Vegetable Quinoa Skillet

Vegetable Quinoa Skillet|The Local Taste Before I dive right in to this new dinner favorite I have to talk about our past week. So, last week was CRAZY busy for us. I started my new job at The Container Store ( this store!) and our anniversary was October 15th. I still can’t believe we have been married three years. That makes me feel incredibly old. Craig did a awesome job of surprising me with these perfect fall flowers and a surprise dinner to Rolf & Daughters! The food was incredible and the atmosphere was perfect. We will definitely be going back!

1901410_10100178084604458_1200566416875548729_n How beautiful are these flowers?? I’m a sucker for fall floral arrangements. This weekend we went back home and stayed with my in laws, went to a wedding, and got to catch up with friends. I love weekends like that. Now, onto this super addicting new dish that we have added to our favorite dinners. It features one of my favorite things to cook with, quinoa! … 

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How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Today’s Fab Friday post is from Interior Designer, Amanda Gates. She’s sharing some fabulous tips on how to prepare your home for winter!

October is the first full month that introduces us to fall. The leaves begin to turn, pumpkins are abundant and a slight chill brings out our winter coats. Many of us are ready to welcome lovely October temperatures for fun outdoor activities, but it’s the perfect time to take care of home winterization needs before Old Man Winter hits.

 Here is a checklist of seventeen things to prepare your home for fall:
  • Clean Gutters –Inspect and clean and don’t forget downspouts.
  • Windows and Doors – Vacuum window seals and doorways. Seal gaps and cracks with weather stripping and caulk.
  • Winterize outdoor plumbing – Remove hoses from spigots, cover faucets with hose bib covers and look for any leaks that may need repair to prevent freezing.
  • Roof – Have your roof inspected for damaged shingles.
  • HVAC system – Have your HVAC system serviced so it’s ready for winter heating.
  • Change all filters – Change HVAC filters through out the home. Vacuum returns. Change refrigerator filters, vacuum filters, and any other items in your home that has filters.
  • Have fireplaces serviced – Have your fireplace serviced to prevent unwanted fires.
  • Humidifier – Pull the humidifier out of the closet, clean it up and get it ready for winter.
  • Smoke detectors and CO monitors – Check all monitors in your home for batteries and make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Landscaping – Cut all brush away from your home. This eliminates an access point for unwanted pests, and prevents branches from damaging your house during storms.
  • Store outdoor furniture – Storing your furniture prolongs its life. Store garden pots, cushions, and accessories to prevent damage.
  • Stock up on winter essentials – If you have extra freezer space stock up on staples like soups, bread and premade dishes. Buy extra canned goods. Buy salt, water, candles, and matches.
  • Outdoor lighting – Check all outdoor lights, and replace bulbs if necessary.
  • Mud area – Fall means lots of winter coats, and hectic schedules. Create an area that is organized to catch clothing, shoes and helps leave dirt and mud behind.
  • Washer and Dryer – Clean around and behind your units. Vacuum up all lint and dust. Check all tubing and pipes.
  • Bedding – Store summer linens. Wash quilts, blankets and throws to prepare them for winter use.
  • Unpack winter clothes – Many of us move our clothes around based on the seasons. Store summer clothes and pull out those comfy sweaters.
 Being a homeowner has many perks, unfortunately along with homeownership comes those unsexy tasks like cleaning gutters. With all things in life we must take the good with the bad, and now is a good a time as any to get them done before it gets cold. “Take care of your house, and it will take care of you,” my father always told me. At thirteen this met nothing other than climbing on the roof in the blistering cold wind, rather than watching MTV. The good news is I am now a homeowner and pay for someone else to climb on the roof!
Amanda Gates

Interior Designer &

Feng Shui Practitioner

Peanut Butter Banana Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Banana Dairy-Free Ice Cream. Made with 3 simple ingredients! |The Local Taste  As you all know by now sweets are my weakness. I can’t resist brownies, cobbler, pie, and of course ICE CREAM. My all-time favorite ice cream is at Jeni’s. Have you had Jeni’s ice cream? I’m convinced they will serve it in heaven. Of course I don’t eat ice cream everyday (even though I secretly wish I could eat it with every meal) but sometimes I crave that creamy goodness! This peanut-butter banana ice cream is dairy-free and guilt free. It only requires THREE ingredients. Yep, only three!  Peanut Butter Banana Dairy-Free Ice Cream. Made with 3 simple ingredients! |The Local Taste  To make this ice cream you only need frozen banana slices,  all natural peanut butter, and almond milk. I, of course, added melted dairy-free chocolate chips. 

Peanut Butter Banana Dairy-Free Ice Cream. Made with 3 simple ingredients! |The Local Taste … 

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