Delicious Seasonal Fall Recipes (2021)

Though summer provides an abundance of bright, fresh produce, it is the spices and deep, full flavors of seasonal autumn ingredients that makes this time of year feel so warm and cozy. Apples, pumpkins, figs, squash, and all the delicious produce in season right now are perfect in soups, salads and all things sweet and savory!

Take advantage of the cold weather and stay inside to try out some new recipes!

Drinks

Chai Spice Mule

Classic Hot Buttered Rum

Soups

Smoky Roasted Acorn Squash and Sausage Soup

Vegan Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup

Salads

Brussels Sprouts Kale Apple Salad

Fig & Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Entreès

Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna

Sausage and Cider Casserole with Apples and Sage

Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Shallots

Dessert

Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Cardamom Caramel Pear Upside Down Care

Help support local businesses and grab your seasonal produce at your local farmers market! Happy cozy cooking!

Five Fall Must-See Spots in Washington

Autumn is here! After one of the hottest summers the state has ever seen, the cool breeze and changing landscape is a welcomed change! Washington alone is an incredible spot to call home with rivers, mountains, farmlands, rainforests and beaches there is no place quite like it – but in the fall, it is something magical.

Five Fall Must-See Spots in Washington

Leavenworth

Though this little Bavarian-style village is best known as a winter holiday destination, being nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains offers breath-taking fall scenery, whether you are traveling two hours from Seattle or just three hours from Spokane. It is the perfect day or weekend trip to really get into the fall spirit! For a little extra fun, visit on the weekends this October to enjoy their Oktoberfest Market!

Kubota Garden

For a more urban fall experience, Rainier Beach’s Kubota Garden has been an autumn favorite for years. The unique part of this park is that all of the plant life in this garden is indigenous to the area, but the layout and style of the garden is Japanese. Enjoy a peaceful and beautiful afternoon stroll in this gorgeous city experience!

Spokane

Live on the east side of the state? Another breathtaking urban experience can be found in Spokane! Between the 90-acre public park that is Manito Park, the 65-acre John A. Finch Arboretum, on-campus at Gonzaga University, the Riverfront Park and a drive around Mount Spokane, there are endless fall foliage opportunities to experience in this eastern city!

Olympic Peninsula

Looking for a more removed autumn experience? The Olympic Peninsula is the perfect place to get out into the beautiful color-changing rainforests! Whether by car or hiking trails, this location will not disappoint when it comes to scenic views. For hikers, the Quinault Rain Forest and Hoh Rain Forest are the must-see trails to see before the winter months. For drivers, follow Highway 101 around these rain forests for the color-popping views!

 Mount Rainier

Though an obvious Washington State staple, this national park does not disappoint no matter the season. Between the lakes, forests and mountain views autumn is definitely a breath-takinig season to take a trip to this famous park. If you are driving, the most scenic views can be seen from the Chinook Pass roadway. If you want to experience the park on foot, the Grove of the Patriarchs is a beautiful wooden walkway that puts you right into the picturesque landscape.

Wherever you are in this beautiful state, take some time to get out and enjoy the magic of autumn in this gorgeous place we call home!

Five Ways to Make Use of Your Home’s Unused Spaces

We all have those spaces in our homes that we really wish we could do more with. Empty space under the stairs, attics or basements going unused, and awkward corners are all opportunities to utilize every inch of your home.

Here are five ways to make use of your home’s unused spaces!

Attic Suites

Probably one of the most forgotten places in a home is the attic. With organization trends gaining popularity and the minimalism trending close behind, attics are not being used as often as they have been in the past. Take advantage of all that extra space and add an additional room to your home! Though this is a larger investment, an attic suite makes the perfect kid’s room for families, guest bedroom and even office space (not to mention the added value it gives your home as well)!

A Nook Under the Stairs

The area under the stairs may be the perfect place to add some extra organization or even a workspace to your home ! If your stairs create a little nook, utilize that space by adding in a light, small desk and chair and use it as a central place to keep and organize bills, your home calendar, and any other administrative home projects. If you have a solid space under your stairs, with the help of a contractor, you could use that space to create a coat closet, small mudroom, or off-season storage space.

Cozy Corners

We all have those few corners in the house that we just do not know what to do with. For a really simple solution, plants are an excellent way to fill a corner and liven up a space! To go the extra mile, by adding a corner chair and a reading light, the space turns into a reading nook! You can also add a small shelf, table or desk to add a little more organization and workspace options for your home as well.

