Wednesday, December 27, 2017

House/Nursery Tour

It's that magical time between Christmas and New Year's, we have a new little baby, and it's been over a year since we've been in our house and I'm FINALLY sharing a photo tour of the place! It's decorated for Christmas in the pictures and still a bit of a work in progress (but aren't all houses?) but we totally love it :) 

^ Our first day that we had possession of the house! ^

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours <3

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Something Saturdays (12/23/17)

A couple weekends ago was a great mix of fun/relaxation and doing stuff. Saturday we saw Justice League with Michael's little sister (all of us loved it and Michael and Shannan are HUGE DC nerds) and then all got some food at Table 6 (aka one of my absolute favorite spots). Sunday Michael worked on some baby-proofing stuff (I know, it's early, we like to get things done ahead of time lol) and we also just sort of relaxed.

Monday and Tuesday (two weeks ago) I got some stuff done around the house and did some cooking and baking. Wednesday I went to the hospital and began the long week of stuff that led up to the birth of my sweet baby James-I'll give you the whole story later. Ever since we've sort of just been figuring out this whole life with a baby thing and spending ridiculous  amounts of time just staring at his cute little face. We've had a good amount of visitors, and all of his grandparents start to get withdrawal when it's been more than a few days since they've seen him. Life is pretty great :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Butterfinger Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Butterfinger Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
If you like super rich desserts, then great news! I've got a super dense and fudgy brownie with peanut butter swirled in to the top and then lots of crunchy crushed Butterfingers on top of that. They're awesome-people love them. Michael enjoyed them with ice cream too (apparently it added a refreshing element to the richness :P).
Butterfinger Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
May I suggest these as a potential option for your holiday baking? They're super tasty and are sure to be a huge hit with any non-peanut allergy crowd. They're also kind of ridiculously easy to throw together, so really none of us have any excuse to not be eating one of these ASAP. 


Tuesday, December 19, 2017


James Michael

Our sweet sweet little boy was born December 10 at 3:08 PM, weighing 7 lbs 11 oz and measuring 20 inches long, after over 60 hours of (mostly natural) labor and we are absolutely in love. I'll be sharing my birth story at some point with you guys but for now I just wanted to share why I've been MIA and give you some adorable baby smudginess to gaze upon. <3

Oh-and check back tomorrow, I have one last recipe for you to help with your holiday baking!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

30 Favorite Holiday Desserts

The holiday season is essentially here! And that means lots of super fun baking and delicious treats. 

Now, I've already shared with you some of my favorite cookies for the holidays as well as a bunch of holiday gift guides, but this is 30 of my favorite dessert recipes (not just cookies) for all the celebrations at this time of year!

These are tried and true total favorites, I love them and I know you will too!

30 Favorite Holiday Desserts

(Top to bottom, left to right)

The Baked Brownie
This is the absolute perfectly decadent and delicious brownie.

Mint Cocoa Brownies
A super simple and easy brownie base that you can jazz up with any mix-ins you like, but crushed mint candies are perfect for Christmas!

{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters
Easy candy for the holidays is a must!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Truffles
These are delicious and actually fairly healthy!

Butter Cracker Toffee Easy, Nut-free}
Another easy treat that is a total crowd pleaser, and is great for gifting!

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cups
Instead of PB cups, surprise people with salted caramel cups :)

Dark Chocolate Truffles
A total classic that, again, you can customize in how you decide to cover the truffles (roll them in coconut, nuts, sprinkles, dip them in chocolate, whatever you'd like!)

Salted Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
These are super sophisticated and extra delicious so they're a showstopper.

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips with Salted Caramel Drizzle
I know it's unexpected, but once you've tried them they make so much sense!

"Snickers" Peanut Butter Caramel Corn
Bags of tasty popcorn are another perfect gift! Or a big bowl is amazing for servings at parties.

Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies{Panera Copycat}
This is one of my family's favorites of my cookies and they're fun because you can totally use whatever mix-ins you like or have on hand to customize the recipe. Crushed candies, peanut butter chips, whatever suits your fancy!

Pecan Pie Cookies
Pecan pie is a classic dessert during this season and making it in cookie form is even better!

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies 
This happens to be my favorite CCC recipe-it has browned butter and is so gooey and perfect.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cookies 
These cookies are SO fudgy and chocolatey and are perfect for anyone who needs gluten-free and dairy free options. Plus the powdered sugar on them looks like snow sooo...festive!>

Pecan Laceys 
They're just super different from your typical cookie but so so yummy, and they're a great addition to a holiday cookie tray!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies 
This is my absolute favorite chocolate + peanut butter cookie recipe!

