I’m super excited about this recipe. This is the type of recipe that is a perfect fit for the holiday season. It’s easy to prepare for just one person or a whole dinner party. It is full of different textures and holiday flavors which make it a truly unique dish.
I just love the unexpected burst of flavor you get in every single bite. The rich holiday aroma that comes from preparing isn’t bad either.
All you need now is some mulled wine and cinnamon cookies for dessert!
JC - Gnocchi & Butternut Squash in Sauce -1

Gnocchi and Butternut Squash in Spiced Brown Butter Sauce


1 small butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lb gnocchi
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
JC - Gnocchi & Butternut Squash in Sauce -2


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cubed squash on a rimmed backing sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper, then spread it in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally until it becomes tender and the edges golden, about 30 minutes. Prepare gnocchi according to package instructions.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a thick skillet over medium heat. Add the spices sugar, walnuts and cranberries and let it cook until the butter starts to brown and become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the cooked squash, and gnocchi. Pour the sauce over the top and give it a light toss. Serve immediately. 

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38 WeeksIt’s been TEN weeks since my last bumpdate! Woah, where has time gone?  Check out that last one here.

It’s just been busy busy busy.  And we are getting impatient impatient impatient as the days pass on.  We are officially full term and our baby girl is welcome any time.  Like seriously, you are welcome to join our family now… so maybe let’s get this show on the road!

Here’s our little update:

How far along? 38 weeks today – officially full term.

How big is baby? Size of a pumpkin!  She’s about 19-21 inches long (the length most babies are born at) and weights 6-9 pounds (the weight most babies are born at).  Essentially, I feel like she’s done baking… come on, baby!  I worry she will be on the smaller side so I’m just praying she’s healthy!

Important baby milestones this week: she may have an inch of hair already.  Mr. Charming really wants her to have a little some hair.

Total weight gain: 34-36 pounds.  It’s like all belly.  Which is nice because I did not want to be buying expensive pairs of scrubs just for a few weeks of use.

Symptoms: Oh, the aches and pains.  Pelvic pain, Braxton Hicks contractions, back pain, groin pain.  I’m just happy the heartburn is mostly all gone.

Maternity clothes? That dress above is from Target and I paid $10!  I love it… except I think I totally look like I’m a table top.

Exercise? Yeah, no.  I don’t have time for that.  I work three 13 hour shifts where I’m on my feet 80% of the time.  That’s enough.

Sleep? I sleep well for the most part, but I’m definitely up every two hours to pee.

Movement? She’s moving a little less now.  Apparently that’s normal.  No one told me that until I went to the hospital and spent money on them to tell me she looks beautiful on the baby monitors and sometimes we just feel them less as they get bigger (you would think the opposite, right?!)

Food I will eat anything… my problem is to make sure I am actually eating and drinking enough.

What I miss: nothing.

What I’m looking forward to: her! When are ya, coming little one?  Mommy has never been very good at the whole patience thing.  Everyone is eagerly awaiting your arrival!

Say What? Everyone keeps commenting about how small I am.  They can’t believe how far along I am.  It drives me nuts.  I am already worried that I’m not eating and drinking enough for her and then I’m not worried that because I’m small that she’s too small.
Also, anyone and everyone has a story and a tip to share.  I appreciate it, but I’m kind of the type of person to not want to always talk about it.  Like when I’m at work, I would rather do my job then talk about the more personal aspects of being pregnant.  I’m a nurse, my job is about other people, not myself.  I know I shouldn’t complain, I do appreciate it, but I feel like I’m being unprofessional.

Sweet Moments: Husband is soo excited.  He keeps asking her when she’s coming.  I love it.  Makes me smile every time.  He’s going to be so great with her!

Make Room for BabyNursery done.  Hospital bags practically all packed.  Hospital pre-registration done.  We have our bassinet set up next to our bed, the stroller is in the house, the car seat is in the house (we need to install it, though).  Birth plan and important documents printed out and with our bags.  Doula all paid for.  Pediatrician selected.  We are mostly done with a nice deep clean of the house including having an exterminator over to try and get rid of some unwelcome guests that are coming into our house for the winter.  We have quite a few freezer meals ready to go.  Almost all of her laundry is washed.  Baby (and momma) gear that I believe we will need at least for the first 1-4 weeks is here.  So, if I haven’t mentioned this before, we are essentially all ready for her arrival……….

Baby Charming Family Mr. Charming My Life Pregnancy The Charmings

Dose of Charm BannerDid you decorate your home for the holiday season?  Of course you did!  Share the tour with us in this link up and we’ll pick and feature a winner!

Here’s what’s going to happen:

  1. Link up your 2014 holiday home tour and browse other blogs.
  2. Paige and I will select our top 10.
  3. We’ll do another post for YOU to vote on which of the top ten should win.
  4. Then we’ll announce the winner right before Christmas.

This link up is open until December 17th and then the voting will open December 18th.

Where’s my tour you may be wondering?  Well, I’d love to show you, but husband and I decided to go really simple this year on decorations.  In fact, we just did the mantel.  No tree, unfortunately.  Even though we leave our decorations up for the full 12 days of Christmas (which actually ends on January 6th not December 25th!), we figured with a newborn the last thing we want to deal with is too many decorations.  I’ll update this post once I get to taking a picture (it’s been quite a busy month for us getting ready for a newborn !).  Until then, go on and galavant over to A Dose of Paige to check out her gorgeous holiday decor — including many DIYs!

Dose of Charm Holidays Home

Handling Holiday Stress Together

Today, I’m over on Life with Amberly & Joe‘s blog. It’s a truly wonderful blog and I’m honored to have been asked to be a part of her guest posting series this month surrounding the topics of marriage and the holidays.  So, please go visit my post here and leave comments and love on her blog!

Guest Posts Holidays Marriage Reads

Avoid Holiday Gain
The holiday season is a time filled with love, family, and indulgence. It’s usually the last one that people have the most trouble with. With all of the excess of the season, the parties, and festivities it’s easy to lose track of our health. There are however a few easy things that you can do to throughout the season to help keep the usual holiday weight gain under control.

Plan ahead – If you know you are going to a dinner party tonight why not stick to a green salad with a side of chicken for lunch?

Food prep – Have healthy snacks available, and pre cut veggies ready to toss into whatever you are making for dinner that night. Having them available makes them more appealing in a pinch.

Know serving sizes and stick with them – If you want to try all the different varieties, take bite size portions and then only go back for the ones you like.

Eat slowly – This will allow your stomach time to signal your brain that you are full, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Never try to fill yourself in the first half hour of the party, since you are more likely to overeat in a short amount of time.

Avoid over indulging in alcohol – We all know that alcohol is blamed for many things the least of which is late night trips through the drive through on the way home.

Have a snack before attending events – You know there’s going to be food, fine, but will that food be nutrient dense? Probably not fix yourself a sandwich full of veggies beforehand to make sure you don’t overdo it on the sweets.

Avoid sugary drinks – I know drinking is half the fun, but if you opt for lower calorie versions you will be thanking yourself later I promise.

Eat a good breakfast – This will start your day off right as well as re-balance what went wrong yesterday. Yogurt and granola or a smoothie will make a huge difference.

Now following these tips isn’t going to guarantee that you are able to stop yourself from having pie for dinner once or twice, but it will definitely help keep the majority of the indulgences under control.

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