Moments 10.2018

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We had a really fun October! Lots of hiking, running, fall festivities and delicious food! Check out our October Moments 10.2018!

I can’t remember all the times I 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. our life in a nutshell).  So here it is for October 2018!

Recipe love:

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

Chinese Orange Chicken from Cooking Classy {who needs takeout}?!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge from Also the Crumbs Please {a must-make this holiday season}!

Sheet Pan Chicken Schwarma from The Modern Proper {making this ASAP}!

Pumpkin Pancakes from Modern Honey {’tis the season}!

Pumpkin Cookie Dough from Feasting on Fruit {Pass me a spoon}!

New Recipe Videos

Here are the videos we produced for you in October! More to come in November!

Best EVER chocolate chip cookies

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

Best Homemade Dinner Rolls EVER

Homemade Dinner Rolls
Homemade Dinner Rolls

A few of my favorite things…

Here are a few products I have used over and over again in October!

Glass Batter Bowl

I use this batter bowl at least 10x every day. I love that I can put it in the microwave, and I mix just about everything in here! Also the lid is super helpful if I want to mix something and save it for later! A must-have in the kitchen for sure! If you prefer to shop at Amazon…here’s basically the same one!

Marble Rolling Pin

It’s holiday baking time (pies, rolls, etc.) and I couldn’t live without my Marble Rolling Pin! The weight of it is just perfect for rolling out all sorts of doughs. Plus it’s so easy to clean!

Orgain Collagen

YOU GUYS! This is on MAJOR sale right now (30% off PLUS extra with Subscribe and Save, which I always do), and you should totally buy it!!! Seriously I put collagen in my smoothies, coffee, etc. and love the added protein in my diet!

Life with my tribe


Fall is my favorite hiking season! Nothing beats the combination of the warm fall colors against the crisp blue sky, and sometimes even with a touch of bright white snow in there. The first hike we did in October was the Horse Flat trail in the Alpine Loop.

As you can see from the first photo in this post, we were met with quite a bit of snow and less-than-ideal hiking conditions. Our kids were not dressed appropriately and we ended up not making it to Primrose Overlook, which was our goal.

As parents we’ve had to adjust our hiking philosophy. If every child has cried for legitimate reasons, it’s probably time to turn around. But for competitive and physically driven people like Ritch and I, that is a hard thing to do. Thankfully we have gotten used to enjoying the journey regard

I hiked Mill Creek Canyon (Birch Hollow Trail Head) with the kids twice in October. Once with a friend and her kids, and once with my sister when she came to visit! I love Mill Creek so much it’s ridiculous. The hike is easy (ZERO elevation gain), the view is breathtaking, and the colors are stunning!

It is difficult to hike 25+ weeks pregnant with a baby on my back (Ritch wasn’t on either hike, he usually carries Mara), and my body was done by the end even though it was an easy hike! But Mara is so sweet and never fusses, she just enjoys the ride!

Cross Country 

The kids absolutely LOVED running on a team this season. They looked forward to every practice and every meet. They weren’t super athletes, but they tried their best and did such a great job.

I’m undecided if we will do it again next year, but I have a feeling we will!

Building a new home!

We had our design center meeting this month and had so much fun picking out everything for our new home. By the end I was totally overwhelmed and tired, but still in good spirits!

I’m so grateful Ritch and I are on the same page with literally everything when it comes to our home. Most of the time I default to his judgement in making decisions because he is very artistic and has a great eye.

Ritch looks a little creepy in this photo (LOL), but this was when we were finished making all of our choices and ready to pack it up and get back home to our babies! I can’t wait to share more about the process in a post I will be writing soon!

Mara 18 Months!

Mara is growing up so fast! She is talking much more now and can repeat many words when prompted. Two very adorable things to note about here this month….

She is ALL about reading. I know I mentioned it last month, but she has firmly chosen “Ten in the Bed” as her favorite book. She walks up to us, holds the book in the air and says, “Rolll over roll over” in Mara speak (no one else would know what she was saying but us), and we always cave and read it because she’s just so darn cute.

She communicates joy with her feet. Seriously, her adorable chubby little legs are the equivalent to a dog’s tail. When she is standing up and excited about something she stomps her right foot and squeals with excitement. And when she’s sitting down she kicks her feet just like a dog wags it’s tail!


I am not a fan of Halloween….like not at all. If it wasn’t for Ritch we would not celebrate the holiday in any way. But my kids love it and I lay aside my feelings to make it super fun for them.

This year we tried to go to our usual pumpkin patch but they wanted to charge $5/person to enter, and let me tell you it is nothing worth paying for!

So instead we found a new pumpkin patch in our town that was absolutely perfect! The views were breathtaking (mountains 360 degrees), the patch was adorable, and 5 pumpkins only cost us $12! See for yourself just how great it was….

Of course a couple days before halloween we carved those pumpkins (well 3 of them). My kids had so much fun drawing their designs and Ritch carved them with power tools. 🙂 P.S. Gabe is just making a silly face in this photo, he loved his dinosaur pumpkin and had lots of fun!

On Halloween our neighborhood is UNREAL. Seriously everyone goes all out! One of my neighbors even dresses her home up like See’s Candy (but calls it Dee’s), and hands out See’s suckers to kids, and TRUFFLES to the parents. Ritch always gets one and gives his to me. LOL It’s the only candy I eat on halloween!

Because I’m such a Halloween Scrooge, Gabe has been the same thing 3 years in a row! I mean heck, if the costume still fits no reason to buy him another one. He actually has both a Jedi and a Knight costume he could wear, but he chose this one again.

Mara is wearing a kitty costume that all 3 of my girls have worn at that age, and was passed on to me from a friend who also had 3 girls. She looked so stinkin’ cute waddling around all night.

Baby Girl 27 Weeks

How in the world am I already almost into my third trimester? I’ll do a full pregnancy update later in November, but for now I am just reeling at the fact that this baby girl will be in our arms shortly!

I’m feeling a little like I did in the first 18 weeks again, throwing up occasionally in the mornings and not very interested in food. I’m craving salty and not sweet foods again, and lots and lots of protein.

I’m finally feeling her move pretty regularly, and I’m just waiting for the moment she’s really active while the kids are around so they can all feel her! We love her so much already!

Recipes I’m Making on Repeat

Here are a few recipes we enjoyed in October!

Healthy Skillet Peanut Butter Cookie

Ok you guys, I’m totally on a skillet cookie kick this month. I can’t stop making (and eating) this one!

Overhead view of healthy peanut butter skillet cookie

Stovetop Cinnamon Sautéed Apples

Mara still isn’t able to really chew some raw fruits and veggies without choking, and I really want her to enjoy the fullness of apple season! So I whipped up this recipe and my entire family gobbled them up!

overhead view of cinnamon sautéed apples being cooked in a cast iron skillet

Easy Homemade Guacamole

We usually have tacos once a week, but we never eat them without guacamole! This is our favorite recipe! Mara and Bethany are guacamole monsters just like me, so we always make sure we have plenty!

overhead view of easy homemade guacamole in a bowl


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  1. Those pictures of the pumpkin patch are so cute. I love fall, but I don’t love Halloween either. 🙂 That’s so wonderful that you and Ritch are on the same page about your house.. Also, it’s so fun that you get out with your littles and hike; those are going to be such sweet memories for them as they get older.