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 
And this is my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies 
A fun twist on the traditional thumbprint cookies these have safe-to-eat chocolate peanut butter cookie dough in the middle.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Coconut Cookies 
For the non-chocolate lovers! Plus, the cinnamon tastes very Christmas-y.

Brown Butter Chocolate Stuffed Toffee Chip Cookies 
Another family favorite! These are super amazing as is but you can also sort of play around with what you stuff in them and such also.

{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies 

Salted Caramel Creme Brulee 
Regular creme brulee is so dull compared to the rich decadence of this salted caramel version.

Homemade Mocha Pudding 
Mini chocolate puddings (with a hint of coffee flavor) are a super classy holiday treat.

Mini Raspberry Swirl Cheesecakes 
These little cheesecakes are so pretty and would be a hit with anyone you'd serve them to.

Chocolate Decadence {Flourless Chocolate Torte} 
One of the most delicious things I've ever made-it will seriously impress anyone who tries it.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake 
And who doesn't love lava cake???

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Pie 
This is a surprisingly easy one considering how darned fancy it looks!

{No Bake} Chocolate Hazelnut Tart 
Again, deceptively easy but freaking gorgeous!

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie 
Why have normal pecan pie when you can have SALTED CARAMEL pecan pie??!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Aaaand one of the most delicious pies ever.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Something Saturdays (12/2/17)

2 weeks left until due date, still no baby.

BUT! Last Sunday was super amazing because it was the grand opening of Perfectly Planned (for whom I work as an event planner) and The Pine Needle Calligraphy-it was SO gorgeous and super fun.

And then I woke up on Monday to the best surprise-a bunch of my blog buddies threw me a virtual baby shower!!! It seriously made my day and I love these phenomenal ladies. Plus-the theme was "milk and cookies"--pretty darn fitting, I'd say! Clearly, they know me. I wish it could have been an in person shower because I'd love to try each and every recipe they shared--but we can just make them and then it'll be like we were all there! Check them out:
Turtle Thumbprint Cookies – by Confessions of a Confectionista
Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars – by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Derby Pie – by The Spiffy Cookie
Chocolate Chip Rice Krispies Treat Cookies – by Pies and Plots
Eggnog Crinkle Cookies – by The Domestic Rebel
Cookie Dough Cups – by The Pajama Chef
Homemade Salted Caramel Oreos – by Eats with With Others
Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – by Blahnik Baker

Tuesday I had an uneventful doctor's appointment (everything is good!) and ran a few errands, plus made some food. I did some cleaning and baking on Wednesday and visited for a bit with my mom and grandma (my grandma came over to see the nursery). Thursday I was pretty lazy but then Michael and I went to his mom's house to help with her computer (she got hacked. PSA--if a popup takes over your computer telling you to call a number...DON'T CALL IT. And definitely don't give them your IP address....and don't keep scanned copies of birth certificates on your computer either. Learn from my MIL's mistakes.) We were there super late but it all got fixed so yay! 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-December (Christmas and NYE)

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This meal plan is a big one: it's for the holidays (a huge time for cooking and baking and fun) AND it's my last time participating, since life is about to get pretty crazy with the new baby. It's been amazing being a part of bringing you guys delicious meal plans but keep following some of the other participants as they'll be keeping it up!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Something Saturdays (11/25/17)

Did you guys have a good Thanksgiving??

We had a good week! Michael and I had a good mix of relaxation and getting things done over the weekend. Monday I showed my friend, Jenna, around Cuyahoga Falls which was fun and taaasty. Tuesday I had my doctor's appointment which was exciting-they said he's head down, dropped, and I'm just shy of 1cm dilated: so essentially I'm definitely in a good spot, but he's probably not coming right this second lol. Other than that I just got some stuff done, but I'm starting to get more uncomfortable so I'm having to take it a little easier. Thursday was, obviously, Thanksgiving. I had a headache and was exhausted so I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked but everything was delicious and it was fun spending time with everyone. Friday I went to the Holiday Tree Festival with Michael's mom, aunt, and cousin-which was pretty cool and then we got some food at Luigi's (an Italian place in Akron that is SUPER popular).

Today we're hanging with some of Michael's cousins while they watch the OSU game (we are there for the visiting, not the football lol).

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Baby Update -- 36 Weeks

How far along: 36 (37 on Friday) weeks--so this might be my last pregnancy update?

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: Supposedly right on track, on average my app says babies are just under 6 lbs. at this point (obviously won't really know his size until he's here lol).

Total weight gain/loss: 24 lbs gained

Maternity clothes: Yepp-plus some of my larger clothes, like big sweaters and pj's and such.

