So now that the weather is actually getting cooler here in the south, I have been pulling out my warmer recipes. I just purchased an instant pot from the Cyber Monday deals, and have loved getting to put it to good use. I really wanted something I could put meals together with pretty quickly because I knew with a new baby coming early next year, there just wouldn’t be a lot of time each day to cook some of the things I cook now.

The first meal I made was chicken and rice (like the fresh kind, not the kind with cans of soup dumped in the crockpot) and I was shocked it turned out so well. Especially because I had never used a pressure cooker before, but it was so good! Ian loved it, and it helped me gain some confidence to try out more things using the instant pot this week. I will round up some of my favorite recipes for it as we continue using, but for now, I wanted to share some favorites we’ve been eating lately that don’t require an instant pot…

  • Creamy Mushroom Ravioli – Not healthy, but sooo good!
  • Chicken and Rice – There is an instant pot version and a regular stove top or crockpot version
  • Brussel Sprouts Salad – I am making this to go with Christmas Dinner this year (Lisa Allen always has the best recipes, so I am always game for trying anything she puts on her blog)
  • Rosemary Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner – I posted this last week, but in case you missed it, I thought I would share it again 🙂

This jumper is seriously my favorite right now. I’m a little bummed because after I wore it in these pictures, I realized my bump was just too big to fit into it anymore, but cheers to having something to wear next year, right? I’ve always been worried about looking a little boxy in jumpers, but this one fit great and I liked olive color for fall. I paired it with my favorite flats right now and a basic white tee. You can shop it here.

This year, I did minimal decorating. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t have the energy or nesting has made me want to declutter like crazy. I sold off about three large rubber containers of things and only put up one tree compared to five. Yes, five… It was a little much for our house. I am still planning on putting a small one upstairs in the boy’s playroom with special ornaments, but to be honest, it is so refreshing to have “just enough” downstairs.

What are you doing this year? Christmas explosion or just enough to make it feel cozy?

Yesterday was the first day of Advent, and I was really behind on making or doing something with Cove. I loved this Ann Voskamp one but didn’t order it in time. Instead, Ian and I decided to do Desiring God/John Piper’s daily readings and I made square cards which I’m having printed from our favorite (social print studio) for Cove to pull out of envelopes each day. Each one has 1-2 verses to read together as a family and then correlates with the longer readings that Ian and I will be doing together.

I am really excited about these advent cards and verses because it’s something we’ve never done before and will be a great new tradition. I wanted to share the download with you of the cards I created in case you and your family want to start. I realize that they aren’t correlated with tiny gifts, activities or presents that kids open each day, but that wasn’t our goal for doing advent together. I am sure there are some other great resources out there if that’s what you are looking for. But, if you’re looking for a simple way for your family to read and be reminded of what gospel is about, feel free to use these.

Download the Advent verse cards here

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

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