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7.30.2013

Key Lime Pie Smoothie

This is a sponsored post for Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs. A smoothie that is nutrient packed but tastes like dessert. Perfect for breakfast, the kids or post work out.


Raw eggs have always weirded me out. Even the idea of eating partially cooked eggs gave me the willies, that is until I discovered pasteurized eggs. Though I knew they were safe to consume raw, it took me months to gain the courage to actually eat a raw egg. I eased my way into the raw egg world, it started with sunny side up eggs, meringue, mayonnaise... now I have graduated to smoothies.

This smoothie is great because not only is it nutrient packed it tastes like dessert. Sometimes after a long workout  I crave something calorie laden, however I know my body needs to refuel. Smoothies are my favorite go to post workout meal. This is the best of both worlds!




7.26.2013

Berry Basil Hard Lemonade

Refreshing lemonade sweetened with a mixed berry and basil simple syrup. Can be made with or without bourbon.


What is the most awkward parenting moment you have had so far? I look back on my childhood and I can count a few really awkward moments that I wish I could burn from my memory. Pretty much any mention of sex was an experience I wish I did not have to live through with my parents.

Now that my kids are getting a bit older and more curious, there have been some really strange and awkward moments that I have a hard time not nervously laughing through. Like the time I brought my 4 year old into a public ladies room because I just had to go. I can't leave him out there...so in the stall he comes with me. He asks in his loud high pitch voice that everyone in the bathroom could hear perhaps everyone in the 5 mile radius could hear (Chase needs to work on his indoor voice) "MOM WHY DO GIRLS PEE OUT OF THEIR BUTTS?? WHERE DID YOUR PEEPEE GO? MINE IS BIGGER...." And he keeps rattling off. My boy loves to talk. I quietly hush him over and over, but because he is so loud I don't think he can even hear me over his own words. Finally I snap. "CHASE, we'll talk about it later!" Jeez just let me pee in peace!


Then the other day we are listing to music and Bruno Mars comes on the, my six year old son sings at the top of his lungs along with the music. "Your sex takes me to paradise......." Awkward parenting moment!

When those awkward moments wear me down, I need a shot of something in my drink. These kids I tell ya. What better way to kick back after they have gone to bed than some spiked Berry Basil Lemonade.


7.25.2013

Win A KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a Target Gift Card and TEN Cookbooks!!!! Over an $800 Value!

What a fabulous giveaway I have on Bakeaholic Mama today! To celebrate my friend Ashton's birthday, a group of bloggers and I are hosting a giveaway. The biggest giveaway to hit Bakeaholic Mama! Be sure to enter to win!


Want to win some of my favorite things?! Here's what's up for grabs:
How can you enter to win all of these goodies (an $800 value!)? Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below by signing in with your Facebook or E-mail account (you're required to use one of those so we can contact you if you win!):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Tell me what are some of YOUR favorite things????? 
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7.24.2013

Lemon Goat Cheese Pound Cake with Grilled Honey Glazed Plums and Basil

This cake is versatile, sweet and holds up to heavy fruits and syrups. The grilled Plums are the perfect pairing for a summer dessert.


I like desserts that are easy to make but sound and look elegant. A simple dessert such as pound cake and fresh local fruit can be dressed up with just a few small changes. Instead of using a traditional all butter pound cake, I've opted to use some creamy soft goat cheese to add some richness and a little tang. For the fruit, instead of cooking it down into a syrup or a compote, I opted to glaze some fresh plums with honey and lemon then grill them just until they start to caramelize. Topped off with some sweetened Crème fraîche and fresh basil. It is the perfect fancy but not so fancy dessert to wow your friends and family.


7.22.2013

7 Years Ago I married My Best Friend

Seven years ago today, I married my best friend. Though we have been together for nearly 13 years, and over those years we have had many highs and lows. Even at our lowest low we always come through it together. I love you Stevie, here is to a lifetime of anniversaries......




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7.19.2013

Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad


I am a huge fan of dinners made using leftovers from the night before. Especially in the summer on one of those super hot days, when the idea of turning on your stove is dreadful. One day a few weeks ago I was scrounging around looking for something to make for dinner that required no cooking. I had leftover roasted beets and some cooked quinoa in the fridge. I tossed them together for a light salad with some goat cheese.


My husband and I both loved it so much, I have made it several other times, each time sprucing it up a tad. This salad is exactly what I crave in the summers. It's light, filling, healthy, and full of so much flavor. It's pretty versatile, for crunch you can add in anything such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, almonds, or maybe even some pecans. For cheese I like to use feta, my husband likes it better with goat cheese. Either cheese works well. Toss in some fresh herbs and garlic, top off with a bit of a balsamic reduction and call it dinner.You can enjoy it hot, or you can eat it cold. The salad that started as a leftover throw together, is now a salad I make just so I have leftovers to eat all week long.


7.16.2013

Double Chocolate Kettle Corn Cookies



Did I tell you all my husband started a new job?