Stretch marks: Yeahhh I have some :( They're not terrible but they're definitely there.

Sleep: It's ok but I'm up a decent amount to go to the bathroom plus sometimes I'm uncomfortable so it's getting a little harder.

Best moment of this week: Getting to spend a whole weekend with Michael (since I'm now done with work) getting stuff done and just spending time together. Plus having the confirmation from the doctor that he's head down and dropped and everything is pretty much where it should be :) 

Miss anything: Seriously....I miss sleeping on my stomach so bad! I'm also starting to get more back pain and stuff so ya know, I miss not having that.

Movement: Lots of movement, even though it's usually just him shifting around in there, there's not really much room for more than that lol.

Food cravings: Nope.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Have you started to show yet: I'm giant (in my opinion) lol. Big old dropped belly sticking out, and people are frequently referencing my pregnancy in public now haha.

Gender: boy!

Labor signs: Nope. I'm like not even a cm dilated and am not feeling any contractions (I think I'm probably having Braxton Hicks when my belly gets all hard but I don't feel them).

Belly button in or out: I had a really deep belly button so I sort of just have an in the middle one now, so it's almost flat :P

Wedding rings on or off: On!

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy happy happy!

Looking forward to: MEETING HIM! Becoming a family of 3 and just having all these unknowns and questions finally answered. And getting to finally cuddle him. And watch Michael with him.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Something Saturdays (11/18/17)-on Monday

I'm pregnant and forgot to publish this. I have no other excuse. I'm sorry!

Woooo, we're officially within 4 weeks of my due date and I'm officially done working!

But let's rewind, it was my birthday week! We kicked it off by spending the day with Michael on Saturday. We had DELICIOUS brunch at Twisted Citrus (I found a new fave with their cannoli french toast) and then we got a few things done at home before running a couple errands and then getting a huge dinner (pierogi and mozzarella sticks and a sandwich to go for me, wings and tacos for Michael, and we shared a slice of peanut butter pie) at Beau's on the River. I spent the whole day having fun and enjoying the food but also in a bunch of pain because the baby was moving down and turns out that came with some pain. So then Michael put up shelves in the nursery (and it was officially declared DONE) and I took a bath and we went to bed. Sunday I had to work but we got some more stuff done at home, too. Monday I had dinner with my mom and Michael's mom at Hartville Kitchen (after running a couple errands and hanging with my cousin Brianna for a bit, and making cookie dough). Tuesday I finally made a dent in reading my Babywise book and had a super tasty dinner at Gervasi Vineyard with my dad and grandparents. Wednesday I cleaned the bathrooms, made soup, and Michael and I had our final childbirth class (which included a hospital tour which was so cool and sooo crazy since we'll be there soon HAVING A BABY). And Thursday and Friday I had my last days of work!!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Something Saturdays (11/11/17)

I'm exhausted. Luckily, I have finally got done most of the things that NEED done pre-baby (baby laundry, putting his stuff away, packing the hospital bag, etc.) but there are still many things I'm trying to do! Of course, I don't really feel like he's going to be arriving anytime too soon so I suppose I have some time.

Monday I babysat my cousin's baby all day and it was so fun and she is so cute but BOY did it wear me out (and I was pretty darn sore, being 8.5 months pregnant and running around after an 8 month old when you're not used to it really takes it out of you). Tuesday I had my early birthday lunch with my mom (at Table 6) and later on went to a networking group event thing with my boss for Perfectly Planned, which is always fun. Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment (and great news the baby is still head down! I was worried he'd flipped) and then I worked Thursday and Friday (and I work tomorrow, as well).

My birthday is this coming Monday so I took today off to celebrate and spend the day with my Michael :) 

Also, anybody else have this song in their head perpetually?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream

A simple recipe for vegan peanut butter ice cream, using only 4 easily found ingredients, that is creamy and delicious!

Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream
So...Michael isn't technically lactose intolerant. But he's definitely having a harder time with large amounts of dairy the older he's getting. So we've been cutting back a bit and subbing in with cashew milk. But he's a bit of an ice cream fanatic. So I decided it was high time I tried to make some dairy free ice cream for him and when I went looking for a simple recipe (with no weird, random, ingredients that a non-vegan person wouldn't normally have) this one jumped out at me! It's got only FOUR ingredients and is nice and straightforward. 
Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Michael also likes chocolate chips or chunks in his ice creams so I added that as an optional mix-in as well! Either way, the ice cream is creamy and flavorful (so peanut buttery) and Michael and I both loved it! I will say, you should leave the ice cream out for a bit after having it in the freezer before serving because it gets REALLY hard in the freezer. Like...unscoopable. But if we can't have patience for ice cream, what can we have patience for?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Something Saturdays (11/4/17)

