Passing the Holiday Torch

Christmas Dining Room_night Thanksgiving has come and gone *sigh of relief* inserted here. Growing up, Turkey Day meant 50 of our closest family and friends would descend upon our home in the morning and stay all night, often until the wee hours of the following morning. My parents were so busy cooking, cleaning, and talking, they didn't have time to tell me to brush my hair, get out of the tree, put down the book, or help my sister with (fill in the blank with some chore I really did not want to do). It was a day of freedom - heaven in the eyes of my pre-teen self....

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Farmers Market Scramble

Farmers Market Scramble_vertical2 Remember that beautiful basket of carrots and potatoes, garlic and pomegranates that I showed you earlier this week? My farmers market treasures? Well, that was only about half of what I brought home; there were also apples (that became delicious applesauce!), kale, lettuce, tomatoes, bread, cheese, and more! Not a bad score if I do say so myself....

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Childhood Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies Growing up my best friend lived across the street. We looked like we could be sisters, but were incredibly different in just about every other way - girl scouts vs. sports, dolls vs. running, chocolate anything vs. not a sugar fan, hockey vs. football, listener vs. talker, 1 brother vs. 3 sisters. Somehow we still managed to spend most afternoons laughing until our sides hurt and getting into mischief ...

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Best Ever Granola

Best Ever Granola II I have been buying granola at the store forever because I always managed to burn the granola (it goes from undone to burnt in no time flat!) when making it at home. Turns out that was a function of too high of heat and not being a helicopter mom towards the end of the bake cycle. Lately, though, the granola has been tasting especially bland and making the consumption not worth the calories. Such a bummer since I love granola and yogurt for breakfast....

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Banana Muffins

Banana Poppyseed Muffin

Banana muffin, with a banana topping, and a side of bananas - because you can never have too much banana.

It's no joke that each pregnancy is unique and I'm quickly believing that girls are more difficult than boys - from day 1. The last couple months consisted of long days in bed, binge eating crackers, rice, and plain pasta, chugging water, and being repulsed by everything else. Apparently my little girl did not want vegetables or exercise to be a part of the first few months of her development and let me know in no uncertain terms. With the first trimester firmly behind me, I am almost back in working order - though my cardio has a ways to go. I am using my newfound energy to go through gobs of email and learn the ins and outs of the stove and oven in our new place (yes, we decided to move before knowing I was preggers and successfully planned our move to begin right as the nausea and fatigue took my body by storm). ...

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Winter Nostalgia

When we first decided to move to Virginia from California (and Texas before that) back in 2010, I couldn't have been more excited. For the first time in my life I was going to experience seasons. I was going to live in a place where the snow came to me (as opposed to a 2.5 hour drive to see the man-made stuff). I would wear sweaters, and scarves, and hats, and mittens. When I put on boots in December, I wouldn't sweat and I could finally purchase that gorgeous peacoat that I couldn't justify with our 70-degree SoCal Christmases. Shortly after our move I learned that I am, in fact, not a lover of all seasons. I have a particular issue with the one that lands between Fall and Spring. The snow never arrives at convenient times and that beautiful white blanket quickly turns into cold mud and ice causing all manner of road blocks and accidents (one time it took my coworker over 8 hours to drive the 15 miles home!). That said, since we have moved back to Texas (and now California), I find my nostalgia for seasons returning. It is November and I am sitting here in shorts typing this after staring at a wardrobe of beautiful sweaters, fun hats, cute mittens, and a plethora of scarves repeating my daily wish for at least a hint of winter (or Fall, I'll take Fall!) so I can bundle up in hats (like the white one in this post).
Joules Wellies

With the prediction of El Nino, I decided to get ahead of the mad rush to purchase rain boots and grab a pair of the fantastically adorable Joules Wellies. I bought them on Amazon, but you can find them on sale here.

Come on El Nino, bring us some rain - so I can wear my new Wellies - and toss in some of that cooler weather while you're at it! The warm Santa Ana winds are just not cutting it. Thanks in advance Mother Nature!

Sunday Mornings

Cranberry Orange Scones_Plated

Cranberry orange scones

Breakfast in our home usually consists of a bowl of cheerios, some yogurt, or toast with peanut butter washed down with a glass of O.J., a cup of coffee, or a serving of milk. On really awesome days, we might have a package of instant oatmeal or toss in some granola with the yogurt. Then it is out the door and off to work, the gym, or daycare. Monday through Friday maintains this same basic pattern and it works to get us all out the door on time usually with a smile and kiss to boot! Saturday mornings are a slightly more drawn out version of this same pattern, but the meals remain the same: yogurt, O.J., cereal, and milk....

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