This was big news in our world. He worked for his last employer for 6 years, and I was even a former employee there. We loved the company for many years and felt a part of an extended family of sorts. That was however until the Owner retired and his crunchy granola, eccentric, trust fund baby, daughter took over. (I'm sure you can I'm not a fan...) Things have been going down hill for a while and my husband had been really unhappy for the past year. Slowly all of our friends have left the company, and now it was his time. I was so proud of him for quitting. Changing jobs is never easy. AND... major risk involved where we have not even gotten our first mortgage payment in the mail.


 In the end we both know sometimes you don't get ahead if you don't make the leap. The company he moved to is minutes down the road from our new house. They are the largest of their kind in the state..... and they make some big money! Though the money and location are great there is a price to pay. Steve's first day without any training was 14 hours. They just threw him in to the dogs. He did great and loved it. That trend has continued. He just worked 8 straight days.... all 12-15 hours each. As a reward his new boss gave him two days off in a row. This is a treat in his business. You typically get one day off a week. 



My hard working husband has been home for a couple of days, but goes back to work tomorrow. Yesterday we took a drive up to Clough State Park, and enjoyed playing in the water with the kids. We came home, grilled some ridiculous sirloin burgers on some brioche buns that made my heart and tummy so happy. I then baked some cookies with the boys while Madelyn slept. I'm a Joy the Baker mega fan as you all know but the boys wanted to pick the recipe out. So I google Joy the Baker Cookies to see what pops up. The first I clicked was one she did last spring to promote Smitten Kitchen's new book..... they are chocolate chip cookies with POPCORN in them. My boys just discovered the joys of microwave popcorn so they went nuts for this recipe.


"THAT ONE!" "Please, please please Mama can we make THOSE!?!" So we did. With some adaptions of course. The recipe yielded about 2 dozen cookies. They were all gone by bedtime. That tells you they were great!


What a genius idea adding popcorn into cookies. Deb and Joy used a traditional buttery popcorn. I used some microwaved kettle corn. I also used Hershey Baking Melts. They are large chocolate disks that are so perfect for any chocolate lover's cookie, I also added in some chopped white chocolate because the kids said so. The cookies are the perfect chewy cookie. Exactly the kind I adore. I baked all of the cookies according to directions. Then baked the last few for an extra 3 minutes so I could get some super crispy cookies out of it for myself. I do love a chewy cookie, but crispy is where it's at. You can dunk a crispy cookie in milk...... need I say more?


7.11.2013

Why I Adore StitchFix



I am not that stylish. Really, I have no clue what is IN and what is not. I typically dress in workout clothes on most days ( my poor hubby). I need as much help as I can get. 

If you are at all like me, you have no time to shop. When you do go shopping you have a zoo of children tagging along. There are no dressing rooms to fit you all. So it's a quick in and a quick out trip. Half the time I buy stuff that doesn't fit! Oh how I'd like the opprotunity to try things on with out the kids bothering me!

Thanks to StitchFix I now can! 

A few months ago I signed up. StitchFix is an online shopping subscription, with your own personal stylist. I know what you are thinking... really? A STYLIST?! Yes. And it is AFFORDABLE! 

What is it all about?

First off you start by filling out a detailed style profile on their website. Give them all of your measurements. Pick a date you want your box shipped to you.  Try on all the clothes in the comfort of your own home. Keep what you want. Send back what you don't! They only charge you for the items that you keep!! AND the shipping is free. 

I love the surprise aspect of it. It is totally one of those Forest Gump moments... life is like box of chocolates or like a StitchFix box. You never know whatcha gonna get! 

Want to learn more about it? Or perhaps even give it a try?? Click HERE, to start your profile and schedule your first fix! 

Here are a few photos of the items I've snagged so far thanks to StitchFix

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7.08.2013

Ollie Cakes

Ten years ago I bought Stevie a puppy. We named him Ollie after the skateboard trick (Young Steve was quite the skater kid...)





Ollie was what I like to call our clearance sale puppy. He was one of about 16 pups, the only one not chosen for adoption. He was fatter than the rest of his brothers and sisters, and had been badly stung by bees all over his face, so he had some scabbing when we first got him. We saw past that and only saw the cutest darn puppy in the world.
At the time we had thought that being a black lab, he would get no larger than 60-80 lbs and be a medium to large breed dog. Ollie broke the scale as he grew... to a whopping 120lbs! He was a beast.

 



For many years it was just Stevie, Ollie and I. He came with us everywhere. Slept between us in bed. Kept me company when Stevie was working late.  Went with Stevie skateboarding. Came with us hiking. Loved to swim with me in the river. Jumped with us on our trampoline.... it was quite the sight! Got into more trouble than any other dog I know. He had so many of those doofus Labrador moments I could write a book! He was like our first born child.  Until of course our babies were born. Though even then he was a HUGE part of our family.






My brain knows  that it is time. Ollie needs to peacefully go. My heart hurts so bad having to make that choice. Tomorrow morning at 9am we are bringing him to our vet to be put down. I can't even put into words how it feels. All I can say is that I love my dog so much and will miss him tons.





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