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The Best Homemade Macaroni & Cheese of your Life

So for no reason at all, I have always been intimidated by making real homemade mac & cheese. I’ve tried a few recipes in the past that turned out pretty blah. But after having a friend visit us a few months ago that introduced us to trottole pasta, I knew we were about to become a homemade mac & cheese household. The noodles totally make it. This recipe is seriously irresistable and so easy, the kids love it & I even love to reheat it in the morning and eat it with eggs. Yep, that good.

Ok so a few things to note. I use sharp cheddar or a three cheddar blend, because I know my kiddos will love it. You can totally fancy it up with Gruyere, gouda or even monterey jack, but for simplicities sake, we are using cheddar. I’m obsessed with the Tillamook brand from Target, it has the BEST flavor of any cheese I’ve ever had (not sponsored, just love cheese) so highly recommend that for this recipe. You can also cook up bacon ahead of time, add that to the pasta before throwing in the oven & then cook your panko bread crumbs in the bacon grease IF you want be a total badass.

Also to note, it is addicting, so I apologize in advance for your belly ache. Make this as a side this summer with all the grilled food, serve it with brunch or save it for special occasions!! Or do all three.

What you need:
1 16oz bag of Trottole pasta
1 stick of organic, salted butter (plus a tiny bit more for later)
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups milk (I used Fairlife 2%)
3 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook Triple Cheddar)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt & Pepper

Directions (and remember, I’m not a food blogger or professional recipe maker, just a regular mom who loves to cook):
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook the pasta & set aside.
In a large pot, mix up a roux. Use one stick of butter melted on medium heat, and then slowly whisk in flour and stir together for about 2 minutes until frothy and lightly turning brown. Turn heat to lowest setting and add in 2 cups of milk and continue to whisk all together. Once it has all mixed together and starts to thicken, add in 16 oz of cheese (about 2 cups) and continue stirring until you have a cheese sauce. Add salt & pep
Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture (or you can pour cheese over pasta in a casserole dish) and stir together.
Cover with the remaining cup of shredded cheese & put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top starts to slightly turn brown.
While pasta is in the oven, add at that “tiny bit more” butter to a small frying pan, and toss in about 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs. Stir them continually until they start to brown. 
Pull pasta out of the oven, sprinkle panko on top.
Serve, drool & enjoy!!

I probably forgot something, but you get the point.

Ok I can’t wait to hear what you think, make this and be sure to let me know how much you loved it!!


Spring Home Refresh

Spring weather just makes me want to SQUEEEAAALLLL. I get so happy when I finally get to open the windows, drink coffee outside in the morning & have that sunlight lasting longer after dinner. Ahhh! Isn’t it just the best feeling?!

I thought it would be fun to share five ways you can refresh your home for Spring, I loooove reading magazine articles or blog posts on these types of topics, hopefully you do to!!

  1. Flowers // Spring is all about flowers & blooms, fresh or faux. I’ve shared these magnolia branches that we have in the dining room a few times, but it can also be as easy as just clipping something from your trees outside! Trader Joes & Whole Foods typically have inexpensive bouquets, a small vase of fresh flowers can really bring a room to life. I am so ready for peony season!!!
  2. Spring Cleaning // Clean all of your windows & get them open! So much of the Spring Hygge has to do with the way it feels to have the sunlight & breeze pouring in! Do all of your deep cleaning and scrubbing so everything is sparkling in the sunlight. This is also a good time to organize closets, pantries, all the things that drive you nuts the rest of the year so you can truly enjoy the simplicity of the season!
  3. Bright & WhiteΒ Linens // Bring out all the light, white linens! All white bedding gives a bedroom such a fresh and clean look. I love to keep my bedding white all year but add seasonal throw pillows & blankets. We pack away all of our heavy blankets, fur pillows, and dark colors and bring out all the light, airy layers! I don’t normally buy anything new, just rotate things. I also like to shop my own house, move pillows and quilts from room to room. Every now and then I like to give the girls big euro pillows on their beds or bring playful pink throw pillows downstairs to the couch. If your house has a cohesive color scheme & lots of neutrals, it is easy to swap things around! Linen napkins & tablecloths are also a way to soften up a dining space, fold them up and set them out in a basket or where they can be seen.
  4. Declutter & Organize // Spring screams simplicity to me, I love to declutter & donate, and then organize what’s left. The girls rooms, the playroom & the office typically are overflowing after the holidays, and once the weather is nice, I like to donate as many toys as we can since the girls will likely spend lots more time outside. Pretty baskets & trays are a good way to organize your things so that your home looks tidy but still lived in.
  5. Spring Scents // Don’t forget the way your house smells!! This is one of the best, and easiest ways to bring all the Spring feels into your home. The smell of fresh flowers, fruit, freshly cut grass (open those windows!) or put something yummy in your diffuser!! One of my favorite blends for Spring is grapefruit, orange & geranium!

I hope you find something helpful here or that you have been inspired to refresh your home a little bit this season! Would love to know your favorite ways to welcome Spring around the house if you have anything to share!! XO



For the Easter Basket

One of my favorite posts of the entire year, filling up that festive Easter basket!! We are so EXCITED have our first real Easter here, last year we were transitioning out of the hotel and into my parents house, it snowed & we couldn’t find any of our Easter stuff because it was all packed! So this year, we are going all out!!

Rounding up all of the goodies I am loving for baskets this year.

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

One // Always books in the Easter basket!! I love this fun Mary Poppins book, the illustrations are so beautiful & of course the story is a classic. A few other suggestions: E.T, Pearl, Yellow Kayak & The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy.

Two // Pajamas! We always try to include pajamas as holiday gifts because 1. they always get excited for them 2. it’s an excuse to buy festive ones and 3. they need them anyway! This is one of my favorite sleep sets ever from Childhoods.

Three // All the accessories. All my girls are obsessed with rainbows lately, so they’re each getting one of these rainbow stretchies! Sunglasses, goggles, socks, slippers & keychains are also fun options!

Four // Glitter bunny ears are a must, and they’re on sale!!

Five // We are forever obsessed with Wunderkin bows, especially the oversized schoolgirl bows that can go over top knots or pony tails. My girls have almost outgrown bows so hopefully they will keep rocking this style just a little bit longer! I’m also Ryan & Wren’s biggest fan & their glitter snap clips are PERFECT for hiding in Easter eggs!!

Six // If you haven’t gotten your hands on one of the sweet Cuddle & Kind Dolls yet you absolutely MUST. They are so darling and fun!! Also, with each doll sale, they provide 10 meals to hungry children, the sweetest mission!!

Seven // These mini suitcase dolls are the cuuuuutest thing, they totally remind me of the original polly pocket from my childhood!

Each of the girls will get one or two main things + lots of little eggs filled with treats, accessories & love notes! What are you filling your baskets with this year?! Use the arrows below to scroll lots more fun picks, for boys & babies too!!