Ahhhh seriously busy busy busy around here! I went through my old boxes of stuff from my mom's house (ah, nostalgia), I put lots more baby stuff away, did more baby laundry, installed our carseats, did some cleaning, decorated for Christmas (he's due in December! Don't judge me for getting a jump on it!), did some work on setting up Michael's student loan repayments (oh joy), etc. etc. Poor Michael and I are so exhausted and we still have so much to do *sigh*. BUT we also really enjoyed this week's childbirth class (we learned about pain management and the whole labor process and watched a video of a birth-Michael cried twice <3. He also learned about techniques to use to be a good support person and honestly he's just going to be amazing, I'm so so lucky!) and got to spend a little bit of time together when he took the day off from work yesterday. And we're getting super excited about how soon we're going to get to meet our little guy. It's a lot but it's also pretty awesome :)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-November (Thanksgiving)

Omigosh can you believe it's less than a month until Thanksgiving?? Luckily, we've got you covered with some amazing recipe ideas that everyone will love!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Something Saturdays (10/28/17)

It is cuhrazy around these parts. We're feeling the pressure of the fact that the baby will be here before we know it. Oh and it doesn't help that Michael is also graduating which means we now have to figure out and set up his student loan repayments (#blech #seriouslythissystemisawful). Anyway, last weekend I worked and we worked on a couple small things and then Sunday we had our final baby shower which was really nice and fun and we got lots of great stuff + enough gift cards to cover the other things we needed from our registry! Woot! So we ordered all the rest of that stuff this week too. Long story short--we're getting lots of stuff and putting lots of stuffs away. We also picked up the cradle my great grandfather made from my cousin (my aunts and uncles and most of my cousins and cousins kids have all slept in it, including myself). Wednesday we started our 4 week childbirth class which we like, but not as much as we've liked our other classes (this teacher is super sweet but seems not quite as updated on the current research about stuff? I'll admit that I'm definitely the obnoxious know-it-all/closest thing to a hippy of the group, also. Oops.) Other than that I've just been making a bunch of food to freeze for when the baby gets here, reading up about a lot of stuff, etc. Today I'm working and then we're going to get all my old stuff out of my mom's house (ugh) and we also have a couple other small projects we're tackling this weekend. 

Like I said...busy busy busy!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Baby Update -- 32 Weeks

How far along: 32 (33 on Friday) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: Right on track, according to my app he's about 3.8 lbs.

Total weight gain/loss: 20 lbs gained

Maternity clothes: Pretty much exclusively-with the exception of some big pj's and such.

Stretch marks: Yes I got a few, ugh. I was hoping I'd get away without any lol.

Sleep: not bad, definitely not as deep of sleeps in general and sometimes getting comfortable can take a second (and of course I wake up a couple times in the night) but not terrible.

Best moment of this week:  We had our last baby shower and it was super fun! Spent more time getting his room together too, which is always fun. AND I was super excited because the doctor said that his head is down, so he's in position already and I hopefully don't need to worry about him being breech!

Miss anything: Laying on my stomach lol.

Movement: LOTS, I think he's become even more active.

Food cravings: Still no cravings, just normal food life around here.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Have you started to show yet: YES, very much so!

Gender: boy!

Labor signs: Nope! Cross your fingers that I don't for at least another month!

Belly button in or out: In between? No belly button? Lol mostly still a teensy bit in but the top has started to push out.

Wedding rings on or off: On, still!

Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty happy :) :) :)

Looking forward to: Tonight we have our first childbirth class and I'm excited about that, and I'm really just looking forward to getting more and more done from our to-do list and then I can just relax and enjoy the fact that HE'S ALMOST HERE!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Something Saturdays (10/21/17)

Things are getting kind of hectic, this baby is coming soon! Last weekend I had my last wedding of the year and it went really well, it was the perfect way to end the year <3 Sunday, Michael and I pretty much set up the whole nursery (just a few things still need put away or set up later because we don't have them yet). It's so cute and I'm so in love! Once it's done done I'll share more photos and maybe actually do a house tour while I'm at it, we've been here for a year so it's probably about time lol. We also went to Michael's mom for dinner with some of his relatives who are in town, including his cute baby cousin, Wesley (he is so tickled by the fact that he's 31 with a 7 month old cousin)--and of course Michael got a bit emotional, too, all like ,"we're going to have one of these!" It was so so cute. Monday I got some stuff done, including making cheddar pierogi to eat for the week + more to freeze for when baby is here. Tuesday I went to visit with some of my dad's family that I'm close with and pretty much only see when I drive down and see them once a year. Wednesday I realized I had come down with a cold, and also hung out with my cousin Brianna. Thursday and Friday I worked and trudged through having a stupid cold. Stupid stupid cold. Luckily, I'm already on the mend. 

