Friday, October 9, 2015

Butternut Squash Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Are you always looking for new ways to add more vegetables to your dinner?

With my nine children I am always looking for news ways to slip in a little more veggies here and there.

Since we are still in our Focusing on Fall series, I wanted to share how you can add butternut squash to your pasta dish to make it tastier and more nutritious.

In fact, you can use butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash or even pumpkin if you'd like. It just depends on your preference. And since it is fall,  they are definitely easy on the budget since they are in season right now.

Being a busy mom of a large family I often will grab something easy like Bertolli's Tomato and Basic Sauce because it is quick and has Tuscan- inspired deliciousness that all of my family enjoys. It's a great base in dishes and can be used in all kinds of other recipes from stews, soups, and casseroles.

Bertolli is currently participating in the Taste of Italy Campaign
 at Kroger stores which is going on September 23 through October 11th
so be sure to visit them and check it out while you can!

Here is the simple recipe:


2 lbs  cooked sausage or shrimp
3 jars Bertolli Tomato and Basil sauce
1-2 cups cooked and pureed squash or pumpkin (to your liking)
mixed California style blend vegetables (optional)
Italian spices


1. Saute the onion and garlic and then add in the meat or shrimp.

2. Add sauce and puree and heat to a simmer. Then add veggies.

3. Top with garlic salt, pepper, and spices.

4. Boil your choice of pasta as directed and then serve on top of it.

5. Garnish and add grated cheese or even hot sauce if you like it spicy!

Serve with a yummy salad!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bertolli®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fun Family Fall Ideas - Making Memories Because Childhood Counts!

More than ever before families are spending less and less time together. It is so important to spend time together not just doing life but also making some fun memories along the way. This helps to cultivate strong relationships and also gives parents another path to grow closer with each child.

There have been many times that God used our time together and had a child share what is on their heart. How precious it is when they open up and it is definitely not something to take for granted!

So here are a few fun fall ideas in keeping with our Focus on Fall Series:

1.Visit an Orchard.

Every year we like to go visit our local orchard. It has a ton of other attractions other than just picking apples. It also has a corn maze, petting zoo where you can feed all kinds of animals, pumpkin patch, and more. We especially like to go there just to sample their fresh apple cider and donuts that you can only get once a year---such a treat!

2.Bake an apple/pumpkin pie.

Baking together can be fun, just don't stress the mess and keep it simple. Don't forget to roast the pumpkins seeds too:

3.Watch a Fall Movie.

Every year we have certain movies we like to pull out around this time. Start a tradition and pick some for your family too and don't forget the popcorn!

4. Make a bonfire and make s'mores.

My husband likes to be in charge of this. I gladly oblige since as a mom I can get a little crazy knowing the kids might be too close to the fire. You can also roast marshmallows and hot dogs too.

5. Walk, run, roll through the leaves!

The other day me and my 1 year old daughter had so much fun crunching leaves under our feet and squeezing them to make crunching noises in our hands. It was all new to her and I loved every second of it. Every year our boys will rake piles for jumping into or make a maze of leaves just for fun. It's so pretty to see all the changing colors of October!

And don't forget to pick some acorns:

6. Play some fall games.

A quick search online will yield ton of results but you can find some great ones here.

7. Have a Harvest Party.

We have shared about this before,  you can read all about it at this post.

8. Drink a pumpkin spiced latte or hot steaming cocoa.

Sometimes it is the simplest of things that satisfy, isn't it? This is one of them! So pull up a chair and some cozy blankets and spark up some good conversation.

9. Go on a Hayride.

Our local parks offer hayrides, what a fun way to enjoy the season!

10. Visit  a Vintage Baseball game.

Or any game for that matter. We have a vintage baseball team in our area so we would go and watch them play. It was neat watching them play in costumes!

11. Play board games.

Monopoly, Scrabble, Apples to Apples--whatever you can think of, just be sure to have fun!

12. Take a ride out to see the foliage.

Sometimes a nice car drive is just what you need to get a fresh perspective of the season.

