movie night


We've always loved having movie nights over here. Before we had kids, it was one of our favorite past times together and once the babies came along, we let them in on our little tradition. We love showing them the classics (Star Wars! Sound of Music! Indiana Jones!) and there is just something about summer nights that beg you to be spontaneous and stay up late! It seems so often a little visit with friends will turn into an impromptu movie night, so I like having some refreshments on the pantry shelves that we can pull out last minute. Some snacks for the kids, drinks... maybe a little treat or two. Here are some of our favorites for hosting a last-minute movie night!
Drinks: natural soda like henry weinhard's vanilla cream and trader joe's strawberry lemonade for the kids | full sail amber ale for the adults

Treats: red vines, trader joe's mini chocolate chip cookies, jelly beans

Snacks: angie's sweet & salty popcorn, snyder's mini pretzels, trader joe's honey roasted peanuts (sooo good)

baby eleanor


△  nine month baby bump!

they all want a little baby for themselves! 

 the cutest little baby burrito! 

It's hard to believe it's already been over a week since we met our newest little babe. We've been so eager to meet her and hold her in our arms, and now that she's here, we're just so in love! Akemi was especially excited about this pregnancy (since she was too young to remember much from last time) and spent the last few months telling everyone "did you know mama is having a new baby?!" and then would explain to them that by hugging my belly she was really hugging the baby. MELT MY HEART. 

The kids are just swooning over baby Ellie and always covering her with kisses and peppering us with questions... when will her cord stump fall off? can we save it? does she like potato chips? why do babies smell so good? Akemi even picks up her baby blankets and proclaims "this smells just like Eleanor!" And the lullabies, oh how these kids love to serenade the baby with sweet lullabies! She has no shortage of love that's for sure. 

It's been a pretty easy adjustment so far with the exception of one... Violet is not quite ready to pass on the torch and still very much enjoys being our baby! Of course she adores Eleanor and is just giddy around her during the day, helping with diapers and wanting to hold her, but at night it's a little rough when I'm up rocking and nursing the baby instead of her. So my time is pretty much juggling the littlest two and making sure they both get plenty of love and snuggles! Having a new baby in the house is just so wonderful, it never gets old. I love these days.

recipe: pumpkin cake


There is something I just absolutely adore about being in the kitchen with little ones. Maybe it's because I grew up baking homemade bread with my own mother, or all those summers spent learning to make biscotti in my grandparents' kitchen, but the whole process is something I've come to love. The trial and error, the mess, the way they delight in eating something they created with their own hands... it's such a simple joy. 

The kids have baking with me for as long as they can remember and the great thing about all those years where they shadow you in the kitchen and want to help measure and stir and pour is eventually, they remember how to do it all on their own. The little girls may still be in that toss-a-few-cheerios-into-the-batter-phase, but the big kids have become quite independent in the kitchen. Naomi made us a pumpkin cake over the weekend and she did a great job. It feels like just yesterday I was helping her crack her first egg and now she's whipping out entire cakes all on her own! She is amazing. And this cake is sooo good. The recipe makes two 9" rounds and it freezes wonderfully if you want to save one for a busy weekend morning (once cool, wrap twice in plastic wrap & freeze, then allow to thaw overnight before serving). 

Pumpkin Cake

1 cup coconut oil
2 cups organic cane sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
16 oz canned pumpkin
3/4 cup water
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.  

Mix coconut oil and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and water and whisk until well blended. 

Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg all at once and stir until batter is smooth.

Pour into two buttered 9" round cake pans and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool and dust with confectioners sugar.