Today I'm working and then spending time with the hubby and tomorrow we have our last baby shower with his mom's side of the family! Yay!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
It's a good day when you have a big, indulgent-as-heck, gooey, and flavorful chocolate chip cookie that's sorta healthified ('s not healthy. It's not spinach. It is a cookie. Just a slightly less bad for you cookie). You feel like you can have it all! And you get to have a treat that makes you feel happy and not at all guilty. Everyone is happy! (Except my stupid hubby who insisted "I can tell they're healthy" and grumbled about just wanting normal cookies. He is spoiled and I disagree with him and don't think these taste healthy at all. And who are you gonna trust, me or the guy who brought you a recipe for drinking spaghetti-o's straight from the can??)
Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Moving along...

What makes these ccc's healthier than your average cookie? First of all, you use coconut oil instead of butter which makes them dairy free (aside from the chocolate chips, but you can use dairy free chips if you'd like) and everyone knows coconut oil is like miracle food or something, right? Then, you use white whole wheat flour. And finally, the amount of sugar is reduced from your average cookie recipe and we use only unrefined sugars. Just a few little swaps!
Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Now what makes these cookies delicious? They're inspired by the famous NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies-which means they're big. And crisp around the edges but omigosh so gooey inside and chewy and full of flavor and chocolate chips and ahhhh I miss them and I want them right now!! Take it from someone with high cookie standards-these are LEGIT.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Something Saturdays (10/14/17)

Hallo hallo!

Considering there's just over 2 months before the young sir arrives, we've started trying to get stuff ready. Michael installed the ceiling fan in his room and we did a bit of shopping last weekend as well. I started trying to make some food to freeze for after he's here, this week, stuff like that. Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment-nothing exciting, everything is good! Wednesday I got to see the new studio space that Perfectly Planned is now calling home (so exciting!) and met with the couple whose wedding I'm coordinating today! Yesterday I had the rehearsal (and a funeral for a close family friend, which is super sad and I won't get into but I'll say this: hug your loved ones. You never know when something can happen) and today is the big day! They're friends of my boss so she'll be attending and I'll be trying to keep her from working :P.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Sweet and oh so flavorful...roasted garlic and caramelized onions are a few of my favorite things (I tried to plug them into the song but couldn't quite make the rhyme scheme work so just pretend I'm clever and I did it and we all had a good chuckle, mkay?). I also adore mashed potatoes. So putting them all together is pretty much side dish nirvana.  (Especially when you're serving them with french dip sandwiches. That's a good meal, right there).
Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
It's so ironic that I have so many mashed potato recipes on this blog but, in reality, 99% of the time I make mashed potatoes I sort of just wing it and mix stuff up not according to any particular recipe. That's real life, folks. BUT sometimes you wanna mix things up and do something specific and special and that's what happened here with these lovelies.
Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes with all the flavorful and somewhat sweet deliciousness imparted by roasted garlic and caramelized onions totally make the time that goes into them worth it! Michael even enjoyed them and generally he's pretty meh on mashed potatoes. Highly recommend!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Something Saturdays (10/7/17)

Last weekend's wedding went well! It was busy but went pretty smoothly :) Then Michael and I did mostly nothing on Sunday, except for do some online Christmas shopping lol. This week I tried to just get some things done and my day-job giving out wine samples has picked up again so that's good! Today we're having a very early Thanksgiving with Michael's mom because his brother and sister-in-law are in town, but first we're having breakfast with a friend of Michael's who is also in from out of town! Fun fun fun :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Whipped Nutella Cream Pie

Whipped Nutella Cream Pie
Hey! Did you know you can make a yummy pie filling with just 2 ingredients? And that those ingredients are nutella and heavy cream? you know. And you know that it's creamy and silky and decadent.

And that it probably is delicious in any kind of pie crust, but I highly recommend a toasted tart crust. Because it's buttery and adds even more hazelnutty goodness. But you do whatever you like!
Whipped Nutella Cream Pie
I love how crazy easy this is to make. And how decadent it is to eat. But be warned-you had better love nutella if you're going to eat this pie because it is FULLLL of nutella flavor. Which I adore. So I was a happy happy camper. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/30/17)

Hihi everybody! How has your week been? Last weekend's wedding went well, it was super lovely but definitely a lot of work! Sunday Michael and I went to church and brunch and then just relaxed. Most of this week has been spent getting things done and relaxing, for me. I also had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday-everything is going well. And then Michael and I had his birthday dinner with his dad and stepmom at Twenty/20 Taphouse. They got a new chef and menu and we were all SUPER impressed. Everything was delicious! Today I have another wedding that I'm working and then tomorrow will probably be another day of relaxing with the hubby :) 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Baby Update -- 28 Weeks

How far along: 28 (29 on Friday) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: "a large eggplant" according to my app.

