-free polishes, and really (really) love them. I use them with a base and top coat, and have found that they can go at least 5 days without chipping (less if I’m really doing a lot of mess work with my hands).

Another product that I’ve been devoted to throughout both pregnancies is Burt’s Bees Momma Bee Body Oil. I slather it on my belly after every shower throughout the whole pregnancy and for a few weeks postpartum (about 3 times per week). I was really lucky to end up with no stretch marks last time around. We’ll see what happens this time!

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Staying Healthy

When you’re pregnant, you hear over and over again that it’s important to get plenty of exercise and stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is even more important for me this time around since we’re in a dryer climate.

Honestly, after months of drinking water, tea, and chocolate milk, I start to go crazy for anything else to drink (we’re not big juice drinkers, just as a rare treat). I found a few tricks to help me stay hydrated. I’ll treat myself to cartons of coconut water – you get an electrolyte bonus! Trader Joes’ brand is always a good price, but I’ll take any brand that’s on sale. I also mix up my drinking vessels. The first time around I picked up one of those cold cups with a straw, and found that just switching between my drink bottle and that would have me drinking more. I also found the cup easier to drink out of while breastfeeding and rocking a newborn (rather than having to tilt my head back to use the drink bottle).

When it comes to exercise, having Ca$h the dog was such a big motivator. When he’s with us, I’m his main walking companion – so that meant that I went out on long (30 minutes to an hour+) walks with him twice a day. I did that all the way until the end of my first pregnancy and I know that it really helped me to stay in shape and stay a healthy weight. This time around we don’t have the pooch with us (he’s with Sarah!), but I’m making sure to get plenty of play time in with Alex, and it seems to be working :-).

In addition to the dog walks and Alex adventures, I liked to take some time to do some good, deep, yoga stretching. I tried out a few prenatal yoga classes, and they were great, but I also found it really hard to fit them into my schedule. After a bit of searching, I came across Yoga Download and was an immediate fan. There are a number of ways to access their classes, but I purchased a couple of prenatal yoga classes and downloaded them onto my laptop. It was nice to have access to them at any time and without having to worry about an internet connection. I’ve since purchases some regular (not prenatal) classes and have used them whenever I need a yoga boost – while I would love to go to a studio, practicing at home has become my new norm since Alex arrived.

Finally, there’s one other simple thing that I’ve done during both pregnancies to help myself eat right. Whenever I make a big pot of soup or stew, I put a quart jar of it in the freezer. So far I have about six jars in the freezer this time. This takes zero thought or planning, just fill the jar, label it, and freeze. They are so useful towards the end of pregnancy and during the first few months with a newborn when you’re too tired or busy to cook.


Wow, I know that was a wordy post, but I’m hoping some other expectant moms may find this helpful… or if you know a momma-to-be, you may get some useful gift ideas from this post. A case of coconut water with a big bow around it never hurt anyone!

Did I miss anything that you found essential? I would love to hear what you found essential.

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Two Bits

Each Friday we share some tidbits from our week.  We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

Katie here:


If you’re following along on our Instagram feed, then you already know that it was cold and snowy in Boulder this week! We pulled the sled out of the garage and took Alex for a stroll around the neighborhood on that first morning – he loved it!!! In the photo above he just got on and fell backwards, but he soon figured out how to hold himself up as the sled jerked to a start. It was just as exciting for us to see his joy. Every time we mentioned the sled, he would run for the door. So that’s been our main mode of transport – I pulled him over to his friend’s for a play date, our babysitter took him on a few walks (after teaching him the fine art of snow angels), and last night on the sled, he figured out that waving to the snowplows would get them to honk their horns. Important stuff going on around here!

Meanwhile, inside the house I kept a pot of soup on the stove every day. I think because this blast came earlier in the season than we would have expected, it seamed extra magical having the steamed up windows, fire in the fireplace, candles going on the mantel and the blanket of snow outside. I feel like the week was a slow dream, and other than the fridge of leftovers and “first snow” pictures, I don’t have anything else to show for it, but that’s not a bad thing either. If the snow’s coming your way, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Sarah here:

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This week was busy, busy over here! Lots of shoots, editing and meetings, but I did find time to rake the yard and go for a few hikes with the pup.  I also went shopping for clothes, which is a big deal for me. Those pants in the pic are newbies. Like ’em?  I rarely buy threads.  I just hate spending money on clothes, which is hard because I’m always envious of other people’s style, yet I’m not willing to spend money on shirts. First world problems, I know.


I also went on a date this week, whoop whoop! We went to see Interstellar, which is now one of my most favorite movies. I loved it so much. I’ve been thinking about it ALL WEEK and I even had a dream about it.  So, that’s kind of a big deal.  It’s rare that I go that bananas over a movie, but it was just so dreamy and intriguing.  Christopher Nolan is really securing his spot as my favorite director (I’m sure that is his most prestigious award yet..). This movie was just as mind boggling as Inception so if you enjoyed that, you’ll enjoy this. He also made Memento, The Prestige and The Dark Knight Trilogy and other greats.

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Apple Cranberry Crisp

Apples are our ingredient of the season. We love to eat them, but we also love to preserve them, drink them, and craft with them!

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It’s about time we shared the staple of all apple desserts ~ a crisp! What’s not to love? They are packed with fruit, covered in a hearty and nutty oat crumb. With the right combination of sugar and salt you can get that irresistible sweet yet salty flavor. Still warm, they make vanilla ice cream melt to produce a delicious sweet cream running through every bite. You can totally eat them for breakfast with plain yogurt and know you’re getting your day off to a great start. Or is that just me?


I made this crisp yesterday. It was our first unbelievably cold day of the season that also blanketed us with snow. A perfect day for finding any reason to stick close to the stove. So I did a whole bunch of cooking and baking. One of the recipes I cooked earlier in the day resulted in boiled cranberries that were then filtered out of that recipe (that’s vague, but you’ll get the full details next week!). The berries looked so perfect that I thought it wouldn’t hurt to experiment and see if I could re-use them in a crisp. I used my standard crisp recipe, it’s a simplified version of something I found in the King Arthur Baker’s Companion (my go-to for all sorts of standard baked goods).  While I don’t do it every time, I’ll often add fresh cranberries to the crisp, luckily, yesterday’s “used” cranberries still had a lot of flavor and worked just as well as fresh ones. 

Filling Ingredients

  • 5-6 apples, or enough to fill a pie dish, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (I even leave some whole)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, separated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, separated
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Crumble Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup not packed down)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 8 Tbsp butter



  • Preheat the oven to 350F and heavily butter your pie dish (I will use about 2 Tbsp of butter and leave any excess within the pan).
  • Place all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix vigorously then transfer to the buttered pie dish.
  • Place all topping ingredients in a food processor and mix until crumbly. If you don’t have a processor, you can mix everything except the butter and walnuts, then cut in the butter and once crumbly lightly mix in the walnut pieces.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture. Bake for about 1.5 hours, or until it’s bubbly and a nice golden brown color.

As you can see, the juices from this crisp ran over the side of my dish (producing those beautiful yellow and pink streaks on the outside of the dish – isn’t it cool that the apple and cranberry juices didn’t completely blend?). Depending upon how much I’ve over-stuffed my dish, I will often use a cookie sheet to catch the droppings – it’s much better than have the sugary syrup burn on the bottom of your oven!


This recipe is easily customizable. You can begin by keeping or skipping the cranberries and/or walnuts. You can replace the water in the filling with apple cider or orange juice. You can play with the spice combinations and amounts. But whatever you do, don’t forget the vanilla ice cream (and yogurt for breakfast!).

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