Fall means birthdays in our house. All three kids have fall birthdays, plus both me and my mom, so we eat a LOT of cake between the end of October and Thanksgiving. In an effort to simplify the kids’ birthdays, we adopted a policy of “partying on the evens” which means we will throw a birthday party for the kids on their even year birthdays. On odd year birthdays, they can choose an activity that we do together as a family.
This year our oldest daughter is turning TEN, so she decided she wants to have a pool party. We love using Paperless Post for creating beautiful yet easy electronic invitations with no annoying advertisements like the other popular electronic invite site. I’ve been happily using Paperless Post for many years and plan to continue to do so. They have several free designs, but you can upgrade to beauties by designers like Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Company for a nominal fee. On my list of to-dos for today is to enlist my daughter’s help in choosing her invitation design and have her write her guest list.
Parenting hack: SPECIAL TIME
SPECIAL TIME, the cure for what ails you. I recently read about this parenting hack called “special time” and started practicing it with my kids. They LOVE it!!! What is it? It’s fifteen minutes of undivided attention with your child, where they can pick the activity. It’s where you put that phone away, stop multitasking, and spend a small chunk of QUALITY time with your kiddo. I will admit that this was initially difficult for me. I’m so used to multi-tasking, and being “around” but not really present with my kids. I think that’s the default in how we spend the majority of time with our kids. But “special time” has revolutionized the way we interact. The cool thing is that kids can ask for special time when they need it. I’ve had some pretty neat conversations with them during special time. It left such an impression on my son that he wrote a whole book about our special time last week at school!!!! I was so excited when he gave me that book. It totally melted my heart.
I recently finished “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. People. It was sooooooo good! It’s a non-fiction memoir about her life as a research scientist, and also it’s a lot about plants. It’s really beautifully written. It consumed me for the whole time I was reading it, and I didn’t want it to end!
“A beautifully written memoir about the life of a woman in science, a brilliant friendship, and the profundity of trees. Terrific.”—Barack Obama
What to eat this fall:
We (and when I say “we” I actually mean “my husband” hahaha) have been making this recipe for over a decade, and it’s a family favorite. It’s linguine with butternut squash, bacon, and goat cheese. The creaminess of the squash combined with the saltiness of the bacon and slight sourness of the goat cheese create such a delicious and hearty meal that even my kids love. When using a whole butternut squash (instead of the pre-cut and bagged cubes), I will steam the whole thing for 5 minutes in my instant pot to make peeling and cutting easier. Do you have a family favorite recipe for this time of year? I’d love it if you shared.