Basement Rec Room

Have an empty basement space? Make it the entertainment hub of your home! There are so many options when it comes to basement areas. Though they may be more of an investment, it will be worth it in the long-run. Invest in a projector and turn your basement into a home theater!  Add a pool, ping-pong, or foosball table and make your space into a game room! For a bigger project, renovate the area to give your home a beautiful guest suite.

Creative Closet Space

Transform closet spaces that are going unused by removing the door and creating a small alcove! This allows for more options to redo your closet into a more practical place. By adding a small desk and a fun office chair, you can turn your closet into a home office space. Put up some shelving and your closet becomes a small home library. For something really unique, install some bottle racks, a mini fridge and some fun lighting and turn your closet into a home bar!

Every home has its unused areas and empty corners, but with a little creativity and these helpful tips you can utilize your home to make every space unique and useful!

Five Projects That Will Add Value to Your Home This Summer

Every season provides opportunities for projects that can increase your home’s value, but it is summer that seems to be the headlining season for home improvements! The sunshine and warm air provide the perfect setting for major projects to get done that help your home’s value increase.

Here are five projects that will add value to your home this summer:

Pressure Wash Your Home

Pressure washing is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your home after a winter of rain and snow. After rinsing your home’s exterior, walkways and driveway it will look good as new! Don’t own a pressure washer? No problem! Finding a pressure washer to rent near you is a simple process.

Replace Your Siding

Though this project is always best to leave to the professionals (as it requires precise measuring, cutting and installing), the summer is the perfect time to ditch your old siding and protect your home by adding new vinyl siding. Since siding is designed to protect your home from water damage, it is important to make sure your siding is up-to-date to keep your home dry and damage-free. In addition to providing protection, new siding also adds to the appearance of your home, making the exterior look brand new!

Replace Your Windows

There really is no better time to tackle the project of replacing windows than in the summer, when it is warm and dry enough to not cause too much of an inconvenience to the process. Though this is a spendy project to invest in, cutting off the draftiness of old windows can help cut your home’s energy bill in half by better preserving the work of your home’s heating and cooling system. New windows also add major value to your home, with a high return on investment percentage when it comes to your home’s market value.

Restain Your Deck and Fencing

Show off your outdoor spaces this summer with a newly restrained deck and fencing! With summer barbecues and pool parties, this is a great project to do at the beginning of the summer season, but it will add value to your home no matter what time of the summer you do it. Staining helps to protect your outdoor surfaces from weather damage, which can be expensive to fix if your patio and fencing does not have protective coating.

Replace Your Roof

Summer is the perfect time to tackle getting a new roof if it is time to replace your old one. Though this is a big project, putting off replacing your roof makes your home vulnerable to mold and water damage which are irreversible once it happens. Help make this project as stress-free as possible by giving yourself enough time to research roofers in your area to find just the right fit for your home.

Whether the projects are big or small, take advantage of the warm weather and increase your home’s value this summer!

The Best Summer Spots Across Washington State

After the first heatwave of the summer and loosening safety restrictions this year, people are getting out of their homes and hitting the roads to enjoy the warm weather all across the state! No matter what part of the state you call home, Washington is never short on the perfect summer getaways!

Here is our list of the best summer spots across Washington state!

Northwest Washington

Olympic National Forest

Escape the heat and get lost in the trees in the Olympic National Forest, part of the Olympic National Park and surrounding the breathtaking Olympic Mountain range. With activities like hiking, fishing, horseback riding and more, it is the perfect place to explore this summer!

Southwest Washington

Long Beach

Looking for a beach experience without wanting to cross state lines? Long Beach is the perfect spot for the summer! Not only is there plenty of shopping, kid’s activities and camping options available here, but at 28-miles long, it is also the World’s Longest Drivable Beach!

Central Washington

Lake Cle Elum

Located right on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass, Lake Cle Elum is a beautiful hidden body of water just seven miles north of the city of Cle Elum. With a sandy beach, clear and cool water, and a fishing season that is open all year long, it is the perfect destination to cool off from the summer heat and enjoy breathtaking views of this mountain lake!