Total weight gain/loss: Gained 15 lbs so far (so pretty much right on track. I'm a small person so we're hoping I don't gain more than 25 lbs. overall).

Maternity clothes: Yepp yepp yepp, just a couple really flowy non-maternity things still fit (not including pj's and leggings, I'm still wearing my pre-maternity ones of those).

Stretch marks: I'm still warily keeping an eye out, but thus far no sign.

Sleep: It's not bad, I have to wake up a couple times to pee (of course) and need to sleep with a body pillow between my legs but overall I can't complain.

Best moment of this week: I'm loving any time I get to spend with Michael and I know these moments are extra precious since soon it won't be just the two of us anymore.

Miss anything: Having more clothing options and being able to just eat and feel comfortable lol.

Movement: He's developed some patterns for sure and his movements are super evident. It's always crazy to really feel him moving and see it from the outside too!

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still nothing unusual at this point!

Have you started to show yet: Oh yes lol. Although I'm told from the back you can't tell and that I'm pretty much just carrying around a beach ball belly-which I am more than ok with!


Labor signs: No, not yet--still some time hopefully!

Belly button in or out: Barely in lol.

Wedding rings on or off: Still on-I've been fortunate to not really have swelling.

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm a pretty happy lady :)

Looking forward to: Our childbirth classes start on October 15th and I have another baby shower on the 22nd, but aside from that just continuing to get the nursery ready and enjoying feeling him move more and more!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-October (Halloween)

092417 October-main

In a little over a month, it'll be Halloween! And you need some recipes to be prepared, and the monthly meal plan crew has you covered with the best treats around!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/23/17)

You guys...I think I've gotten as big as I can. I think the baby is taking up all the space there is, he's definitely cramped and is starting to squish all my other organs. AND...I have 3 more months left. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME. I'm concerned.

This week was otherwise fairly boring-just running some errands and dealing with stuff at home. Last weekend was fun though-the wedding I worked was stunning and then it was nice celebrating Michael's birthday. It was laid-back but fun (plus we got a crazy delish brunch where I had cinnamon roll pancakes and he had pineapple, coconut, and banana french toast) :) I'm working another wedding today and then spending time with my boy again tomorrow so all good stuff!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies

{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies
People have frequently asked me if I have a favorite sugar/cutout cookie recipe. Up until now, the answer was no. Michael and I aren't huge fans and during the holidays our moms have their recipes so there's be no one to even make them for. BUT-then I had my baby shower and decided it would be cute to make elephant cookies as favors (I happened to have an elephant cookie cutter) and decided it was time to try to find a recipe.
{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies
Allie of Baking a Moment had a recipe that appealed to me-a nice, simple, ingredient list (nothing crazy) for cookies that don't spread, have nice clean edges, and you don't need to chill the dough (heck, you don't even need to soften the butter!). It seemed simple and pretty much flawless, and I trust Allie so I felt confident that this recipe would work out well.

There are a lot of feelings associated with cutout cookie recipes-my and Michael's mom's both couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to use their recipes, and talked about how everyone in their families love theirs. And they're both fine but they weren't what I was looking for. I knew I needed to find my recipe.
{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies
And this is totally it!! The recipe was crazy simple and yielded perfectly clean edges, no spreading, and surprisingly sturdy cookies (people kept asking if the trunks broke a lot and they really didn't! These were solid cookies). They were also pretty straightforward and easy to make. And a total bonus? Remember how Michael and I are meh on this kind of cookie? We both actually thought these were tasty-they have a really nice balance of sugar and butter and vanilla flavors. I'm kind of in love and will 100% be using this recipe from now on for any cutout cookie needs I may have. This is one of those moments where you feel like a total grownup. Just in time for us becoming parents, I guess, lol. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/16/17)

I actually ended up spending all last weekend with my Michael, which was so nice! Yay! The rest of this week I was sort of lazy, except for on Tuesday (where I took a breastfeeding class our hospital offers), and Thursday (when I filmed a commercial!) Today I'm working a wedding and tomorrow is Michael's birthday! Woo!

