Paleo Pumpkin Spice Shake

Today’s recipe is brought to you by my bestie, Leah! She’s a queen in the kitchen and is always passing on the greatest recipes for me to try. This is one of them. A total winner. And perfect for Fall! Enjoy :)

Nothing says fall like some good ol’ PUMPKIN SPICE.  

I’ll admit that I’m one of the millions of annoying people who INSTAGRAM her first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season like I’m announcing it to the world or something.  Anything pumpkin spice, though? I’m on it!  Like these new PUMPKIN SPICE RX Bars?  A.MAZING! (Seriously, look at the ingredients: pumpkin, dates, cashews, egg whites, and spices).  

And it was these almond milk pumpkin smoothies from Jamba Juice that inspired me to save the $6.50, go rogue and create my own copycat version … a healthier and, might I say, even BETTER tasting version. Thanks to the pumpkin it’s jam-packed full of fiber along with the stay-full protein from the nut butter…not to mention the potassium from that banana!

So, without further ado …paleo pumpkin spice shake


*Makes a 24 oz smoothie (or 2 smaller cups)


  • 1 ½ frozen bananas
  • 2/3 cup organic pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter (I use cashew butter from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup milk of almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon honey (plus some to drizzle)


Blend all the goodness together and then sprinkle with a little nutmeg or cinnamon and ENJOY! 

Then go and try the other products that I mentioned.  No one is even paying me to endorse these guys. They are just THAT awesome! 

Style File /// Mama + Jem Disney Outfits

Did you all survive the Disneyland photo onslaught?

That was only phase one, I suppose, because today I’ve got our Disneyland style and next week, a round up of all the tips I learned from traveling to The Happiest Place On Earth.

I assumed when planning an October Disney trip that we’d be packing for warm Fall weather. But, no. It was full on Summer-esque. Solid 80s all day long, only dipping into the high 60s at night. So in the days before we left I modified our bags and prepped for one last round of Summer style.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay one was Cinderella Day according to Jemma. She had an adorable Cinderella inspired dress that we layered with leggings to make it ride appropriate. For footwear, she packed both Saltwaters and Nike tennis shoes, but ended up wearing her Saltwaters nonstop. She has narrow feet and they just fit her perfectly. Plus, after all summer and our Yellowstone adventure they are super broken in.

I took my Nike Frees and Birkenstocks so I could alternate foot support. I’m so glad I did! My feet definitely needed to switch it up with all the miles I logged around the park. Day one for me was a basic Liz Lange tank and regular ancient Old Navy shorts that apparently have a massive amount of stretch since they still button :) Plus, my every day accessory which is part of a big ol’ Nordstrom sale – the Hobo Goldie Embossed Leather Crossbody Bag. It was beyond perfect for the essentials I needed on me while we traversed Disneyland.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay two was Ariel Day and Jemma’s 5th birthday! We spent most of the day at California Adventure and this summer I have definitely fallen in love with the coolness of short stretchy dresses. This one first made its debut at Yellowstone too. Both my dress and tee are actually non maternity and oldies but goodies that warranted being a part of my travel wardrobe. I added my favorite Madre Beads diffuser necklace and the greatest Minnie Ears of all from Cheers For Big Ears.

Jemma’s Ariel tee was a clearance find at the Disney Store. Seriously, stock up on outfits there before you travel to Disneyland, they’re always having great sales! Her Ariel inspired Minnie Ears were also purchased from Cheers For Big Ears. 

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetFinally/sadly … Day Three. First of all, if you ever want to feel like a giant … find your way into Pixie Hollow and snap a photo with Tinker Bell. Jemma wanted our final day at the park to be Snow White Day. Her dress was made by her talented Mimi (my mama) and the red glitter headband was only $1 at JoAnns. It’s one of the ones from her Etsy shop which is currently not stocked, but totally email me if you need a fabulous/cool/comfortable/washable princess dress!

My GAP striped dress is a fave from summer sales. My sister and I actually both got one! Take note though, it was only $25 in stores. It’s also non maternity and fits great now and will be a staple down the road too. Woohoo!

26, 27 + 28 Weeks

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

^^^ Diffuser necklace from the one and only, Madre Beads ^^^

How far along: 28 weeks, 3 day … hello third trimester!

Gender: A little man!

Weight gain: Not sure what I’ve added in the last few weeks; the beauty of not owning a scale! 

Sleep: Since we returned from Disneyland I’ve slept like a baby! I think I’m catching up on deep sleep after so many go go go days.