13. Cuddle up with a good book, donuts and apple cider.

If your children are little, check out some good books at the library and cuddle up under a blanket and read to them.

14. Play some fall music and decorate the house.

Make it a family affair. My children always took part in this when they were younger. They would always say "I remember this decoration." and have fond memories.

15. Go to a pumpkin patch and pick the perfect pumpkin.

There is something about pumpkins that children love--don't forget to let them choose!

16. Make your own scarecrow.

Scarecrow, Doll, Face, Head, Closeup

This is simple to do: just grab a pair of dad's old jeans and an old flannel shirt and stuff with hay. You can find a detailed tutorial here.

Be sure to make some fun fall memories with your family!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wise Woman Fall Linkup!


A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

And since this is the second week that we are Focusing on Fall with a series, we would love for you to share your posts on anything, old or new, with a fall theme. Recipes, decor, fall fun, and whatever else you can think of as long as it has to do with fall!

Now if you do join us we only require one thing, PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us:

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

You can enter below:

Fall Fashion Fun and Inspiration!

I recently came across this poem by Robert Frost:


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

October is such a great time to pull out the sweaters, scarves and boots. The jackets and gloves and warm fuzzy afghans.

Just last week I started transitioning my wardrobe to accommodate the cooler weather. So I thought it would be fun to share some pretty finds that I adore:?

I was recently perusing Zulily and found the Reborn Collection:

(this post contains affiliate links)

I really love the pop of red and color on this dress!

Red Garden Sleeveless Handkerchief Maxi Dress - Plus

This one looks soft and I think the layers at the bottom really give it a feminine touch. 

 Winter White Cable-Knit Ruffle-Hem Top 

I am actually starting to really like blue more lately and this damask pattern really stands out. 

 Blue Damask Ruffle-Hem Tunic 

I have always been a ruffle girl at heart so I had to stick this in here. 

Charcoal Damask Tiered Ruffle Tunic

Along with this pretty cardigan!

Charcoal Tiered Ruffle Cardigan - Plus

These patterns remind me of the Pioneer Woman.

Charcoal Maxi Skirt - Women

Charcoal Ornate Handkerchief Dress

You can find these dresses and tops at Zulily!

Don't forget the scarves!

I couldn't resist sharing these arm warmers! Sometimes you might want that extra layer of warmth but still have your fingers free.

Extra warm boots to match just about anything and comfortable too!

Boot socks will keep legs extra warm.

You can find them in all different colors. 

We hope you enjoyed our day of fall fashion fun!

What are your favorite fashion ideas for fall?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Self Examination is Crucial

"The devil doesn't come to you
 with his red face and horns,
he comes to you disguised
 as everything you ever wanted."

Such a powerful quote, wouldn't you agree?

I saw this online the other day and it made me think about our sins and weaknesses and how at times how we allow them to grow without putting them into check. 

It can be anything in our lives that we allow before God.

For some it might be:


-praise from man

-the pursuit of money and materialism

- getting things done our way

- power or influence

-putting ourselves and our desires first

You name it--so many times what our desires, even with good or noble intentions,  can be the very thing that leads us away from God. 

Are you being led away from God?

The Bible talks about self examination. How critical this is to a Christian to make sure he is on the right path and being careful to not sway left or right. 

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!  -2 Cor 13:5

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 1 Cor 11:28-32

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:3-5

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!  Lamentations 3:40

Is there something in your life that you are not laying down to the Lord? 

Is it something that has gone out of control?

Is it something that you have a hard time letting go of?

Return back to Him and forsake the old sinful ways of the flesh. 

JC Ryle said this about self-examination:

"One thing essential to growth in grace is diligence int he use of private means of grace. By these I understand such means as  a man must use by himself alone, and no one can use for him. I include under this head private prayer, private reading of the Scriptures, and private meditation and self-examination. The man who does not take pains about these three things must never expect to grow. Here are the roots of true Christianity. Wrong here, and a man is wrong all the way through." 

Friends,  do not allow Satan to get a foothold!