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Pomegranate & thyme vodka spritzer

This past weekend we had a few friends over to our house for a little holiday celebration and we had the best time.  I made a few yummy holiday cocktails, we ate pizza off of paper plates, and the kids ran around like wild animals.  It was perfect.  Messy, loud, warm and laid back.  My favorite kind of night.

I LOVE having people in our home.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  But I can tell you that without a doubt entertaining in our current rental house has been challenging for me.  Mainly, because it’s pushed me to reassess how I entertain and why.

Since we’re living in a temporary rental (more on that another day), a lot of our furniture is still in storage, I have no idea where most of my serving pieces are, and let’s just say that things are a little……well, tight.  So having friends or family over doesn’t quite look the way it used to.  Think less fine china, more…..Chinet.

But as it turns out, none of that stuff really mattered.  My friends and family aren’t coming over to see how well decorated our living room is, or what Pinterest recipe I recreated.  They’re coming over to see US.  They’re coming over to share a part of our world, messy or beautiful, large or cramped.  They are just coming over to be with us.  It’s as simple as that.

I know at times we (including me) can get so caught up in wanting our homes to look a certain way, or to serve a meal that will knock everyone’s socks off.  And truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s ok to feel proud of your home, or wanting to create a special experience for your guests.  But the problem is when we ONLY show this side our world.

If we only open our hearts and our homes to people when our life is feeling “perfect”, then we’re only sharing a small part of who we are.

Real, authentic entertaining is about welcoming people into your WHOLE world, no matter what that looks like.

So for me this weekend, that meant welcoming my friends over to our little rental, where we let the kids run wild and we ate pizza off of paper plates.  We put on some great music (to drown out said wild animals ;), lit a few candles, and sat around laughing and enjoying a few cocktails together.

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Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup

Winter has officially arrived here in Chicago, which means the only things on my menu these days are soups, stews, and maybe a few cookies (testing them out for santa of course ;).  This time of year always has me craving warm and cozy comfort food.  I want everything hot, in a bowl, and bonus

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Kale and brussel sprout salad

Lillian and I just returned home from a wonderful “girl’s night” in the city with my mom.  They both have birthdays that fall around Thanksgiving, so we planned a special day in the city, just the three of us, to celebrate. It’s hard to get time away with just us “girls”.  With lots of other

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Roasted delicata squash risotto

If you follow along with Grace in the Crumbs on Instagram, you may have read about my most recent trip to Whole Foods.  Not one of my better parenting moments.  I was headed to the store to get the ingredients for this roasted delicata squash risotto.  But as it turned out, I left with a

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My favorite clean beauty products

Being healthy and feeling good in my body is more than just being mindful of what I eat.  As conscious as I am with what I put in my body, I’m equally as mindful with what I put ON my body.  Trying my hardest to only use products that are free from artificial fragrances, dyes,

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Pumpkin pancakes with a whipped maple brown butter

If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you know that we are crazy about pancakes in this house.  We can’t get enough.  We have them at least once a week, and it is by far my favorite morning.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret why…. If pancakes are being

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Cauliflower gratin

The fall has to be my favorite season to be in the kitchen.  I don’t know if it’s because so many of my favorite foods are in season; squash, apples, pumpkin and of course cauliflower.  Or if it’s because my oven always seems to be on and something warm and delicious is on its way. 

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Vegan chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

I’d like to think that for the most part JonPaul and I have a pretty good balance in our life.  Being present as parents with our little guys, making time for friends and family, and even making sure to carve out time for each other.  But this week, man, it was a doozy and our

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