Best moment this week: Other than Disneyland … which was BEYOND AMAZING I’d have to say winning my choice of one of these in an fabulous giveaway!

Worst moment this week: Everything is sunshine right now :)

Miss anything: Just margaritas. Same ol’ same ol’.

Movement: Lots! For awhile I thought he was breech because I had tons of kicks in my crotch — so lovely. But now, it’s all up high so I’m guessing we’re head down!

Cravings: I want a really great sweet summer watermelon and it just doesn’t seem like that’s possible now that it’s October. Too nervous to grab a random one and be disappointed. Food disappointment is the worth while pregnant.

Queasy or sick? Nope! I just need to delete this question.

Looking forward to: Thursday nights. Always and forever. Mama TV time for the win!

What Jemma thinks: At bedtime … “Come back here, Mama! I need to kiss that cute baby belly! Hiiiiiiiiii baby!”

What Max thinks: “Dat baby still in there?” 


This Month At

Before I share some of my favorite posts from this month, I don’t want you to forget about this rad giveaway! There are some decent ideas in that post too, so feel free to pin it for later if you want! 

mom shoes

15 Reasons I’m Ready For Fall

FALL IS HERE! I’m so freakin’ happy! Don’t miss my top 15 Fall fabulous reasons and chime in with your own. Let’s give Fall the high five she deserves :)

I’m Eating My Placenta … Again

I’ve done it once, and I’m planning to do it again. Maybe even a little more extreme with a tincture and a smoothie. If you think I’m crazy (or even if you don’t), this post promises a realistic explanation of why I’m all about my placenta and its nutritional benefits.

Why Having Three Kids Is Going To Be Awesome

I totally have a handle on two kids. Like, I’m a really good mom of two kids. So, thinking about adding a third to the mix has me a wee bit frightened. If I stress too much about it though, I can throw myself into tizzy and that’s why I crafted this post … to focus on all the positives.

I Don’t Like Kale and Other Things Hippie Moms Aren’t Supposed To Say

After the placenta confession on this month I probably fell into the super hippie category for many. But, I promise, there are oodles of non-hippie things about me!

You can easily pin each of these posts for later here! 

What I Bought Before We Left For Disneyland

I mentioned a few of the things I’ve picked up in my last Disney post, but I thought it might be helpful to have all this information in one place :) Truly, it’s just a collaboration of great ideas I found on Pinterest and tips from a few mamas who have visited Disneyland recently with their preschool age children.

Enjoy! And feel free to pin for later if you think a Disneyland trip is in your future! What I Bought Before We Left For Disneyland


  • Plastic Water Bottle … I usually drink out of a mason jar with a MJC lid, but glass isn’t allowed in Disneyland so I ordered a water bottle that I could easily throw in the bottom of the stroller. You can get free water refills at any restaurant so I wanted an easy way to stay hydrated.
  • Diamond Anniversary Minnie Ears … I planned to buy ears in the park, and then I found these! SOLD!
  • Crossbody Purse … I needed something small and lightweight. This went on super sale, so I snagged it!
  • Battery Pack Phone Charger … If you think I’m going to let my phone die during the magic, you’re wrong! So glad I’ll have an easy way to charge my phone (and thus, camera) on the go. 


  • Minnie Ears, x2 … I grabbed these cheap, but awesome and functional ears from Amazon and then a custom Ariel pair too.
  • Disney Sing Along Songs … Since Jemma has never been to Disneyland she doesn’t really have a concept of where we are going. I remember this movie (on VHS) from my childhood and wanted Jem to catch a glimpse of Disney through it. It’s now a favorite with her and Max!
  • Park Outfits … Tees went on sale at the Disney Store for $5-10, so Jemma chose one to wear each day at the park. I fell in love with this one too.
  • Elsa Hoodie … According to the weather, California will cool down in the evenings so it seemed necessary to add this hoodie to Jemma’s Disneyland wardrobe. Plus, it was at our local Costco for only $10! 
  • Plane Activities … The $1 Section at Target had a bunch of princess activity books and such so I grabbed a few of those. Plus this special coloring book. I swear by these for traveling!
  • Disney Surprises … Folks, souvenirs are spendy! Our routine with vacations is that each child gets to pick one special thing from the gift shop and that’s it. I did grab a few extra little surprises at the Disney Store though … Ariel sunglasses and a Belle doll for her to open in our hotel room. 


