pumpkin snack bars.

if you are anything like me
pumpkin season makes your soul smile.
the scent. the taste. everything about pumpkins is just glorious.

to kick off the season.
patrick & i threw together some pumpkin snack bars.
they were outstandingly tasty & fun for a toddler to get his hands into.

i love finding recipes that patrick & i can make together.
having a toddler in the kitchen is just so much fun.

and while it can get messy.

and sometimes {read: all the time} recipe directions are not followed.

and dirty little fingers touch all the ingredients.

and one pinch of sugar, mama?
turns into ten handfuls of sugar.

and then ten double fistfuls of sugar. on top of that.

even with all that.
the wonder. the exploration. the intrigue.
of a toddler in the kitchen is just the best.

so even though the recipe was short 1/8 of a cup of brown sugar.

we still carried on. 

ok. thats enough little mister.
{it was just before dinner time}

thats enough. patrick. that is enough.
{mentioned dinner was spoiled.}

our measurements were not totally accurate.
but thats ok with toddler friendly recipes.

because what was lacking in ingredients
was made up for with an extra dose of childish love.

so you are probably wondering about these bars . . .

all you need is
3 cups of trader joe's pumpkin o's cereal.
1/2 cup of nestle tollhouse pumpkin spice chips.
1/2 cup of raisins. 
1/4 cup of honey.
1/2 stick of butter.
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.

combine the butter. honey. & brown sugar. in a microwave safe bowl.
melt in one minute increments. for three minutes total. stirring in between.

add the vanilla to the bowl & whisk together.
it will be a bubbly & extremely hot caramel. 

pour in the three cups of pumpkin o's & stir until they are covered with the caramel.
add in the raisins. the cinnamon. & half of the pumpkin chips.
stir well.

line an 8 x 8 pan with tin foil. then grease the foil to ensure the bars don't stick.
pour the mixture into the lined pan & pat down with a spatula.
sprinkle the rest of the pumpkin chips on top.

the next step is the really hard part . . .
put the dish in the fridge for 2-3 hours to cool & harden.

isn't that just torture?!
worth the wait. i promise.

because after they set. you have some delicious pumpkin snack bars to munch on.
let me tell you. they really are a yummy fall treat.
and totally tot approved.


an elegant baby shower.

one of my favorite things to do is party plan.
it is just so fun to create a beautiful table. a delicious menu. & watch it all come together. 

whats even more fun is planning a bash with a bunch of your best girlfriends.
now that is a real treat. 

a group of us hosted a shower for one of our dear friends, shannon.
she is having her first baby girl in just a few weeks. 
we have prayed for this baby. we have hoped for this baby.
we cannot wait to hold this sweet little baby!

planning a shower for shannon was so special.
and we all thought it turned out just perfectly. 
take a peak.

the table was a mixture of antique silver. driftwood. & pinks.
the perfect combination of feminine. rustic. elegance.

i just adore the vintage baby cup filled to the brim with sweet treats. 

fresh blooms are a shower necessity. 
i love mixing in roses. ivy. & other greens.

are you just dying over this crystal baby bottle & teddy bear?
how impossibly sweet are they?!

little accents like the pink bow around the teddy really make it sweet.
it is a simple way to really emphasize the gender of the baby.
if this were a boy shower. a blue ribbon.
it the gender was a surprise. a white or yellow ribbon.

one of my favorite details of this shower were these cookies . . .

the scallops. the dresses. the details.
they are quite possibly the most beautiful {and delicious} cookies i have ever seen.

i would love to take credit for them . . . but i can't.
sweet holly from holly's sweet hobby made them for us.
she is an absolute doll to work with. i highly recommend using her.

animal crackers are always a darling way to celebrate a baby shower.
they are just so perfect.

holly also helped us knock it out of the park with these sweet treats . . .
personalized baby blocks.
and get this. they are actually rice krispie treats!
is your heart skipping a beat?! 

my heart was bursting at the seams when these blocks arrived.
i kept checking my front steps for the delivery man. 
and when that box was opened i just melted. literally melted. 

i love how this cake turned out.
and {spoiler alert} it was a breeze to whip together.

to save time. i cheated a little bit on the cake.
remember i have a busy toddler & a newborn to care for. 
time. is. precious.

i had gigi's cupcakes bake the cake & frost it for me.
this truly saved me time & clean up & stress. 
game changer. totally worth it.

plus. then i just got to do the really fun part . . .
the decorating.

some chopped pistachios. some raspberry macaroons. 
some white chocolate bark. 
& a big. beautiful. bloom. 
and you have yourself one stunning cake.

i found a cake similar to this on pinterest & used it as my inspiration.
so simple. so fun. anyone can do this. 
{and your guests will be easily wow-ed}

i really loved the naked frosting technique. 
i thought it would add to the rustic charm element of the table.

another treat of hosting a soiree is getting to break out your silver.
its not very often that i get to use my silver flatware . . .
so when the opportunity arises. i take advantage.
it is worth the work of polishing.

us girls decided to keep the menu super simple.
totally delicious. but super simple. 

some green grapes.
the worlds best chopped salad {recipe to come}.
& chicken salad croissants. 

i have to say. i think that my girlfriends 
& i put together a wonderful shower to celebrate baby girl kula. 
the best part is that is truly was so simple & completely cost conscious.

shannon. we can hardly wait to meet your sweet little bundle.
she is already covered in prayer & lots of love. 

a birth story. pierce emory mills.

oh. it has been a wonderful year.
we welcomed our second boy into the world.
allow me to introduce to you
mister pierce emory mills.

you are so loved. sweet baby boy. 

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