Posts from this week 
Croissant Doughnuts

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Easy Whole Wheat Hoagie Rolls
French Dip Sandwiches

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Younger-That finale left me super underwhelmed, not enough things actually happened!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Croissant Doughnuts

Croissant Doughnuts
When you've already started frying and have leftover oil...

and you used to live in NYC and still regret the fact that you never got to try a cronut...

you make yourself some homemade croissant doughnuts.
Croissant Doughnuts
I'm going to warn you all right now: this recipe is a process. You're essentially making a hybrid doughnut/croissant dough and croissant dough requires a lot of folding and chilling so the whole thing takes awhile (most of it is inactive time, though, while you let it chill between rolling out and folding). And then there's the whole frying deal. And honestly....after spending all day making these and then eating them I was like "Yum. But not really any more yum than a regular freshly fried doughnut. So....not worth all that time and effort." ...and then I let Michael try them.
Croissant Doughnuts
I was not expecting a big response from him. He and I both thought he'd be meh about these. WE WERE WRONG. He looooved them. He loved all the flaky fried layers that you can peel apart, he liked the powdered sugar coated on the outside, he was so into them. And when I mentioned that I'd made them once and now didn't need to again his eyes got all big and sad and he said, "...Never?"

*sigh* Well, what am I supposed to say to that? I guess these are not gonna be a one hit wonder after all!
Croissant Doughnuts
Don't get me wrong-these are not insanely difficult to make. I just thought regular fried doughnuts were just as good so why waste the effort? But they are really fun and cool and definitely worth a try. They're all flaky and buttery and crunchy on the outside while fluffy in the centers. It's a true hybrid. And they're totally customizable-you can frost them or fill them however you prefer, I'm just a powdered sugar fried treats gal. You do you. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/9/17)

Well my Labor Day weekend went well! Saturday's wedding and Sunday's wedding were both busy but went really well, and looked absolutely beautiful. Monday Michael and I were able to just relax and hang out-we ordered some food and ate it on the deck and went through our baby shower gifts, but mostly we just chilled. Tuesday-Thursday I just got things done around the house. Yesterday I worked my day job doing wine tastings and tomorrow I'm doing that as well. Today I get to just hang out with my Michael again, though! Yay!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Baby Update -- 25 Weeks

How far along: 25 (26 on Friday) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: Last week at the doctor's appointment he was 1 lb. and 11 ounces.

Total weight gain/loss: About 10 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Almost exclusively at this point, with the exception of some especially flowy tops/dresses

Stretch marks: So far, so good, but I'm starting to feel like I may have reached my limit so they may start popping up soon.

Sleep: It's starting to get a bit more difficult-laying on my side is starting to cause my hip to hurt but I can't sleep on my back or stomach. I've started using Michael's body pillow to put between my legs which is helping.

Best moment of this week: Last weekend having the baby shower was amazing, then having the 24 week doctor's appointment and everything being good and getting to see another ultrasound (he's so cute and silly! His butt was in the way and his feet were up by his face lol).

Miss anything: Still missing money lol. And having more clothes options. Shaving is getting more difficult, also, thanks to my expanding belly.

Movement: He is definitely making his presence known when he wants to. It's funny, sometimes when Michael rests his hand lightly on my belly all of a sudden he gets crazy active, like he knows! We can also see a lot of the movements from the outside now, which is crazy.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still nothing unusual at this point!

Have you started to show yet: Yes I definitely am. Was even acknowledged as being pregnant by a stranger for the first time last week.


Labor signs: Nope!

Belly button in or out: A much more shallow innie. Outie status may be coming soon.

Wedding rings on or off: On but I definitely can tell it's getting a little tighter.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy!

Looking forward to: I'm starting to get really excited for him to be here so I can snuggle him and see him and see what he looks like and acts like.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/2/17)

Ok first of all let's go back to last weekend and my baby shower. It was thrown by my boss and friend, Val (with input from me) and was held at my house. The food was all brought my moms and aunts, with the exception of the dessert table which I did all of (I made mini s'mores tarts, mini vanilla cupcakes, mini puff pastries with homemade whipped cream, mini cheesecakes, and cookie dough balls--I also made adorable little elephant cut out cookies as favors, but I'll chat more about that later.) It was a beautiful day and everything was so simple yet pretty and so many people I loved were in one room! It was such an amazing time and it FLEW BY. I wish I could've spent more time visiting with everyone!! And we got so darned many gifts, I was blown away by how generous everyone was and all the amazing stuff our little man is getting. He's very very luck to be so loved! As are we :) So it was awesome but omigosh Michael and I were WIPED OUT after it. 

(Oh and also the day prior, Saturday, I worked my tush off getting ready but before that Michael had a couple errands to run that I went along on and we tried out brunch at this place called Twisted Citrus and it was suuuper yummy!)

