This and That


  • Caleb had a great birthday. He loved his RKT cake.
  • This is a great resource for parents. They cover so many topics and there are free videos, worksheets, a podcast, and more.
  • I am reading this book with Caleb. I really enjoy our reading time together.
  • I did a crazy hike on Saturday up Emigration Canyon. It was 3800 feet elevation gain and I had to hike through a bunch of bushes at the top. Worth it though.


  • New this week, a recipe we make almost every week, a slow cooker recipe, the perfect fall cookies, and a fun and easy breakfast!
  • SO cozy! This one too!
  • The fall colors are GORGEOUS right now! I can’t get enough!
  • I am craving these! They are my favorite! FYI, you can find cinnamon chips here.
  • Love this color for fall!
  • This is a fun cookbook!
  • Love this for the kitchen! Also, these towels, this egg tray, and this serving tray.
  • This is a good half zip and I love this cardigan.
  • Date night ideas that won’t break the bank!
  • Got out my favorite slippers this week. They are so cozy!
  • All things fall! Have you tried any of them?
  • I turn 40 in February and I think a trip with a few girlfriends would be a fun way to celebrate. Any suggestions? I want a relaxing vacation with good food:)
  • I shared a kitchen tour on Instagram. I saved it to my highlight bubbles, if you are interested in checking it out.
  • Tomorrow is the first day of October, how did that happen? Time to bake this every single week!
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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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This and That

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  1. Hi! I do enjoy your posts and recipes. This is the first time I noticed that one of your boys is wearing a Cubs shirt. ⚾️ I was born and raised in Chicago and am a lifelong Cubs fan. Recently retired and residing in rural VA. Now that we have more time to cook from scratch, I’ll try to remember to send a photos of your recipes that we make. Thanks for sharing them.
    Have a beautiful autumn,

    1. Hi Laura! I love Chicago, it is such a great city. I grew up in central IL and would visit the city often. My boys like the Cubs, but now they are cheering for Bryant on the Giants:) I am glad you are enjoying our recipes!

  2. 1. Hatchet was the first book my now 11 yr old son listened to together when he was having trouble in school 3 years ago and I homeschooled for a year. It was amazing, he got into reading, we listened to and read lots of other books together. Anyways, that book has a special place in my heart.

    2. Thank you for sharing the parenting website! I am struggling with all the topics listed and can’t wait to read everything. How did you know??

    3. Weird but true: 40 has been my absolute favorite age so far. I was kind of dreading it and did not want any fanfare. I woke up on my 40th birthday with an unexpected sense of accomplishment—like I had arrived in life, lol. I have had a new attitude about life since! For example, I really don’t worry about making mistakes or what other people think anymore. Like I said, weird but true.

    4. I look forward to these posts every Thursday. And I tried the brown butter zucchini pasta dinner. It was amazing, and my kids were very pleasantly surprised, lol!

    Thank you for sharing all your goodness in this crazy world! You show us the beauty in life!

    1. Also, I know the zucchini recipe was not part of your post. I was just excited to tell you how much we loved it.

    2. I am glad you loved reading the Hatchet with your son. Caleb is really enjoying it.

      Smarter Parenting is such a good site. I hope you find it helpful!

      I am actually looking forward to 40. Great advice!

      Thanks for being here, we appreciate you following along and for your sweet comments.

  3. hey y’all- great list! Yummy food and cute clothes. I am from Arkansas and there are such pretty places to stay there( my husband and I live in Oklahoma right now- but would love to move back some day) Devils Den State Park in West Fork is so nice. They have cabins. You can do lots of things there hiking etc. That is just one place.

  4. I start officially baking all things pumpkin tomorrow…can’t wait.
    I just did a stock up trip to TJ’s for many of the fall products. I am not ashamed to say I purchased four…yep…4 four jars of Cinnamon Bun Spread. It is so delicious. I am going to try spreading it on cinnamon roll dough as the filling and see what I get. It is one of those things, much like Nutella that is easy to just eat with a spoon.I do hope they make it a permanent product available all year long.
    FYI…my TJ’s had no pumpkin butter. I was told that there was some problem at the manufacturing level regarding the jars? seems odd but none of the TJ”s in my are have pumpkin butter. I hope that changes soon. I need to stock up.
    Thanks for all the great links. I always seem to spend money after your This & That posts!

    1. Bring on the pumpkin! I need to check out all of the fall goodies! I am glad you enjoy our This and That posts every week:)

  5. For my 40th, my husband and I went to Victoria Island in BC, Canada (from the Midwest)–we went in late October. It was pretty easy to get to, and the island was gorgeous and laid back. We spent time in both Victoria and Tofino. Tofino was my favorite because it was tiny and gorgeous with unbelievable food (we stayed at the Wickannish Inn–the restaurant there is divine, as was Wolf in the Fog). And the drive there from Victoria was next level beautiful. Victoria was fun too–we ate some great food and had fun exploring, especially Buchart Gardens.

  6. Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice coffee is fantastic! I don’t drink my coffee sweetened so don’t like sweetened creamers. This coffee, with half and half is fantastic! Need to buy several before they’re gone! No pumpkin cream cheese at my TJ, I have to drive over an hour to get to the closest one, very sad!

  7. Hatchet is awesome! If you love Gary Paulson, he wrote Winterdance. It tells his true-life experience mushing in the Iditarod. It’s written for adults and a great read.

  8. Charleston SC !!!! foodie experience with beautiful downtown , history galore , southern and friendly , great shopping and a beach . Oh and beautiful accommodations! Ha…. I don’t work for the chamber but lived 2 hours from there for many years.