North Central Washington

Lake Chelan

In a little valley about 180 miles northeast of Seattle, Lake Chelan is the summer oasis everyone is looking for! This beautiful, glacier-fed body of water is cool, crystal clear, and surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Vacationers have the option of watersports, boating, a waterpark, golf courses, campsites, beautiful lodging, wine-tasting, and more! This is definitely a Washington summer must, and we recommend making this trip longer than a weekend!

Eastern Washington

Spokane Riverfront Park

If you are looking for a more urban experience, this 100-acre park right on the Spokane River is the place for you! It offers a great view of upper Spokane Falls, walkways, a carousel, gondola rides, a giant Red Wagon playground, and more! It is the perfect mix if you are looking to get some scenic views and enjoy the benefits of a big city in the summer with excellent cuisine and shopping!

We hope this list is helpful wherever you are in the state for packing up and hitting the road for your summer adventures!

How to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Celebration

It is that time of year again, with birthdays, engagements, and “Dads and Grads” the season for outdoor celebrations is in full swing! After a year apart, this spring season has been more than a breath of fresh air in getting to come together once again, but there is no doubt that outdoor gatherings will still be the most popular way to celebrate together again this year.

Make the most of your outdoor celebrations with these tips!

Seating

Though there is a good chance people will be up playing games, getting food, and walking around, make sure to provide enough seating for all of your guests. The great thing about being outside is that it gives you options to utilize nontraditional seating options like a blanket or sheet area for picnic-style seating, poufs, stools, rocking chairs, and alike. Nontraditional seating will also give your space a more unique look compared to traditional tables and chairs.

Music

Music is a must for any outdoor celebration! Remember, it does not have to be blasting loud or come from any fancy speaker set-up, since sound carries outdoors, all you need is a well-placed standard speaker. Since you do not want to be worrying about music selection in the middle of your party, create a general playlist that lasts for at least five hours. With music selection you can never go wrong going heavy on the classics, this ensures everyone feels included recognizing the songs and most classics are upbeat and perfect for the party atmosphere!

Bug Control

Nothing is more fun than a summer night celebration, but the one thing that always seems to slip the mind until it is too late is mosquito control!             Plan ahead and tackle this pesky problem before it starts by removing any standing water, plug in a fan on low (mosquitoes are weak flyers and moving air will keep them away), and having bug spray readily available for guests to use.

Lighting

For an outdoor evening party, lighting is everything. Guests do not want to be trying to eat in the dark or be blinded by bright porch lights. Getting creative with soft lighting options will help give the celebration a warm and welcoming feel. Like the seating options, outdoor events allow for you to use nontraditional lighting options to make the decorations and layout more unique to you. String lights, lanterns, candles, and tealights are great options!

Intentional Layout

One of the best things about being outdoors for a gathering is that instead of working around the layout of a home or event center, you essentially have a blank canvas to make your own! Get intentional about how you set up your party space! Have a designated space for food and drinks, an area for games, and do not forget to create conversational gathering areas that allow people to have a comfortable space to sit and talk.

Details

Whether you are throwing a backyard BBQ or an elegant outdoor engagement party, the details make all the difference! Throw pillows, drink serving trays, fresh flowers, blanket baskets, a “drink of the night” – whatever the occasion, adding your own special touch will put the party over the top!

Happy celebrating!

How to Make the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space

The sun is shining, birds are chirping, spring has sprung and we are ready to get outside! By now we have all learned how to make the most of our home space, since it has also been the office, classroom and living area for the last year, but what about the outdoor spaces? With the coming summer months, now is the perfect time to utilize your yard space!

Here’s some tips to help make the most out of your yard!

Utilize Every Inch

There is always a spot or two in an outdoor space that seems difficult to find a function for, like side yards, for example. Instead of storing your outdoor tools or trash cans there, use that space as a plant nursery, add a little bistro set to make it a secluded dining area or add a bench and a water element to create a meditation space!

Maximize Storage

No matter what size yard you have, maximizing your storage space is always essential. Keeping clutter organized and out of sight will maximize your space and keep it looking clean! Try to find outdoor pieces that are multifunctional, like outdoor sets that also include storage, that way you never have to sacrifice functional space for storage!

Implement Greenery

One of the best ways to use some of those awkward yard spots is to plant some greenery! Plants help to not only liven up an outdoor space, but they are a beautiful and simple solution for space-filler needs.

