Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

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

Welcome to “Moments” 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 September 2017!

Recipe love:

Here are a few must-share recipes from the month of September from my favorite spots around the web! FALL is here y’all!

Simple Apple Galette from Wife Mama Foodie {AKA: the prettiest dessert ever}.

Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting from Feasting on Fruit {somebody has a birthday in October…{hint: it’s me}}!

Fall Apple Harvest Party in the Park by The Sweet and Simple Kitchen {Those caramel apples….!!!}

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells from How Sweet Eats {Fall perfection}!

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl by Baker’s Royale {LOVING that tofu}!

Life with my tribe:

Mara Hope

Mara has changed SO much! She’s cooing and “talking” to me all the time. One of the things I love the most about her is the way she looks at me. She gazes deep into my eyes in a way that my other kids never did. She also reaches out and touches my cheeks all the time, which I simply adore. It’s like she’s trying to get to know me as she peers into my soul with her baby blues.

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

She also started eating solid foods! Check out this post where I share my advice on how introduce solids to your baby! So far I have fed her oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and this pumpkin apple baby food {which is actually her fave of them all}. Since she started solids I also switched her to the four hour nursing schedule. This is brand new {like I’ve been doing it for three days} so I’ll report more on how she adjusts to it next month!

I have been enjoying my Mara so much. Even though she is, by far, our most needy and difficult baby at this stage, I am choosing to soak in every single moment. Every little thing about her is amazing, and I am feeling this deep desire to hang on to everything about this phase of her life. Her smell. Her giggles. Her snuggles. Oh baby girl, you have no idea how much you are loved. <3

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Naomi Grace

Ok Namoi definitely needs her own section in this post because she has become, quite possibly, the cutest kid who has ever lived. She is spunky and has her own sense of style {obviously}. Her language has absolutely exploded and she’s speaking in full sentences, telling complete stories, and just all around cracking us up. I think my favorite thing she says is, “actually” in just about any context.

Naomi is a total parrot and repeats/does everything her older siblings say and do. She also talks so incredibly sweet to Mara I can’t even handle it. I have tried catching it on video with no luck, but I am determined to get it one of these days!

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Life in general

Has been really good. We are on a hiatus from having visitors and really enjoying our quality family time!

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

We’re just soaking in the outdoors before the winter come with vengeance! 🙂

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine


I had a pretty exciting September completing some projects for Vitamix…which included this baby food post and a takeover on their Instagram Stories! I also did a little freelance photography for them, which stretched me outside of my comfort zone and I loved it. Here are a few of my faves…

A red bean cake!

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Homemade Soymilk

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

And my husband has claimed this blender as his very own! 🙂 He loves the color and size!

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Around our house…

We bought some tobacco lath {or so we thought} to make a surface for me to shoot photos on. Turns out we ordered tobacco sticks, which are not at all conducive to the project we were hoping to build. SO, Ritch used the sticks to make this amazing piece of decor for our front room! We added this wreath and love it!

Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine DIY Reclaimed wood decor


A few of my favorite things…

Vital Proteins Collagen

I just started taking collagen daily and am already starting to see benefits from it! Vital Proteins is, hands down, the best collagen on the market and they have sent me some products to try! My favorite VP product is the unflavored collagen peptides because they are undetectable and so versatile. I also am really enjoying the taste of this Vanilla & Coconut beauty water in my morning smoothie!

Crazy Richards Peanut Butter

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE Crazy Richards! They sent me this amazing package with so many of their products. I just love every single one! I’ll be doing a fun project with them this month, so stay tuned for that!

Avanchy Baby Spoons

In my super fun package from Crazy Richards I also received a handful of Avanchy products. I am obsessed with these baby spoons. I love the silicone tips because it makes it so easy to clean Mara’s face as I feed her. Seriously a new favorite baby product of mine!

This Ab Workout

I use youtbe a lot for workout videos at home! This is, by far, my favorite quick ab workout ever! I love to do it after my morning run!


We officially started our new homeschool co-op at the very beginning of this month. We decided to try Classical Conversations this year. After a month break in the summer I realized that our homeschooling life desperately needed three things: 1) Fellowship, 2) Accountability, 3) Great curriculum. So far, after completing four weeks here are my thoughts….

1.Fellowship. I really enjoy the people who are part of this community. However it is really hard for me to get to know the other women while I’m wearing Mara and wrangling Naomi. 😉 I think we’ve worked out a solution that will allow me to go alone with just Bethany and Gabe, but I’ll report on that in October if it works out! Going to co-op has also been good for my kids because it forces them to meet new people and make friends, something they don’t really have a lot of experience with! One I pry them off of my legs they have a blast! 😉

Going to co-op also forces me to leave the house! I’m not joking either, I always prefer to stay home, especially since adding Mara to our family. But now I know that every single week there is one day where we will absolutely get out and socialize. Which is good for all of us!

2. Accountability. I love that my kids have to tell other people what they learned all week long. I’ve never been worried that I’d be lazy and not teach them, because that’s just not who I am. But I know this accountability will be so nice when we enter into busy seasons of life, especially if we’re blessed with another baby down the road.

3. Curriculum. Ritch and I both absolutely adore the history, science and math portions of CC. I’m not sold on the English and Latin yet. But we’ll see! I’m so grateful for the structure it has provided for me in the areas that I have the most trouble preparing!

Outside of CC the curriculum I chose for this year is….

Math: Saxon K for Gabe and Saxon 2 for Bethany. (I switched from Singapore and like the structure of Saxon much better. Although I might use Singapore as well halfway through the year because I like the way it makes Bethany think outside the box).

Reading: The Reading Lesson for Gabe {My FAVE}. All about Reading for both of them (Levels 1 and 3).

Spelling. All About Spelling level 4 for Bethany and the Spelling Workout Level C.

I’m feeling really good about homeschool this year. Like way better than I ever have before. I love all of the curriculum we have chosen and I feel like we’re getting in the groove. I even do some fun little exercises with them halfway through every day {touch our toes 10 times, run in place, march around the room, etc.} which we all love. It’s a great way to break up the morning and get the silliness flowing!

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

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

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Moments 09.2017 JoyFoodSunshine