Moments 11.2017

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Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine Eclairs

“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 November 2017!

Recipe love:

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

Roasted Butternut Squash with Candied Walnuts & Crispy Sage from Dishing Out Health. {Fall perfection}!

Vegan & Paleo Pecan Pie Bars from Feasting on Fruit {Definitely need to be on your cookie trays this year}!

Perfect Cut-Out Paleo Sugar Cookies from The Paleo Running Momma {Definitely trying these this year}!

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie from Wife Mama Foodie {I can’t get over how beautifully purple this pie is}!

Giant Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll from The Kitchen McCabe {Who wouldn’t want this for breakfast}!?

New Recipe Videos!

Here are links to two videos that we produced in November! I’m hoping to have some more for you in December!

Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Healthy Homemade Cranberry Sauce 

Life with my tribe:

Mara Hope

I meant to do a full post about life with Mara at the 6 month mark, but my goodness life has been crazy! So I’ll just keep my baby updates here for a while!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Mara is still a sweet little stinker. She likes all of my undivided attention all day long. And you know that if I could, I would just sit in her room and snuggle all day and night. BUT she’s not the only monkey in my circus, so {much to her chagrin} she has to share mommy. By this age my other kids were at least moderately OK with being set down, but Mara hasn’t quite gotten there yet. 😉 I’m just embracing it and keeping my sweet little girl with me everywhere I go.

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Mara is sitting up on her own, army crawling her way around and I even found her pulled up to standing in her crib! She smiles with her entire body and does so the most whenever mommy is near! Oh be still my heart!

She also started clapping! It’s the cutest thing ever! She sits herself up and just laughs and claps her hands together. GAH I just love her. This is how I found her one morning when I went into her room to get her up for the day. It’s like she’s saying…”No big deal mom, I just pulled myself up.” 😉

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Naomi Grace!

I took Naomi on her very first Mommy-daughter date this month and we had an absolute blast. Ritch and I start taking our kids on dates around age 2 {when they can actually semi-understand what’s going on} and it’s the best. Spending one-on-one time with our children is so important. They are different when they’re alone and not surrounded by their siblings.

I took Naomi out to get donuts {or “cookies” as she called them lol} and then to pick out a new set of PJs, because that’s what she wanted to do! She was so cute and sweet. Ever since she has asked me every day, “Can we go on a date again mommy?” Oh I cherish these sweet moments with her so much!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine


I was nervous about Thanksgiving because it was the first time we chose not to travel back to Chicago in three years. However, we had the best day ever and made memories that I will cherish forever. I even shed some tears as we put the kids to bed that night because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving has always been running a 5K in the morning through the downtown area of my hometown. I’ve done it every year for the last 14 years, so we decided to run one here in Utah! We had SO much fun.

Ritch and I pushed the younger three kids in the strollers {If you don’t have a BOB you NEED one! We have the double and the single}, and my 6 year old ran the entire thing by herself!!!! We were SO proud of Bethany! I kept offering to let her take a break and get a ride on the bottom of the stroller I was pushing, but she was super determined to run the whole race!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Ritch and I gave Bethany our medals and she has been wearing them ever since. She told everyone she knows about her race and for good reason! She ROCKED it!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

We watched the parade, read books, played games and I cooked way more food than our little family could eat {in a week lol}. Seriously I planned to make less dishes but what’s Thanksgiving without stuffing….and rolls…and…..😉 We went to bed with full hearts {and tummies of course}! It was truly a celebration I won’t soon forget!

Christmas time is HERE!

One of the nice things about not traveling for the holidays is that we get to be in our own home and enjoy our own traditions! We spend the day after Thanksgiving decking the halls in our house and decorating the tree! I prefer to do it at night, but by 9 AM our kids just couldn’t wait  any longer! So we just rolled with it and had so much fun!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

We’re trying to do as many fun, Christmasy things as possible this year. We started with driving up to Park City to see the electric parade. It turned out to be 7 cars with Christmas lights on them driving down Main Street. It lasted for 5 minutes {literally}. We had fun but agreed that it won’t become a yearly tradition for our family!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine


This may have been the most exciting thing that happened to me in November! I bought a 105 mm lens and a new Full-Frame DSLR Camera. I was shooting with a DX camera and let me tell you the difference is insane! I originally purchased the Nikon D800, but after realizing I really wanted to up my video game and invest in a camera that would last me for a decade…I returned the D800 and got put on the waitlist for the D850 in 5 different places.

I had to go over a month without my own camera until Pictureline called and said that they had one for me! During that time, I shot with Ritch’s Nikon D750 which is also an amazing camera! However, he isn’t too big of a fan of me and my powdered sugar and chocolate covered hands touching his nice things! LOL! SO when I got the call that my D850 was in I packed up the kids and we drove downtown immediately to get it! I am still getting used to it but it’s truly an amazing camera and I just love it!

These two purchases {lens and camera} were the largest investment I have made in my blog and photography to date. My goal for 2018 is to really improve my photography and make some great recipe videos for all of you, and I am really excited about the year to come!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine D850

A few of my favorite things…

Kitchen Aid Mixer

After 10 years my very first Kitchen Aid mixer flaked out on me. It has been a loyal companion, but its time in my kitchen had come to an end. I bought this ice blue beauty on sale on Black Friday {and it’s still on sale now!!!} and I’m so excited to bake some delicious Christmas cookies with it this year!

Fourth & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee

I read this post from Root & Revel and was convinced I needed to try bulletproof coffee! I’m SO glad I did. I use this vanilla infused ghee because it is dairy-free, and let me tell you…I have found a new love! Not only is my coffee irresistibly rich and creamy, but I have found that drinking it this way prevents any caffeinated jitters or mid-morning crashes! This ghee totally takes it to the next level too!

iPhone X Case

My new iPhone came much earlier than it was originally slated to, which was a wonderful surprise! I bought this case for it well before it arrived and I’m SO happy with it! Not only does it look pretty, but it’s well-made and will definitely protect my phone well! I also got these screen protectors and they are amazing! Ritch couldn’t stop raving about it as he applied it to my phone {because he’s way better at those kinds of things than I am}! It’s like a thin piece of glass that protects the screen without inhibiting feel or function! My phone needs to be fully armored and protected from my four sweet little munchkins, and I am confident that with these two products it is!

Recipes I’m Making on Repeat

Same story different month? LOL! Here’s what I’m making on repeat in my kitchen!

Black Bean Brownies {faves}!

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine Black Bean Brownies

Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars {Duh}. 

Moments 11.2017 JoyFoodSunshine Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

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

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

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