A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Up, Up & Away


We traveled to Hawaii yesterday as a big family (my parents are leading up the trip) for a little rest & relaxation. I’m so excited that even a few hours of sleep, a 4am wake up call and a five hour plane ride with two littles who were bright eyed and bushy tailed didn’t deter in the least. Above, a shot of Liv and me just before heading home from Ireland, Spain and Morocco when she was one and a half (little did I know that Taylor was actually also in this pic too, though the size of a poppy seed ;)).

Today I thought I’d share my favorite traveling-as-a-family posts shared here:

Tips for traveling with 2 in tow part 1 & part 2

Tips for traveling with toddlers

Tips for traveling with a baby

Tips for family travel on a small budget 

And a what other bloggers have to say on the subject:

a classic travel uniform (for mom)

backpacking with kids

traveling with kids forces you to slow down, meet great people and explore in a new way

maps, apps & naps (I love the idea of physically mapping out a trip before a flight with a child)

road trip in a box (would be fun to diy)

.99 store toys to wrap up individually for fun travel unwrapping

another 10 tips for traveling with a baby

10 road trip activities for kids

I have a nice little line up of posts for you while I’m away. I’ll be sure to check in to say hi, too. :-)

PS you can check in on our travel photos and kiddo updates on Instagram, and all travel adventure posts on this blog categorized right over here.

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Happy Birthday, Kev | PepperDesignBlog.com

To a handsome, considerate and loving husband and father – happy birthday! We love you so much. Thanks for being my sweetie and my partner in life. xoxo

Happy Birthday, Kev | PepperDesignBlog.com P

Photos: a date at the Del Mar racetracks, celebrating our 7th anniversary this past June, napping with daddy

Keeping Up With the Summer Harvest, Part 2

Summer Harvest Recipes | Summer Tomato Tart | PepperDesignBlog.com

We still have squash coming out of our eyeballs! I thought I’d share a few more ways we are creatively using up summer vegetables at their peak. It’s amazing how delicious and fresh in-season fruits and veggies are – and when they’re grown from your own garden, added bonus (though the farmer’s market and CSA box and I are best friends, too). Part 1 (with ideas on soup, frittatas and more) over here.

My favorite go-to vegetable solution is roasting (I sung its praise and offered my favorite tips here) but, oh man, I cannot emphasize how much I love a good roasted carrot or string bean or piece of squash. All of that carmel-y goodness that comes out of the oven? Gah.

So, with that roasted goodness in mind I have a few favorite dinner ideas:

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Bruschetta. I love to take roasted squash (or zucchini, bell peppers) and mix it with fresh tomatoes and grated parmesan. Toss back into the oven on sliced baguettes and broil for a few minutes to create a super simple and delicious bruschetta. Fresh herbs optional, but I love a little course sea salt sprinkled on top at the end.

Here’s an easy one, too: toss those roasted veggies into a blender with hum drum canned tomato sauce and a little cream.

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Reheat on the stove for possibly one of the tastiest and most flavorful pasta sauces you can dream up (something about that roasting…).

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Finally, if I have any of that amazing pasta sauce left over, I’ll often throw it back into the blender and mix it with broth (veggie or chicken) to make a really rich soup.

Summer Harvest Recipes | EASY Roasted Squash & Tomato Soup | PepperDesignBlog.com

So easy! Really, you’ll get all of the flavor of a soup that has been simmering all day from roasted veggies + broth + cream in a blender. I heat up the mixture on the stove just before serving, though I’ll admit that a gazpacho version of this with more chunky tomato and served cold is equally delectable.

You could try the above with any roasted veggies. Of course, you can also just slice up that day’s harvest, roast and serve a la carte or on top of a salad. Mmmm.

Summer Harvest Recipes | EASY Roasted Squash & Tomato Soup | PepperDesignBlog.com

Squash! Who loves squash!

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Liv is trying so hard to keep those squash slices on her eyes that you’re missing all of her adorable giggles. :-)

Psst jump over to a recipe index here, and part one to this little series here.

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