  • Snacks + Breakfasts … Jem and I went to the grocery store and chose some favorite snacks to pack for the plane — granola bars, trail mix, fruit leather, gum and this addictive, but healthy treat). I’ll probably pack some each day for snacks on the go in the park too.  Our hotel has a microwave in our room so we plan to warm up oatmeal in paper bowls each morning before heading out as well.
  • Trading Pins … We can’t wait to go pin crazy! This eBay shop was recommended to me by a professional Disney friend so we are stocked up and ready to trade for some new favorites. I bought lanyards from this eBay seller too.

What am I missing? Tell, tell, tell! I still have a day or two to finish up our packing!

Maternity Stitch Fix #4 … And What I Kept Isn’t Even Maternity!

Where did fixes #2 and #3 go? Laziness, folks, with a dash of busyness. If you’re just dying to know, I kept this cardigan from my second maternity fix and nothing from the third fix. Well, technically I kept one top, but I sold it in the Stitch Fix Maternity BST group. Today’s fix represents my 12th overall! It all started way back when I was newly postpartum with Max and what still amazes me is that Stitch Fix continues to be spot on with sizing and style for my current season of life. You can see all the fixes I’ve shared here. The Stitch Fix stylists are just amazing. If you STILL haven’t started your Style Profile, you just must. Do it here. Do it now. I earn a credit too so super appreciate you using my link!

And now, without further adieu, here’s my most recent fix!

stitchfix septemberI requested the Market & Spruce Jahana Cargo Vest after seeing it on Pinterest. Having a style board is so helpful when your stylist is curating your fix. This vest is not a maternity piece but I figured it would fit decently now and even better later. I was right :) I also got …

  • Rune Kiley Maternity Ankle Zip Leggings
  • Creative Commons Feora Maternity Dress
  • Pale Sky Flanders Pintck Detail Maternity Blouse
  • Kut From The Kloth Denna Maternity Skinny Jean

stitch fix sept 1 stitch fix sept 2 stitch fix sept 3 stitch fix sept 4I’m of the mind set that more fixes are more fun so I usually only keep one thing out of each box. I suppose you could call that my Stitch Fix philosophy. This way I can order another fix right away without breaking the bank! For this fix, I kept the vest. Because it was totally love! Although, there was that one fix where I kept everything and got the 25% off deal for keeping all 5 pieces.

Ready to take the Stitch Fix plunge?

This + That

Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 presetIf you hate Fall. Please, just go away. Fall is the most magical kind of year and I just love and adore it! As Jemma says, “You’re just a Fall girl, Mama!” And it’s true :) Above, we’ve got my latest pumpkin love, Pumpkin Smash from Jamba Juice. And below, just a little this + that that I’ve been collecting to share with you all. So, swing by Jamba, settle those littles in for a movie and get clickin’ through all these fun things!

Past This + That posts can be found here. So many links to love!

8 Ways To Connect With Your Baby During Pregnancy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Of course, before consuming caffeine while pregnant, be sure to run it by your health care provider. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

First week of school – check!

If you’re anything like me, back to school season has left you reeling … supplies, introductory projects, a new routine. September is a whole new kind of wild when compared to our summer adventures. And I knew the wild was on its way. But let’s be real, I’ve been in a bit of denial too. Because back to school means baby is getting closer and closer to arriving!

When I first found out we were expecting I sat down with my calendar and was able to note something significant happening every single month until baby’s birth day. I’m down to the last four months now and can hardly believe it! September is back to school, October is double birthday month (Jem + I) and Disneyland, November is holiday prep/Thanksgiving and December is Christmas time!  All the hubbub leading up to Christmas leaves little time to focus on the most exciting thing happening in our family — the new baby, our Christmas baby! Or, New Year if he so chooses, I suppose :)

In the back of my mind I’m constantly thinking of becoming a mom of three and welcoming a brother for my kiddos! Often I have to stop myself, bring this new reality to the forefront of my mind and just let it all soak in. For me, that’s the key. Being intentional. I have to choose to stop and focus on this sweet little one growing inside of me. Pretty much, I write it on my to do list and then, I know I’ll have some built in pause to the week; a chance to connect with my new baby before he is born. Today I wanted to share 8 ways I’m choosing to be mindful during this pregnancy; ways I’m taking a break to focus on this season of my life and the little boy who has already stolen my heart. Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

At Home Spa Time

My little guy loves the bath! I’m guessing the rushing water sound of the filling tub is soothing and the stillness when I settle in gives him a bit of calm that our normal routine doesn’t. He bounces around, I talk to him and am able to relax myself!