This whole week was crazyyy too! Monday I mostly just recovered, but Tuesday we had an ultrasound and doctor's appointment + my glucose test (everything is looking good!). Wednesday we had a childcare class at the hospital where we'll be delivering, which was actually pretty fun and very informative. Thursday we had a consultation with the baby's pediatrician (we like her!) and then I worked, and I worked Friday. And today and tomorrow I'm working weddings (yepp a double header, gotta love 3 day weekends!) 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies

Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
I've never deep fried anything before. I'd been afraid. 1-will it be messy? 2-Gah that's a lot of wasted oil. 3-Oh man...that sounds like a dangerous thing to be able to do at home. But, now I've deep fried some stuff and I can say--it's not that messy. But yes to the rest of the above. However? Still so worth it. For these little pies alone.
Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
I got it into my head that I wanted fried little pies filled with chocolate hazelnut spread (which most people know by the most common brand name, "nutella", but I love to use PB & Co's Chocmeister Dark Chocolatey Hazelnut Spread). This idea was so pervasive (but not in a preggo-craving kind of way, more in a oooh that's a good idea kind of way) that I finally decided to do it. I used my favorite all butter pie crust recipe (which always gives me super buttery and flaky crust), filled it with the chocolate hazelnut spread, folded it over and sealed it, fried it, topped it with powdered sugar and....HOLY MOLY.
Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
The pie crust was all flaky and fried with just enough sweetness, thanks to the powdered sugar, and then when you bite into it and get that rich and warm chocolate hazelnutty's like an experience. I feel like they'd totally be served in some hip cafe or restaurant. I got myself downright addicted and ate probably more than I'd care to admit. They were so good. I think everyone should try them at least once-that's my official recommendation. :P

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-September (Tailgaiting)

082717 September-main

TODAY IS MY BABY SHOWER! But, while I'm enjoying that, I've also got you covered for all your September recipe needs with this month's round up.

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/26/17)

Well this week was fairly boring-I've spent the whole time getting prepared for my baby shower tomorrow. Today I'll be doing lots more prepping (and baking) and tomorrow is the big day. I'm so excited!

Posts from this week 
Homemade Mocha Pudding

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Extra Flaky Biscuits

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles (Sally's Baking Addiction)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Game of Thrones-I'm so bored with everything at Winterfell right now. But omigosh poor little (not so little) Viserion! At least Dany and Jon just keep getting cuter and cuter (forgetthatsheshisauntforgetthatsheshisaunt).

Younger-Gahhh Liza don't listen to anyone, you and Charles are clearly meant to be together!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Homemade Mocha Pudding

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Michael asked me to buy him pudding cups for work. I groaned and asked if I had to and he asked why and I told him how unhealthy they are and can't I just make you pudding instead??

"...Oh. Yeah. You can do that."

"OOOOOH can you make me mocha pudding?"

So here we are.
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Fun fact: homemade pudding really isn't tough to make. And this one in particular is ultra easy-there aren't even any egg yolks involved! And actually...I the scheme of's not that bad for you. Really. Could be way worse-and it's definitely sooo much better than all the junk they put in the processed stuff. I'm totally gonna be "that mom" guys. #sorrynotsorry

Also, I can personally attest that this makes really delicious just chocolate pudding as well-you just need to omit the espresso/coffee powder portion of it. Then it's yummalicious chocolate pudding! It's thick and comforting and tasty. And hilarious how you can serve it in a little cup or bowl with a spoon and think of being a child, or all fancied up in little glasses with whipped cream and feel sophisticated. Life's all about perspective, ya know?

Homemade Mocha Pudding

Adapted from Foodie with Family

Homemade Mocha Pudding
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee granules
  • 3 cups milk (any kind you prefer)
  • 5 oz. dark, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional-whipped cream and grated or shaved chocolate, for serving
  • In a dry, heavy bottomed, 2 quart saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and coffee granules-making sure to get any big lumps worked out.
  • Slowly add a little bit of the milk at a time, whisking after each addition until combined, until it is all thoroughly incorporated and smooth. 
  • Turn of medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it boils, still whisk constantly and boil for about 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  • Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract, whisking slowly until everything is fully melted and combined-when it has darkened and turned glossy.
  • Pour immediately into serving containers or storage container(s). You can serve hot or lay a piece of plastic directly on the surface of the pudding and transfer carefully to the refrigerator (it will be hot!). Chill for at least 2 hours or store for up to 4 days (pudding may start to separate a bit in the fridge, just give it a good stir before serving). 
  • If desired, serve with whipped cream and chocolate garnish. 
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Might I entice you to try a bite? 
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