Incorporate Things You’ll Really Use

Make space for the things you love and incorporate them in your outdoor area! If you love hosting events, prioritize adding a grill and outdoor kitchen area. For mediation and yoga lovers, create a zen space or even build a small sauna for your yard. Love to cook? Add a small greenhouse to have fresh produce and herbs for your kitchen. Making your yard space a functional part of your hobbies will help you maximize your area and ensure a lot of use!

Utilize Vertical Space

Use every inch of your outdoor area by strategically organizing the yard layout, and be sure to include your vertical space! Save yard space by building a greenwall for your plants or creating a garden with a vertical plant column. Not only will this add vibrancy and color to the landscape, but it saves room in your yard!

Don’t Overdo It

Maximizing your yard does not mean you have to fill every inch of it with furniture or garden space, sometimes less is more! Adding too much can make a space look crowded and crammed. To keep your space feeling open and airy, choose a few functional pieces like a bench or a small bistro set to keep your yard from feeling too cluttered.

Add String Lights

It is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but for good reason! Hanging string lights can make any space, big or small, feel cozier and more inviting. Not only are they a functional element,  allowing you to use your yard day or night, but they can add a bit of ambiance that will highlight and elevate your space in a simple and beautiful way.

Use these helpful tips and enjoy every bit of your outdoor space this summer!

10 Simple Swaps for a More Sustainable Home

When it comes to making purchases for your household, the best option is always the one that gives you the most bang-for-your-buck. When it comes to sustainability it is a win-win situation – you save money and the environment! The stigma that living a more sustainable life involves more sacrifice and discomfort than reward could not be more untrue. In fact, most people barely notice a difference when making the switch to more environmentally-friendly products!

In anticipation for Earth Day, here are 10 simple swaps for a more sustainable household!

Non-Plastic Wrap

Swap out your aluminum foil and plastic wrap for a reusable, non-plastic option like beeswax wrap! Reusable wraps can be used just the same as any other cling-on wrap – for preserving produce, packing a sandwich, covering leftovers and more! In between uses just wash it with gentle soap and cool water and let it air-dry.They last up to a year and when it is time to replace them, simply cut it up for composting or use it as a fire-starter!

Tea Strainer

Ditch single-use tea bags and opt for using loose leaf tea! Many tea bags are not only non-biodegradable, making them bad for the environment, but many are made with harmful toxins, making them bad for you! Using a stainless steel tea ball or a tea strainer is a healthier option not only for you and the environment, but drinking loose leaf tea also allows you to buy tea in more bulk options, saving you money and ending a lot of environmental waste!

Glass Storage

Glass storage and glass tupperware are another sustainable swap that helps you and the environment! Chemicals used to make plastic storage containers can get into your food, plus they do not last as long as glass containers. Glass storage also makes it easier to buy in bulk, helping to ditch single-use food packaging items. Pro-tip: take your glass tupperware with you when you go out to eat to bring home your leftovers!

Reusable Coffee Cups

Help stop waste on-the-go with single-use coffee cups and opt for a reusable one! Though a lot of shops are making strides to be more sustainable, a lot of coffee cups cannot be recycled due to the plastic lining in the cups or lids. Bring your cup or thermos with you when you hit up your local coffee shop, some shops may give you a small discount for bringing in your own cup!

Reusable Storage Bags

Reusable storage bags are the new trend in sustainable living! Like single-use plastic bags, you can find these in all shapes and sizes. Compared to the plastic option, these reusable bags have far more functions. Since they are typically made with silicon, some of these bags allow you to not only freeze them, but cook with them as well!

Cotton Rounds

Next to the kitchen, the bathroom provides a lot of opportunities for more sustainable products. Washable cotton rounds are a great substitute and money saver for single-use cotton rounds. These work just as well for facial cleansing and makeup removal and most of them include a small garment bag so washing and reusing are easy!

Reusable Grocery Bags

This switch is another one of the most popular habits in starting to live a greener lifestyle! Opting for reusable cotton bags over plastic bags is an easy way to help prevent waste. One of the most helpful ways to start and keep this habit is having a designated spot in your car for your bags and getting into the habit of putting your bags back in that spot once your groceries are unloaded to ensure you always have them!

Reusable Water Bottles

We are almost at the point where you could stand out if you are not using a reusable water bottle! Not only do plastic water bottles waste money, but from production to disposal, they are very harmful for the environment. Opt for a home water purifier and invest in a reusable water bottle to ditch single-use plastic water bottles!

