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monique and tony in the kitchen in front of a thanksgiving turkey

Weekend Favorites: Things We Loved in October

Sharing a few of my favorite things from the month of October. Everything from the latest recipes, my new playlist, products I’m crushing on and so much more. Grab a cup of coffee and check it out!

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Brrrr… are we ready for chilly season? Or should I say chili season?

Last week here in Chicago it snowed quite a few unexpected inches, so we turned on our heat, threw a massive Friendsgiving with all of my very best Thanksgiving recipes. Don’t worry though, if those aren’t enough, we’ve got more coming all month long and I couldn’t be more excited. Is Thanksgiving becoming my favorite holiday? YUP.

While it might be just a tiny bit stressful to cook for 15 people while 7 months pregnant, it was completely worth all of the hard work, and so much fun to have all of my best friends in town (and my mama!) to help celebrate. Here’s a photo of us after making a giant 18 pound turkey that we had to thaw overnight in our cooler haha (because couldn’t find a fresh turkey in Chicago just yet).

monique and tony in the kitchen in front of a thanksgiving turkey

What’s new here: There’s so much that’s new here. Obviously, the new Ambitious Kitchen website was one of our most favorite things we did this past month. If you have time, I’d love for you to explore the recipe index where you can search by ingredient, the freezer friendly section, and the shop page which is full of my favorite product recommendations. You can also now search by diet type and Ambitious Kitchen reader favorites too!

This week: we just started doing hypnobabies, which is a childbirth education class focused on preparing for a natural unmedicated birth. We’ve been doing it through our our doula and each week I continue to learn so much about birth, labor and women’s bodies. We also continue to do our centering pregnancy classes through our hospital, which are a great way to connect with our midwife and other couple’s having babies at the same time.

tony painting a hallway wall

This month: we wrapped up our kitchen renovation (finally!), painted the nursery, redid our family room, dining room, hallway and got rid of tons of stuff we just didn’t need. I do plan on sharing a before and after video of the kitchen & family room on the blog, but likely will wait until the New Year since I want to spend time focusing on recipe content and am still waiting on finishing a few things. OH AND HAVING A CUTE LITTLE BABY BOY. Whoa.

Frankly, it seems like every other week we’re doing a new home project, which I find to be a little weird because now I feel like a true 30 year old adult. Instead of going out all the time, we spend our free time working on our house. WHO AM I? Is this what they call pregnancy nesting? Am I having a midlife crisis? Only time will tell.

unbaked cinnamon rolls on a grey background

Recipes from October

Obviously since it was pumpkin week, we had a TON of pumpkin recipes! Don’t worry though, I’ll be back soon with new Thanksgiving recipes to ensure a successful and incredibly delicious holiday season. Here’s what you may have missed this past month:

Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes: these are so yummy, gluten free, dairy free, kid-friendly freezer-friendly and easy!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Peanut Butter Chicken Soup: this was such a great soup that I wish EVERYONE made. It’s fabulous over rice or quinoa, and you can easily add extra veggies to it.

The Best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat: I think this was probably a reader favorite recipe this month. They’re super soft, fluffy and delicious.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: creamy, epic, and packed with protein. A great way to use up leftover pumpkin.

Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna: a great vegetarian meal that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or freezing for later!

Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups: another reader favorite from this month to meal prep.

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Gingerbread Cookie Crust: adorable, cute and SO yummy. Plus they’re grain free, gluten free and dairy free.

How to Cut and Peel a Butternut Squash (+ how-to video!): includes both a video and step by step photos to help guide you through cutting your butternut squash easier.

Fluffy Flourless Peanut Butter Chickpea Muffins: this was probably my favorite recipe from this past month because you only need a few ingredients.

How to Roast the Best Butternut Squash (including recipes!): a great recipe for roasting butternut squash to tender perfection.

Butternut Squash Bacon Quiche: my favorite breakfast as of lately because it includes tons of butternut squash and an entire bag of spinach.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash: this is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish — so unique and yummy.

monique taking a mirror photo in a white jumpsuit

Personal pregnancy posts

This month I really wanted to share things that were near and dear to my heart. Hopefully you or someone you know can use these as a resource, if needed.

Our Baby Registry Must Haves (great for first time moms!)

Pregnancy Safe Upper Body Movements

Pregnancy Safe Lower Body Movements

Ask a Doula

The Second Trimester

monique and tony

Things we loved in October

I started using eczema honey as it came highly recommended by a few readers on Instagram. So far I’m LOVING it. It’s perfect if you experience extra dry skin or eczema patches, especially during the winter.

This Tarte cosmetics palette is one of my favorite new palettes and such a great deal because you get eyeshadows, highlighters, an application brush AND mascara for only $39. The colors are perfect for the holiday season and I’ve been loving it.

Recently mor for moms sent me this amazing post-birth kit, which provides the most needed supplies for new moms in the immediate days after giving birth including maternity pads, overnight pads, cooling witch hazel pads, cleansing bottle, ice packs, mesh panties, nursing pads and nipple cream. The best part? With each Mor for Moms purchase, postpartum medical supplies will go directly to new moms in the Mary’s Center Centering Pregnancy Program.

If you’re looking for some new music to listen to, check out my pumpkin cinnamon roll playlist. It’s cozy and wonderful.

I’ve been living in this anthro turtleneck. It comes in a few different colors and literally goes with anything: jeans, trousers, under overalls and more.

The pink sweater I’m wearing above is a bit expensive, but I really love it and it fits over my preggo belly.

My very favorite maternity jeans have been the Madewell maternity jeans. They’re so comfy and wonderful so I highly recommend them for any mamas to be.

Binto vitamins and prenatals (use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ for 20% off your first order!): these are the personalized vitamins I continue to use and love.

Alter Eco sent me a ton of their lovely truffles and gave me a discount code to share with all of you. Use the code ‘AmbitiousKitch20’ for 20% off!

I purchased these ADORABLE Steve Madden Booties when Nordstrom was having their sale, and finally have had the chance to wear them. Super comfy and ridiculously cute.

Been crushing on this Mama Necklace and thinking about asking for it for Christmas.

I recently got this super cute Fox Doormat for our back door and this Cat Doormat for our front door. Personally, I think they’d make perfect holiday gifts.

Pretty sure I need this cozy teddy coat. Cheap and ADORABLE.

I’ve mentioned this a few times but I seriously can’t stop living in this lululemon pullover and lululemon tank top.

If you want to try out some non-toxic cleaning products, then now is the perfect time to check out the Branch Basics toss the toxins box — use the code ‘ak10’ for 10% off your Starter Kit! It’s the ONLY cleaning products I use and plan to use when baby comes.

I’d love to hear anything you’re loving this month! Leave a comment below and let me know. xo!

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