Prenatal Massage

On the spa note, I can’t say enough great things about prenatal massage. I found a gal who has a pregnancy pillow which allows me to lay on my stomach – such a treat!

Reading a Pregnancy Book

I’ve been on a real novel kick lately, but have paused to read a chapter in a textbook that I borrowed from my midwife. Pregnancy is so complex and I got a bee in my bonnet to learn more about placentas and all the work it’s doing to keep my baby healthy. I’m absolutely floored. Like, beyond amazed!

Sitting Alone With a Calming Drink

You guys, Max has completed his TV detox and we now have a one show or movie allotment each day. He is so excited when this time comes and thus, settles right in. The kick off of his show gives me a moment to escape. Lately it has been to the stoop on the front porch with a cup of Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea. Fall heaven.

Taking Photos

You’ve probably noticed my hashtag on Instagram, #tmgbaby3. I’ve been aiming to snap at least one photo each week dedicated to this pregnancy so I can print a Chatbook after he is born! Mom of three scrapbooking at its finest!

Meditation With Birth Affirmations

I worry about the birth process. It’s not really my thing. Definitely the hardest part of my pregnancy. I think because I have so little control. So, intentionally bringing positivity into my mind in crucial!


Meditations fall right into prayer for me. Prayers for a safe birth, health and all the little details of my baby’s life. At night, after I take my magnesium and layer on my sleep oil blend (essentials for pregnancy insomnia!) I drift off to sleep with my hand on my belly, whispering prayers for my baby. It’s a peaceful, quiet time that I treasure.

Lullabies + Cleaning

I’m a mom, I clean a lot. Tea cups from my daily escape along with all the other dishes, mountains of laundry and the uncontrollable toy explosion in my living room. Lately, I’ve been popping some of our lullaby CDs into the kitchen nook CD player and grooving to baby tunes while I go about my work. Loving it! bigelow collage Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetWhat helps you to pause during the day? Do you sip a cup of tea? For real, try the Bigelow Pumpkin Spice – fabulous flavor, especially with a dash or two of cream! Do you pray? Sneak off to a bubble bath? I’d love to hear your tips … I have four busy months ahead of me and could use some extra ideas!

Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea was easy to find during my grocery trip to Walmart, right in the middle of the coffee and tea aisle! Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

40 Snack Ideas For Preschoolers

If you’re on the look out for a $50 Target gift card, Halloween goodies and some of this all for free … read on!

Jemma joined the Pre-K forces this last week. She loves it. Pretty much obsessed. Basically, after her first day (on Wednesday), I reminded her that Thursday would be a home day and then she would get to go back to school on Friday. “What?” she said, “Daddy gets to go to work 5 days in a row … can’t I go to school 5 days in a row too?”

Um. Stop that. Just stop it little girl. You are mine and I am not ready for you to be rushing away 5 days a week. Three days has been adjustment enough for me!

Anyways, I made it through parent orientation without crying and signed up to be a bulletin board mom :) I figure they probably didn’t want me, Max and baby showing up as a classroom volunteers anytime soon. I don’t have a bulletin board assignment yet, but our first snack day is in early October in honor of Jemma’s 5th birthday! No cupcakes or cake are allowed so we’re brainstorming lots of other options and I thought to myself, why not share a list of ideas! Snack prep for 20 kids can be a bit daunting and I know we’re all busy mamas, so I hope this round up makes things a bit more simple for you! 40 Snack Ideas For PreschoolersThis post is sponsored by BOOMCHICKAPOP, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