Cloth Napkins/Rags

One of the most-used kitchen items is paper towels. Save some money and the planet and opt for cloth! Cloth napkins, rags and towels can be used with just as much convenience as paper towels and they are reusable!

Soap Bars

Avoid all the plastic waste that comes with plastic soap dispensers and opt for bar soap! Not only are there more options to support local businesses with bar soap, but most of them have more functional uses than a soap dispenser. A lot of soap bars can be used for hands, face and body!

Living a more sustainable life does not happen overnight, but with small, simple changes we can help divert a lot of waste and save money doing it!

Quintessential Spring Hiking Gear to Have in Your Arsenal

Lately we’ve been on the topic of the great outdoors. Now that I have given you my must-stop-spots for spring, along with some invigorating hikes for the winter, this blog post I’ve decided to let you in on some of my favorite essential gear for the rainy season. 


Whatever distance you are hiking, there are a few items that must be brought. The most obvious would be a backpack, preferably with a rain cover. This will allow you to bring the true essentials detailed down below.


Water, though seemingly everywhere in the PNW, is a must-have when on a hiking excursion. Often times, river and stream water is OK to drink if filtered. To ensure you are staying safe and away from any parasites, it’s always best to bring your own. 


Bringing a map, headlamp, and first aid kit starts becoming more necessary the longer the hike. As a good rule of thumb, stick to packing these items for any hike ranging over five miles long. In addition to these three, packing a way to start fire (matches, lighter, etc.), some extra food, and a knife can be a life saver, literally. 


Now that we’ve gotten the boring safety items out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff. When it comes to the spring season, rain is almost guaranteed. With this, we want to prepare properly and avoid wet feet and cold shivers. A solid pair of water-proof boots can aid with the first problem, with a water proof outer-layer solving the next.


Trekking poles, though not used by everyone, can be helpful with avoiding slips and tumbles of freshly unburied land after the snow melt. In addition to grip, trekking poles allow you test the depth of puddles along with the stability of the upcoming path.


I hope this helped you better prepare for getting outside and enjoying the weather. Let me know if you have any questions or additional recommendations! 

Five Easy Tricks to Help Get Your Home Organized

As the cold starts to thaw and warm weather is just around the corner, it is almost time for spring cleaning! Since this year was one spent almost entirely in the house, there is no doubt that shelves, corners and closets have started accumulating piles of miscellaneous items, growing larger each month. Spring cleaning is a perfect way to make your home feel fresh, organized and overall more enjoyable to live in!

Here are five helpful tips for organizing your home!

Create a Homebase

Now that your house is an office, a classroom and a home, now more than ever it is important to make sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle! To make things easy, create a homebase where you keep sticky pads, a calendar and a pen, so that you never have to go searching when you need them. In order to save space, using adhesive pockets on the inside of cabinet doors is a great solution to keeping countertops clear and still having one central location to keep track of important dates and tasks.

Opt for Drawer Organizers

Get the most out of your drawer spaces by using drawer organizers! Though it may seem easier to just throw things in one large open drawer space, dividers actually help make the space more manageable and productive to use. Dividers allow you to see all of the items at once, as opposed to having to dig around for what you need, and mixing and matching different sized organizers allows you to make sure everything has a place when you need to find something.

Learn to File Fold

One of the most popular organization hacks right now is file folding! File folding is a type of fold that allows you to stack your items upright and in a line compared to piling your items on top of one another. This allows you to be able to see everything at one time without having to dig under piles for what you are looking for. You can use this method all throughout your home with your clothes, dish towels, sheets, and bath towels! If you want to take it a step further, you can use file folding to easily color code your drawers and shelves as well!

Switch to Clear Containers

Kitchen counters and pantry spaces are always subject to clutter and disorganization, clear containers are a simple and easy fix to help get things in order. Clear containers allow you to see at a glance your food storage, making it easier to grab what you need without much fuss. For your kitchen counters, using clear containers to store and neatly arrange treats can add a little style to your kitchen space as well!

Designate a Drop Zone

We all have that corner next to the front door where things like shoes, umbrellas, shopping bags, jackets and other miscellaneous items end up in a jumbled mess, creating a “drop zone” is the perfect way to help keep it controlled! Once you designate a spot that works best for your “drop zone” make the most of the space by incorporating a storage bin, shoe rack or shelves to keep your space organized when you are on the move!

Take advantage of your spring cleaning to get organized and get the most out of your home!