Moments 08.2017

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Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine Black Bean Brownies

“I can’t remember all the times I’ve tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

Welcome to โ€œMomentsโ€ here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of all the shenanigans that went down in crazy town (i.e. my life in a nutshell).  So here it is for August 2017!

Recipe love:

Here are a few must-share recipes from the month of  August from my favorite spots around the web!

Dark Chocolate Puffed Quinoa Bars from The Sweet and Simple Kitchen {Health food covered in chocolate}!

Turmeric Carrot Butternut Squash Smoothie Bowl by Running on Real Food {Time to jump on the Turmeric train}!

Pan Fried Zucchini Chips from Completely Delicious {for the abundance of late summer Zucchini}!

Power Flax Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Muffins from Ambitious Kitchen {Breakfast perfection}!

Healthy Dried Fruit & Nut Trail Mix from Vintage Mixer {Back-to-school snacking in style}!

Raspberry Ricotta Almond Cake from The Kitchen McCabe {Berries please stay forever}!

Life with my tribe:

10th Wedding Anniversary

I shared my thoughts on being married for ten years in this post…check it out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary twice this month! Once on the actual day (August 4th) and once at the end of the month! Ritch brought home these beautiful flowers for me on the day of our anniversary! So pretty!

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

My mom flew in because Ritch and I had planned on flying back to Chicago for one of my oldest friend’s weddings. We were going to leave the three older kids behind and just take Mara. But as the time drew nearer, the thought of flying across the country and leaving my kids became overwhelming to me. I just couldn’t do it. And flying all 6 of us to IL wasn’t in our fall budget {thank you homeschool curriculum lol}!

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

I was so disappointed to not be able to go, but my mom came anyway and watched the kids while Ritch and I snuck away to Deer Valley in Park City for a night instead. I even got up the gumption to leave Mara!!! However, it turned out that I wasn’t quite ready to be away from my sweet baby. Yes, we had fun but I’m pretty sure I spent as much time crying about missing Mara and pumping as I did enjoying myself {truth}.

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

We had an amazing dinner at The Brass Tag at Deer Valley! We woke up and ran together! Then we sat at a coffee shop, drank smoothies, and chatted for an hour…uninterrupted! Then we rode the Deer Valley lift all the way to the top of the mountains! When we got up there we hiked around a bit and then decided to just sit in the shade, enjoy the view and chat. After our ride back down we both agreed we felt more relaxed than we had in a long time. I love getting away with Ritch, but I think I’ll wait until Mara is weaned {or at least not nursing every 3 hours} for the next getaway! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is the view at the top of the Deer Valley lift! Gorgeous!

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine Deer Valley


We met some of our closest friends at Pineview Reservoir in northern Utah to spend the day together. It was absolutely gorgeous! If you are near SLC it is a must-visit spot! We spent the day splashing in the water and playing in the sand and it felt like we had the place all to ourselves! There were a few boats that drove by, but the kids LOVED that because they created waves for them to play in!

And you really can’t beat those views!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Mara Hope

In the last month there have been so many milestones for Mara! She started sitting in the bumbo (YAY)! She also started rolling from her back to her front, which meant it was time to ditch the swaddle and transition to the sleep sack! She is almost definitely going to be another thumb sucker {so far Naomi is the only child who hasn’t been}.

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Mara has also gotten a touch more challenging during the day! She is not happy unless she’s being held, which I totally understand lol! ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, I always say as long as my babies are sleeping at night {which she is} I can handle anything during the waking hours!

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

I’m so grateful that the “baby fever” hasn’t worn off with my older kids yet! They all still LOVE holding, kissing, snuggling and playing with Mara. They talk so sweetly to her and love their baby sister so much!

Our Garden

Our garden is in full production mode and I love it! Our cucumbers are absolutely delicious this year! We had a bumper crop of tomatoes and zucchini and our peppers are coming along nicely! Oh summer produce please never leave!

We have also been frequenting our local farmer’s market! We love purchasing produce fresh from local farms!

Moments 08.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

A few of my favorite things…

Crazy Richards Peanut Butter!

So. Good.  And one ingredient, peanuts! 


Sorry for yelling, but we have had the WORST luck with can openers over the last 10 years. I feel like we have tried them ALL, and they are all the worst. Like…I seriously dread opening cans because of it. I know, dramatic much, but I’m totally not exaggerating. I have sliced my fingers open on more can lids than I care to admit trying to pry them off after my sub-par can opener refuses to slice through that last little piece of lid that’s preventing me from getting the food out of the can {can anyone relate}!?!?!

Well, we may have finally found the winner! It locks onto the can so it doesn’t fall off, and there’s even a magnet on the end to pull the lid out once it’s cut open! I am hopeful that this one will last for a while, but I will give you an update if it flakes out on me like all the others! LOL!

Recipes I’m making on repeat:

If you follow me on Instagram and check out my stories then you know that I’m totally a creature of habit. So a few of these won’t surprise you {like at all}!

Black Bean Brownies

{pictured above} I make these embarrassingly often. My faves.

The Most Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are my go-to dessert when I’m entertaining. I make a full batch and roll it into balls. I bake what I need and put the rest of the dough in the freezer. That way, when I need dessert but don’t have a lot of time, I can just pull some dough out of the freezer, let it thaw on the cookie sheet {lined with parchment paper} and bake right before our guests arrive! Warm cookies with no work is always a good choice!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. 


Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Every. Single. Day.

 The Best Homemade Dinner Rolls

Make the best hamburger buns! Seriously if you haven’t tried these do it today! I absolutely love these rolls, and so does everyone who tries them!

Well that’s all she wrote! I’d love to hear a highlight from your August! What are you looking forward to in September?

If you want to stay connected or you make something from JoyFoodSunshine I would love to see your creations! #joyfoodsunshine

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1 Comment

  1. Ok, it’s soooo cute to see Mara grow, and I love seeing all of your children’s contagious smiles. They’re always so happy, and I can tell that the joy of the Lord is in your whole family. I’m glad you and Ritch also got to go out and spend time together celebrating the gift of 10 years together. Last night I asked my mom, ‘Do you think you’ve grown more in love over 27 years of marriage?’ She said definitely, and I can’t wait to see your marriage blossom more and more Laura! ๐Ÿ™‚