  1. Number one, of course, BOOMCHICKAPOP, in your choice of fantastic flavors – Sea Salt, Lightly Sweet, Sweet & Salty or White Cheddar!
  2. Applesauce Pouches
  3. Mandarin Orange Cups
  4. Craisins
  5. Ants On a Log – celery sticks with a swipe of peanut butter (or another approved nut butter like sunflower butter) and Raisins
  6. Carrot Sticks with Ranch Dip
  7. Fruit Leather
  8. Apple Slices
  9. Bananas, probably cut in half
  10. Yogurt Tubes
  11. String Cheese
  12. Cheese Squares and Salami
  13. Turkey or Ham Roll Ups (deli meat rolled, sliced and stuck with a toothpick for individual servings)
  14. Bagels + Cream Cheese
  15. Ritz Crackers or Wheat Thins
  16. Goldfish Crackers
  17. Graham Crackers, maybe even with frosting to dip if you’re celebrating a birthday
  18. Whole Grain Cereal like Cheerios, Chex, Crispix or Kix
  19. Pretzels
  20. Nutri-Grain bars
  21. Special K bars
  22. Fig Newtons
  23. Rice Cakes
  24. Trail Mix (check your classes nut allergies before going forward with this idea or make your own with cereal, dried fruit and mini chocolate chips)
  25. Sun Chips
  26. Tortilla Chips + a mild salsa or guacamole
  27. Pudding Cups
  28.  Jell-O Jigglers, make a pan of Jell-O instead of a bowl and then slice into rectangles once set
  29. Animal Crackers
  30. Banana Bread
  31. Fruit Kebobs with Berries, Grapes and Melon
  32. Plantain Chips
  33. Pita Bread + Hummus
  34. Yogurt Parfaits – yogurt with granola and fruit bits to sprinkle on top
  35. Sliced Fruit – Peaches, Pears, Watermelon or Apples
  36. Cottage Cheese with a Dollop of Berry Jam
  37. Hard-Boiled Eggs
  38. Muffins
  39. Granola Bars
  40. Snap Peas With a Sour Cream Veggie Dip

Since she’s the birthday girl, I let Jemma choose what she wanted to share with her friends. BOOMCHICKAPOP and apple slices were the top picks! Allergy free and easy for me – win! Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetBOOMCHICKAPOP is as much fun to eat as it is to say, and that’s exactly how we like it! We are certified gluten-free and use non-GMO ingredients in all our products. Always real, always simple and made with nothing but ingredients you’ll love®.

Because BOOMCHICKAPOP is freakin’ awesome, not only are they joining us for preschool snack time this Fall, they’re sponsoring a grand giveaway for you! Get ready to win a Halloween Kit full of Halloween goodies, a $50 Target gift card and, of course, free BOOMCHICKAPOP! To enter, follow these 2 easy steps …

  1. Click here for a sneak peek of all the Fall BOOMCHICKAPOP excitement
  2. Share a Fall fabulous photo on one of your social media networks, tagging it —> #BringTheBoom, think back to school, outdoor activities and Halloween preparation type photos!
  3. Optional, but appreciated: Follow BOOMCHICKAPOP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

BOOMCHICKAPOP will select 3 winners and mail out their prize the week before Halloween!

Dark Rising and All the Other Books I Devoured This Summer

Dark Rising Back when I decided to read 12 books this year I thought I was hitting the ball outta the park when it comes to making realistic goals. I mean, I was a mom of two when midnight struck on December 31, 2014, I had hopes of getting pregnant in the coming year and my freelance work was taking off. One book a month seemed totally sufficient; a worthwhile commitment to find “me time” throughout the year.

Well, little did I know that I’d discover a bajillion good books and pretty much turn into my childhood book worm self. Even my mom and Dominic have commented that I’m constantly reading … and always something new!

Most recently, I had the honor of reviewing Monica McGurk’s second book in the Archangel Prophecies series. I reviewed the first here. I flew through Dark Rising. Like, fast. It was such a page turner and I’m already chomping at the bit for book three. That good, folks.

Dark Rising continues the story of Hope Carmichael who is now in the company of angels in human form. They’re on a mission, at first unknown, and then, as the story continues light comes to exactly what they’re working towards. That probably sounds vague, but I can’t give away too much – the anticipation of their discovery is what will keep you turning the pages! By the end of the book you’ve traveled the globe, learned quite a bit of church history and gained a new understanding of how complex relationships can be. Technically, the Archangel Prophesies is a teen fiction series (Dark Hope, Dark Rising and coming soon, Dark Before Dawn), but I promise, you mamas will love it too!

This summer I also read 10 other books! And summer isn’t over until September 22nd so I’ll probably add in at least one more to the mix. Craziness! Here are a few other books to consider adding to your reading list, they were all winners … Whiskey and Charlie, Big Little Lies, Orphan Train, Truth & Beauty, For the Love, Scary Close, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Heir, Little Bee and Call the Midwife.

Now, for a chance to win your own copy of Dark Rising … follow Monica McGurk on Facebook and Twitter and then leave a comment with a book I should read this Fall!
Winner will be chosen at 9PST on September 27, 2015.

A big thank you to Monica for sponsoring this post and allowing me to review her books! I’m a fangirl for life :)